Being a mom is much more amusing than any country I have visited, way better than any hot fudge chocolate sundae I have tried and far more rewarding than any medal I have won. There are definitely moments when I am completely stressed out, the house is a disaster and tomorrow can’t come fast enough...but for every day or moment like that, there are a hundred more that remind me of the joy and happiness that come from being a mom. I absolutely love it.
Being an Olympic athlete and a mother of two small children takes balance. I am so grateful to have such a wonderful example and role model in my life that my mom is to me. My mom worked full-time but I never felt that she did. Family dinner was always a must, she was always teaching us about world events, giving us spelling tests or reading books with us each night. She never missed my sports events, piano recitals or school activities, and has always cheered me on all along the way. These examples are just a glimpse of what she taught me about being a mom and a little bit of what I want to give to my kids. Regardless of what they choose to do or where their talents take them, I want to be right by their side, cheering them on all along the way.
Throughout my training and competitions leading up to the Olympic Winter Games this year, there weren’t very many free minutes in my day. I would wake up at 6 a.m., get ready for the day, eat breakfast, slide at the track for a couple hours, come back, change a diaper, eat lunch, workout for three hours, eat dinner, clean up dinner, change a diaper, get the kids ready for bed, prepare my equipment for the next day, spend a few minutes with my hubby Janson, respond to emails, go to bed and do it all again tomorrow. Life after winning an Olympic silver medal has been a whirlwind. Now, my daily schedule is never the same. Every day has been different since I returned from Sochi. Between potty training, Lacee starting piano lessons and spending some time in the kitchen baking banana bread (I LOVE to bake!), I have had many opportunities to meet incredible people from all over the world. I have been busy speaking to companies, charities and church groups about the importance of setting goals, overcoming obstacles and being focused on where you are going. I just finished writing a book and I am SO excited for it to come out this fall! In case you are wondering, it has always been on my personal “bucket list” to write a book. If you don’t have a bucket list, I highly recommend making one today. But even more than all of this within my new schedule, I have loved the extra moments in my day when I get to ask Lacee how school was or go over the ABCs with Traycen.
I’m not gonna lie. Potty training was rough and I wasn’t the happiest mom on the block during that time, but, like I said, being a mom has its high and low moments. Last week we all rode our bikes a mile to the local store for “family night” just to get an ice cream cone. Traycen just turned 3 and “rode” his little bike (it doesn’t have pedals) all the way to the store and back. He was a trooper. It made me smile. Every day after Lacee gets home from school, she throws the door open, shouts, “Hey everyone! I’m home! Look what I did today!” With that she pulls every paper and drawing out of her bag and excitedly tells me about her day. I love it and can’t wait to see what she learned each day.
As an athlete, I feel the pain that I feel and am happy when I succeed. As a mom, it is inspiring to see the world new through the eyes of a child. It hurts deep inside when your child feels pain. There is immense joy and pride when they succeed at something they have been striving to accomplish. I love being an athlete but being a mom has been the absolute greatest blessing in my life. It has taught me about selflessness and love in a way that I could have never comprehended through any other experience. I love being a mom!