Anyone around my age can sing the theme song to "Married With Children." The show was 'just crazy' to my preteen brain, but the song lives forever. "Love and marriage, love and marriage, go together like a horse and carriage..."
Or you could go with the childhood rhythm "First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes the baby in the baby carriage."
But wait, what happens when triathlon comes after that? It's not in the song or the rhyme. It's a new theme song with it's own drummer. The drummer? That would be me.
Love, check. (and I thank my lucky stars every day)
Marriage, check. However, married life while trying to work, run monthly 5ks, and train for a triathlon... It's work. I'm fortunate to be married to a fitness buff. Neither of us are saints. I know not to interrupt his weight-lifting sessions. He knows if I say, "I'm going for a run while it's a balmy 40°" to just watch the kids. I have my training time, mostly while the kids are at school and he's at work, and he has his training time after work [when I'm not working]. We make it work.
We budget for it too, which is an issue a lot of married triathletes deal with. I see a trainer, he sees a trainer. I buy a wetsuit, he buys supplements. I will need a new gym in March... he... never mind. I will budget for it.
Then come kids.
You can't "budget" kids. They need your time, energy, and love. I try to include them in my workouts and racing. One runs with me (he's got his own kids Tri in august). Another will play the iTouch while I ride the trainer. I look for races that also have Kid Runs so they can all participate. The youngest likes to be a "33 lb weight" when I'm at home. Starting in March the little one will come to the new gym with it's awesome Kids Room. In fact, this super-gym has a whole floor, basketball court, and pool/waterslide area just for kids! My older ones can't wait until I work out over the summer and they can play at the waterpark.
Last year I dragged my family to nearly all my races. I thought they'd enjoy seeing Mom compete, but I learned that the kids' perspective was more like, "I'm bored... Where's Mom? I'm bored... I see Mom [for 10 seconds]!! I'm bored... Are we done yet? Can I get another popsicle? Where's Mom?! I'm bored..." Times three, in our case.
You get the idea.
This year I've tried to choose races that are nearby so I can go alone and be home in just a few hours. Or I've picked races that my kids can participate in too, like the Zoo Fun Run. The only "family required" race is the triathlon because it's my BIG race, my son and sister are also running, and we'll be staying at a hotel downtown to be close to all the activity. Although I'm very tempted to leave the 3 year old with a grandparent so we can actually get sleep at the hotel... :-)
I hope through our training, racing, and dedication, my kids grow up to my version of the song:
"Love and marriage, love and marriage,
Go together like a race and mileage.
Dad was told by mother, you can't have one without the other..."