Photo Credit: Cameron Spencer/Getty Images
Moms, if you want to feel better about yourselves, your life, what you do all day and what you don’t do, listen to Lashinda Demus, a mom of five-year-old twin boys who also happens to be the silver medalist in the 400-meter hurdles at the London Summer Games.
“Track and field is definitely easier than raising kids,” Demus told me with a laugh during an interview at the P&G Family Home. Track, with all of its endurance training, the drills, the weights – track and field is easier? I feel better already!
“When I first had (the boys), I used to run to practice, like, I get an hour and a half of rest no matter if it’s killing my body or not,” the 29-year-old first time mom added.
Demus said “the disappointment is over” after not winning the gold but said to her kids, she came out on top. “They still think that I won,” she said laughing. “I don’t know why but they said second is still winning because when they play Mario Kart, they said (when) they get second, they still get a trophy so that means I won too because I’m second so they compared me to their Wii game, Mario Kart.”
That darling story made me think that kids have it exactly right – Demus is a winner already, but she doesn’t exactly see it that way. “It’s just like a lawyer trying to pass the LSAT or something like that,” she told me. "This is my career and this is what I am trying to be the best at, this is the epitome of showing that. They’ll get it when they get older.”
Asked if she thinks women can truly have it all and she’s emphatic. “Definitely ... There’s no reason for you to say your life is no longer important because you have kids,” said Demus. “Why don’t you just make them part of (your) dream? So it’s just like a refurbished dream because you’re adding people to it … so you make them part of your dream. You can do it if that’s what you want.”
Demus is making her kids part of her dream. She wanted them to be at the Olympics with her here in London and she’ll likely be bringing them to Rio in 2016, as she pursues that Olympic gold that has remained elusive so far and that remains on her bucket list. “I have things I want to accomplish and I can say, you know what, I can close the chapter on this story and move on.”
Check out more of my interview with Lashinda Demus below:
On her biggest challenge as a mom: ““The one thing I do struggle with is time management. That is really hard for me, and I’m still struggling with it, and kind of fighting myself with spending enough time with (the boys) or if I’m not spending enough time on the track or with my husband so I kind of go back and forth with that all the time. And I still haven’t found the answer so I don’t have the golden key to that one,” she said laughing. I wish she die!
On how her life as an athlete changed after kids: “My priorities changed, like I run for different reasons now. Then it was just to obtain as much as I can and now it’s like I want them to remember something, I want them to be able to pass down to each generation saying what our family has accomplished, so I definitely run for the legacy of my family and just set an example.”
On her top advice to moms: “I definitely will say that nothing can replace spending quality time with your kids. So if you don’t, you have to incorporate that into your life … I would definitely say quality time is something that is irreplaceable and that is needed and I definitely show my twins that I’m obsessed with them, I want them to think they can’t find any other love more than a mommy love and that’s irreplaceable too."
Watch Olympian Natalie Coughlin talk about why parents should be parenting and not coaching from the sidelines: