Friday, June 17, 2011
Some day I'm going to respond to a simple question with 1 or 2 lines... ARGH! Today's novel comes courtesy of a working mom asking how to fit in exercise time:
I only have a 9 and a half hour work day, so you can be completely jealous!!
I'm up at 6.30, get the kids ready and am in the car and on the road by 7.20. Drop them off at Day Care and will be at the office by 8. And all of that happens within a 8 mile radius... Traffic. Pick up Kids and home by 5.30. Dinner on the table at 7 and then bathtime. Bed times are 8, 8.30, and 10. Everything is timed on my cell phone so that it chirps and my 2 know what's happening next. Although I am married, my DH works more than I do, so he only takes over after dinner. Bathtime and Bedtimes are Dad. Everything else is mom. And when he's doing bath and bed, I'm doing the dishes, laundry, and tidying up. In the morning, Dad gets up first and after he's dressed he gets the babies changed and dressed. 9/10 Mom's gotta help while getting herself ready.
Where do I fit in exercise? To defeat the No Time Monster, I joined a non-competitive softball league. We play every Tuesday night. It's a pain. It's time away from the family. Or worse, if DH can't get home because of a late night vote or something, I have to be a catcher AND a mom at once. BUT, our team needs 5 girls to play and I'm the 5th girl. So if I don't show because I'm too busy or something, then we forfeit. I can't let everyone else down. So I make it work. Because I'm specifically trained (like so many of us) that I have to put others before myself, I put exercise into a team event where if I don't do it, I'm letting down 9 other people.
Also, I don't take lunch time to eat at work. That's running time. My company, in addition to the Softball team, has a running team that runs in the Army Ten Miler every year. I'm on Team C (AKA The Turtles!!) I can't let the team down by NOT doing well in October. So I must exercise at lunch every day to make sure I don't let them down.
If you can't put yourself first for some reason, make it a condition that others are depending on you to exercise (team events.) Now that I am used it, if I don't get my exercise in, when I'm doing my tidying up, then I make that into an exercise event.
Also, when I get home, between the hours of 5.30 and 6.30 is my kid time. I take Dot and Will to the park, to the track, etc. Unless there's lightening, we're outside (even in the rain). And even if it's just a walk around the park, I'm pushing a stroller and that's an additional 60 pounds. But it's an hour of running around and letting them run around and have Mom-Time. All my focus is on them. The phone is gone. The computer is gone. Work is at work. They are happy, because they want to have that individual attention. And they behave because they know that they will have that every day.
Prior to Spark, lunch was eating out at expensive restaurants with friends. Kid Time was watching TV (admittedly Mr. Rogers) and breaking up fits. I sat in my rocker as the kids zoned out to TV or fought. I was always tired and always broke.
Being the working Mom is TOUGH, no doubt about it. And I was a person who fancied myself as being loosy goosy and rolling with everything and it will all be good. To be restricted by time clocks and alarms is to miss out on the joy of living. Not for me anymore. I can now fit everything into a day that I WANT (exercise, kids, work, reading and quilting) because my phone has multiple alarm settings that tell me what to do.
The kids are happy and included. My friends at work appreciate what I'm doing and join me for walks or gym time. I've made more friends from softball. I'm a lot happier and a lot less tired with the schedule.