Warning: Creating default object from empty value in /home/jacjac32/notborntorun.com/wp-content/themes/retreat/functions/admin-hooks.php on line 160
March 8, 2012

On Running and Motherhood

On Running and Motherhood

In honor of the fact that the fabulous women at Another Mother Runner asked to profile me, I thought I would dedicate this post to my kids.

I have been called a lot of things in my life:

Jackie, Jacquie, Jacqueline, Jac, JJ (oh, please no…), Dr J (laughable given that I am all of 5 feet), Dr Jacques.

Friend, Girlfriend, Sister, Wife, Ex-Wife.

Student, Teacher, Author, Expert.

I am sure I have been called a number of less savory things too…but maybe we’ll go there another day.

There is no title I am more proud of than Mommy.

I have two boys, 10 and 12. And like most any other moms I think they are the most amazing perfect wonderful people ever born unto this Earth. (Except for when they aren’t)

I almost forgot Perfectionist. Probably no one else has called me this, but inside, there is part of me always pushing for perfect, and she is loud. I fight a regular battle against this part of me. It is mostly an internal contest of sorts that quietly rages against that super-undefeatable opponent called Real Life. The Perfectionist more and more often throws up her hands and forfeits. She almost always loses, but she keep trying.

I have been able to forfeit the perfection game much more easily in almost every part of my life than in motherhood. I have had to do this to keep my sanity. Back when I was young, it was ok to take the time to arrange my books by size and color, to spend a whole day planning and preparing a meal, to clean every nook and cranny of my house in a way that might make Martha Stewart happy. I used to iron my sheets.

But somewhere along the road life got busy. I went to medical school, I got married, I got divorced, I started a career, I helped to start a successful business. And in there I had 2 babies and I wanted – more than anything – to the THE PERFECT MOM.

And because I am only one person, I sort of failed at that every day – at least in my heart.

Let me put it this way: I realized one day that maybe I would actually be a better mom if I stopped trying to be a perfect one.

Sara Bowen Shea asked me a couple of direct questions about how I manage my life as a single mom. I guess the best answer I have these day is this:

I remember to always love my kids first. I make every effort to be there when I can and to make sure they are well-cared for when I am not. I try to be fully present in all the moments when I am present – to cheer at the games, to make breakfast and pack lunches, listen when they talk, to hold them when it hurts, to hug and kiss them goodnight. I don’t let guilt over my busy career drive my decisions and I hope that at the end of the day even when I am imposing the rules and I have tears and someone says they hate me that they feel all the love I have for them and that that thing – that Love that is bigger than everything else and wants to be the perfect mom in every moment – is what they feel.

Kids, of course, notice everything, They know what games you were at and which ones you missed. They remember every time I didn’t call at bedtime because I was in a late meeting. They know that I am the mom who almost never gets to a parent meeting, doesn’t chaperone, and sometimes misses the school play. They remember, and because they are amazing people, they forgive me.

So trust me here, like every crazy-busy single working mom out there, I weigh every minute. When I decided to start running I definitely had the thought “how can I take even 10 more minutes away from my kids?” And then I thought:

Part of my job as a mom is to show them how to care for themselves by setting a good example. We eat well, we have enforced bedtimes, we don’t watch too much TV – we live a really healthy lifestyle. But in fitness – well – for a lot of years, by boys were setting the example for me.

In some way, there is part of me that is running to show my boys that I can.

This happened the other day: I went to buy new running shoes and my 12 year old asked if he could buy some too. Are you going to start running? I asked him. I might run with you, he said. Sold. He may never run with me (mostly I think he wanted then because they are bright blue with a neon orange swoosh…), but hearing him say it broke my heart a little.

This also happened: I dropped my boys at school the other morning, and after the car doors were shut and I was preparing to drive away, suddenly my ten year old was banging on the window. I opened it.

What’s up Buddy? I asked

I just really needed an extra hug and kiss, he says.

So I give one and I get one and he runs off with a smile.

And I cry. You have to be doing something right to get that.

So whatever I get called in this life, the title I choose is Mommy.

I might take on new titles – maybe even Runner – one day.

But for today, this is enough.


(Also today – for those of you following along, I am off to Italy and Austria. Maybe some pictures coming of running in Venice or the Alps….)





Leave a comment
  1. Ronda H.
    March 8, 2012 at 2:48 pm #

    As a fellow working mother of a 10-year-old son, as well as a 17-year-old daughter, I thank you for this post. It was just what I needed this morning. Enjoy your trip abroad!

    • Jacqueline Jacques
      March 8, 2012 at 7:08 pm #

      Hi Rhonda,
      Thank you for visiting the blog and for your comments.
      All of us busy moms occasionally need a reminder that good enough is sometimes good enough. My 10 year old read the post this AM and said “oh mommy, you are too hard on yourself – you’re a great mom. I love you so much!” Best reminder in the world.

  2. nordictk
    March 8, 2012 at 7:00 pm #

    This even made a Dad’s eyes become a little moist….

  3. Dawn
    March 9, 2012 at 1:14 am #

    Isn’t it just the best feeling when your kids say thank you and let you know that they appreciate all you do for them? :-). It makes up for all the other times we feel taken for granted…I get so caught up in ‘doing life’ that I guess I sometimes take them for granted too… LUUUURRRRRRVE my kids…(all 4 of them)
    Have a great trip, I would LOVE to go to Italy. 🙂


    • Jacqueline Jacques
      March 9, 2012 at 9:40 am #

      Thanks Dawn!
      Just landed in Frankfurt…getting close

  4. Nancy
    March 11, 2012 at 5:05 pm #

    i am so incredibly proud of you in every way, but MOST of all I am proud of the mommy you are to your boys. I love you, mom