The Wifey Speaks: Exhausted Mommy Brain

I told Deetz while we were in North Carolina that she needed to do another guest blog for me. She did this one last week, but I am just getting around to posting it. Aren’t I such a good hubby. Don’t answer that…

Last week Hank reminded me that I owed him a guest blog.

We were on vacation so I was going to write a blog about that… but then he beat me to it, the stinker! So then I thought of another fun idea… but forgot it.

So now, now you just get a peek inside the random ramblings of my exhausted “mommy brain.”

This was me yesterday.

I felt like I had completely hit a wall physically and mentally. My week had been Monday- spin class, Tuesday- personal trainer, Wednesday- spin class again. My legs HURT. My kids, who are sweet, smart, and funny, were also being demanding and whiny. Suddenly the thought of logging my food not just that day, but possibly every day for the rest of my life made me feel completely unhinged. It didn’t seem normal or healthy. It made me feel resentful and obsessed. It made me want to run in the kitchen and bake a batch of my favorite triple chip cookies and then defiantly eat the whole batch all by myself. Take that MyFitnessPal.

I would not really do that.
I wouldn’t.

Today I headed back to the gym for another personal training appointment. I am working with the most motivational, fun trainer ever! Her name is Erin and she is perfect for me. I knew she was the one for me when I read this entry on her blog and I knew she wouldn’t try to make me skinny, she’d try to make me fit. Before we met up I hit the treadmill and then together we started doing some weight training. From the start I was a little shaky. I just felt like my head was tired. Usually when I get tired at the gym I can pretty much tell myself, “Just keep going. Keep moving your legs. Just five more.” Whatever it takes to get the task done. Today that just wasn’t happening. I couldn’t focus. My heart started racing. I had drained my water bottle like 15 minutes in.

Finally, when we still had 5 minutes to go, I told her I had to stop.

We sat down and she told me that all the color had left my face and asked me what I’d had for breakfast. Greek yogurt three hours earlier. Not my wisest move. My blood sugar had apparently dropped super low. Throw that in with the general mental stress that comes with life with the world’s cutest most loving yet most defiant toddler and my head just could not get in the game.

As I lay on an exercise mat practicing some stretches I felt completely physically and mentally overwhelmed. I would be lying if I said a few warm salty tears didn’t mingle with the sweat already streaming down my face. I left the gym realizing two important things:

1) Food is fuel and you need fuel to go.
2) When you’re physically exhausted but not mentally exhausted you can keep yourself going but if you’re physically exhausted and mentally exhausted you are going to bomb.

Coming to this realization this morning made me rethink yesterday’s resentful mutterings about food journaling and fitness. Did I really want to quit? At the moment? Maybe. Long term, no. If I quit I will just have to start all over again. I know because I’ve been down that road more than once. More than twice.

So while part of me would love to sit around eating sweets all day, another part of me, the stronger part, realizes that isn’t a sustainable lifestyle. I wouldn’t want it for my kids. I’m highly motivated by what I want for them. I want them to be healthy. I want them to be active. I know the best chance of that is if that’s the lifestyle I’m modeling for them.

I also think back to last week’s vacation. We did some paddleboarding and it made me feel awesome. I have lived at the beach almost my whole life. Confession: In middle school I was a library assistant (I know, I know, I was a nerd. What of it?) and we used to haggle over who would get to take home the older editions of the surf magazines. I read surf novels. I thought it would be the coolest thing ever to be a surfer girl.

It was a dream I put zero actual effort into realizing. (I was a nerd who worked in the library, remember. Plus I was way too introverted to ask a cool surfer boy to teach me.) I digress. Paddleboarding for me has reawakened that dream. I’m out in the water and balancing  on a board. I have a cool rashguard that Hank got me because he is awesome (some artistic liberties were taken by the owner of the blog to enhance the meaning of the sentence). For me that satisfies that long dormant dream. As far as I’m concerned it’s a cool girl thing to do. I don’t need to shred the waves (is that a real phrase? The surf novels I read were written in the 1950’s and most of the other surfer lingo I remember is from the late 80’s/early 90’s). Whatever. The point is, the person eating as many cookies as her greedy little  hands can stuff in her greedy little mouth isn’t going to be out carrying her paddleboard down the beach and cutting through the surf. She isn’t going to get her kids out there on her board thinking, “I have the coolest mom ever.”
So, what do I really, really, really want?
I really, really, really want to keep my head in the game mentally so I can get where I need to get physically. I don’t want to be skinny, I want to be fit. I want my kids to think they have the coolest mom ever. I want to get my own paddleboard, which I have the upper body strength to carry across the beach to the water. I want to be able to practice moderation in all things so I can continue to indulge my love of the phrase “first cream together the butter and the sugars” and all the tasty goodness that follows it, but do so in a way that lets my kids know that while eating a homemade treat isn’t a bad thing to do sometimes, eating them shouldn’t run their lives. Oh, and I really want to know how to get my crazy toddler to want to do the right things because I sure can’t make him! 🙂
(That’s me being a cool mom!)

5 comments to The Wifey Speaks: Exhausted Mommy Brain

  • Bwahahaahaaaa!!!! This post is *awesome* I loved reading every single second of it!!!

  • crystal

    Go, DD, go!!! Paddleboarding looks awesome and fun!

  • Madeline @ Food Fitness and Family
    Twitter: FoodFitandFam

    I love the phrase “I don’t want to be skinny, I want to be fit. I want my kids to think they have the coolest mom ever” because that is my ultimate goal in life as well 🙂

    I know the trials and tribulations that come along with “mommy brain” so know that you are not alone. Before you throw in the towel think about your kids and that will be enough to get you through! There is a whole community of “mommy friends” here in the blogosphere who are trying to do the same thing you are so don’t be afraid to reach out!

    Love your post. You got this 😉

  • Angela @ Happy Fit Mama
    Twitter: happyfitmama

    Oh the mommy brain! Got it!

    If you’re kids don’t think you are cool, I do! That’s awesome that you SUP. I want to try that so bad.

  • Courtney
    Twitter: btc_blog

    Awesome post. This comment may not be coherent as I too am suffering from mommy brain right this minute. They finally went to bed and I’m about to crash from the day. I just wanted to offer support and let you know that you’re not alone – I totally get how you were/are feeling! I find the longer I keep going with this fitness adventure the fewer and fewer those bad days arise!

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