Growing Together: Growing Pains with Work in Sweats Mama


growing together

After a brief, holiday inspired break, Growing Together is back today!

Nicole is one of those bloggers I had kept running into on other people’s blogs. One day I finally moseyed over to her place and was taken with the way she weaves her story. And then when I realized all that she does – work full time, run, write, mama, I was amazed. And I couldn’t stop reading her stories and breathing in the grace with which she does her thing. Nicole also does some group contributor post and her Spring Cleaning one is one of my favs.

Today, I am so honored that she is here with a beautiful story about growing pains. Enjoy and then head on over to Work in Sweats Mama for more of Nicole!


Startled out of a deep sleep, I wake to the sound of my oldest crying.

Mommy, my legs hurt.

After whispered reassurances and a dose of Children’s Tylenol, I kiss my daughter. I tuck her long limbs back under the covers.

The growing pains no longer surprise me.

After another year of watching my daughters change and grow, the signs are undeniable.

Painted toes flirt with the edge of sandals.

Hems that once kissed knobby knees now skim sun-bronzed thighs.

No longer forced to compete with chubby cheeks, a single dimple stands out.

One strides toward age 5 and kindergarten. The other rushes headfirst into terrible twos.

I kiss invisible boo-boos. I wipe away tears. I tell them the aches and pains, the bumps and bruises, are just a part of life.
Yet, more than ever, I feel the sometimes tender, often agonizing, tug on my heart.

My own growing pains.

The moment I welcomed my first into this world, I felt my heart overflow, my existence magnified in ways I never knew possible.

I looked to my husband and knew we would never be the same. A love greater than we’d ever known changed our lives forever.

My heart ached with the joy, beauty, and pain of it all.

Two and a half years later, I marveled at the innate ability of my heart to expand again.

Today, another two and half years later, my heart still grows.

It soars with each success. It suffers with every failure.

My daughters experience aches and pains before rapid growth. Like them, hardships sometimes accompany my own triumphs.

Sometimes our greatest breakthroughs go hand-in-hand with the greatest anguish.

Pregnancy stretched, pulled, and gave way to the agony of labor.

I barely remember the pain. I recall newfound appreciation for my body, transformed beautifully to sustain and nurture.

I evoke memories of delicate babies, perfect in wrinkly new skin, placed into my arms for the first time.

Cracked nipples and engorged breasts healed.

Hours spent with a flushed-cheeked child remain an enduring reminder that sacrifice brings the most surprising rewards.

The physical agony of running 26.2 miles vanished when I heard my daughters’ cheers at mile 21.I stopped just long enough to embrace them. Their love bolstered me to finish strong.

Even the deep grief as I held our beloved dog in the last seconds of his life was just another moment of growth.

As my husband and I said goodbye to MacAfee, I wasn’t sure I was strong enough to endure it. Even months later, I can’t think about that day without fresh tears.

My heart still aches, but a love so clear and pure strengthens me in ways I never expected.

As our hearts broke, my husband held me. And I held him.

Despite the pain, we grew together. After ten years of marriage, our hearts opened to each other in a new way.
Now, when I tuck my daughter back into bed and promise the hurt won’t last forever, I believe my words.

I know growing pains will give way to longer legs and a stronger, fuller heart.

I tell myself the same.

Next month, I’ll clutch my daughter’s hand and usher her into a kindergarten classroom. I’ll know the ache in my chest is just a growing pain.

I’ll embrace it.

Beyond the pain, there is growth.

Glacier_NGNicole Goodman is a full-time working mama and the caffeine-driven mind behind Work in Sweats Mama.
After business hours, you’ll find her chasing her fearless two-year-old, verbally sparring with her precocious almost-five-year-old, seeking an endorphin high on long runs, avoiding housework, and slurping down gigantic fountain Cokes.
Nicole’s idea of the perfect vacation involves lots of GORP (Good ‘Ol Raisins and Peanuts) while backpacking in a National Park. Trail running and SUP-ing in Hawaii is a close second.


  1. Tricia, thank you so much for inviting me to be a part of your Growing Together series. It’s an honor to be featured on your site!

  2. Pingback: Growing Pains: A Guest Post at Raising Humans - Work in Sweats Mama

  3. This is so beautiful. Two of my favorite writers. I even am commenting from my car (passenger) and risking car sickness to read this!
    I remember the feeling of growing pains so clearly. Nothing for scarlet yet. So many emotional growing pains for me, though. They are achy and productive.
    So sorry again about your beautiful dog.
    Tamara recently posted..Nearly Wordless Wednesday: A Quirky Compilation.My Profile

  4. Nicole – I am speechless. That was beautifully written and I have years in my eyes.
    Tara Newman recently posted..5 Tips to Help You Delegate (like a BOSS!)My Profile

  5. Oh Nicole! What a truly amazing piece. I’m crying for you (MacAfee!) and with you (kindergarten ) and I believe you when you tell me this pain leads to growth! I have to. Loved this so very much!
    Allie recently posted..I Need Your Help With My Body Image IssuesMy Profile

  6. Wow Nicole this is gorgeous. I was completely held captive the whole way through and got sad when it ended. Really well done, amazing, and inspiring. Those girls are so lucky to have you guiding them through life!
    Charlotte recently posted..Top 8 Emotions You Have Before Returning to BloggingMy Profile

  7. Nicole I adore your writing and in each word i feel the little pain, my growing pains, as I think of my own kids and how quickly they are edging toward independence. Thank you for reminding me how fleeting and incredible this journey is.
    Karen Main recently posted..The exquisite beauty of resilienceMy Profile

  8. Beautiful Nicole! I feel your pain too…that’s what life is all about. The difficulties lead to growth and triumphs so many times. I am so sorry about MacAfee…I know that’s hard. Thinking of you.
    Michelle @ A Dish of Daily Life recently posted..What’s For Dinner, at #FoodieFridays no. 5My Profile

  9. Welcome.back. We’ve missed this.

    Those reassurances you give your girls, the attentiveness and presence? That’s the feel you’ve created, that sense of mom that will both power them and serve as the model for what a mom they will someday become.

    Life’s full of adventures and calories and shiny things. But a happy home? Nothing shines brighter.
    Eli@coachdaddy recently posted..Go Ask Daddy About Moving Chains, Rio Romps and Getting CardedMy Profile

  10. Great post, Nicole!!
    It is so true – the growing pains come often!!! The other night I was talking to my sister-in-law about the fact that in 2 years I will be fixing to send my oldest into his senior year of high school – for some reason it hit me then and tears filled my eyes. I know that these things happen but….
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  11. Beautiful and so very, very true!
    Lisa @ The Golden Spoons recently posted..Today . . .I DecideMy Profile

  12. SO beautiful Nicole! Ohmyheart aches for you and with you… as I am sending off my baby to middle school- I too, feel the undeniable growing pains.
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  13. Pingback: Heart of the Run: Finding Your Sweet Spot - Work in Sweats Mama

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