Monday, August 16, 2010

balancing it all ...

On Friday, I got a message from a very dear and long-time friend of mine. She just had her second child earlier this summer and like me, lives very far away from her family. The message read like this:

"How in the hell ... do you have 3 kids, a job, run and have sanity? All while being without your mom? I am dying here. I want my kids to have my fam and they can't. Write a blog about that."

OK, Aim, here's the answer (sorry if this is harsh) ... I just do it. I want my kids to see their family more. But, unfortunately, that doesn't really happen. So, we try to make the most of the time we do get to spend together.

And I know you will be OK too. I firmly believe that if you think you can do it all, then you can. It takes a positive attitude, hard work and dedication. I try to keep in mind that things could always be worse. We are all happy and healthy and although I have my moments, we usually get along.

I'll admit that it's hard. We have a lot going on and parenting is NOT AN EASY JOB. And it's made more difficult by the fact that our support system is hundreds of miles away. But I take comfort in the fact that if I was really in the trenches, I know that my family would be here in an instant.

And, it gets easier (in ways) as your kids get older. Now that Dilly is 18 months old and far less dependent on me, I am no longer pushed to my limits everyday. New babies are hard. They require a lot of attention. And can do nothing for themselves. But eventually, things change and parenting becomes less of a physical battle and more of a strategic one.

But, if you were wondering how I do it EVERYDAY, how I manage to fit it all in. Well, then the answer is slightly different. Yes, a positive attitude carries me through, but the SCHEDULE is the key to it all. My entire household runs on a schedule. We try not to deviate from it. There is very little "wasted" time. I am all about multi-tasking. Here's what happens on a typical day:

5 a.m.: Wake up, get dressed, eat breakfast.
5:30 a.m.: Run
7 a.m.: Shower, take over parenting duties from J, get the girls dressed and fed.
7:45 a.m.- 9 a.m.: The girls play (in the room connected to my office), catch up on emails, blogs, work, etc.
9 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.: Play with the girls, straighten up the house, run errands.
11:30 a.m.: Lunch.
12:15 p.m. - 2:15 p.m.: Dilly naps, Dizzle and Doodle get computer/art/board game time, call/email clients, catch up on more work (the problem of working from home - you can't escape it).
2:15 p.m. - 4:15 p.m.: More playtime for the kids, finish whatever dishes/laundry/cleaning/errands that didn't get done earlier.
4:15 p.m.: Make dinner.
5 p.m.: Dinner.
5:30 p.m. - 6 p.m.: Clean up mess from dinner.
6 p.m. - 6:45 p.m.: Get girls ready for bed, baths, stories, etc.
6:45 p.m. - 7 p.m.: Girls go to bed.
7 p.m. - bedtime (usually around 10): Prep lunches, clothes, and everything else for the next day, finish any work related tasks that didn't get done earlier, straighten up the house (I can't sleep in a messy house), watch TV/catch up with J.
10 p.m. - 5 a.m.: Sleep, hopefully uninterrupted.

So, that's how I balance it all. Some days it works. Some days it doesn't. But I try my best and we make it through. Oh, and that part about keeping sane? Well, that's what the running is for.

30 comments:

Rene' said...

We are so alike! The schedule is the key. It does get easier as they get older, but for me I have to take the 1 hour of running for myself if I don't all hell breaks loose. Also, new babies are hard especially if you already have kids, if you are nursing etc...but in the end it all does get done! you just have to do it.

Aimee (I Tri To Be Me) said...

I totally agree about having a schedule. It is a MUST! Without one, my life would be total chaos and nothing would ever get done!

Silly Girl Running said...

Wow! You ARE SuperMom!

Deanna@MilesToRun said...

Great post. I agree...things get easier as the kids get older.

So true that a schedule is needed, and running for sanity. AMEN!

Ashley said...

You are amazing! That is all :)

shellyrm aka jogging stroller mama said...

A schedule and keeping it does make all the difference! But things don't really get easier as kids get older, you just have new things to help/support/worry about. I don't think it evr ends.

Katye said...

seriously you're such a rock star! I hope one day your girls read this and realize what a gift you are to them. I think mom's that sacrifice everything for their family aren't doing their family any justice because their family has no idea who mom really is! I love that you keep your own identity outside of being "mom" as well as being an amazing mom at the same time

Colleen said...

Your schedule is very good. I love schedules and lists :) And I must add that I do live near my family...but I get practically no help because all my brothers and sisters have kids of their own, and my parents are busy finally having time to themselves. So sometimes it's more frustrating to have family nearby and still have no help.

Kovas Palubinskas said...

Schedules are good as long you accept that the deviations will be the norm. :)

Becka said...

Great post! I agree about the schedule - I have one too. Sometimes I would LOVE to have an unplanned day though :D

H Love said...

hmmm....schedule? i have to go with the flow a bit more, but having a "plan" helps!

Candice @ I Have Run said...

Your day looks a lot like mine. And I agree that a schedule is very important. It makes my life easier, and I really think it helps the kids when they know what to expect. It adds order to the chaos!

Katie A. said...

Thanks...you give me hope that one day when I do have kiddos I won't end up in a crazy jacket. I'll just call you a lot! ;)

AM-GoalsfortheWeek said...

Your day looks eerily familiar to mine;-) except I just can't do the 5am wake up thing! Kudos to you!! I'm impressed if I get up at 6am;-)

Marlene said...

Thanks for sharing how you manage your day. I've definitely wondered myself!

Emz said...

I love that you wrote it all down.
I think in 20 years time you'll look back and think how the HE*L did I do all of that.

I love it!

Stephanie said...

Wow! I'm exhausted just reading your schedule. I'm glad you say that it gets easier as they get older.

Alison B., "Runbuggy" said...

I love that you shared your schedule. It really is important to stick to one and try not to deviate. I'm still trying to figure it all out. I am lucky to have family within 20 minutes away - but I try very hard to do what I can on my own because I don't always want to rely on them. I've been so independent it's hard to have them help all the time - I begin to feel like a schlep! I give you LOTS of credit!!

Angie Bishop said...

Its tiring to read your schedule!! hahaha!! We do thing so much differently here but its cool to see how others manage it all.

mommaof3ontherun said...

You figure it all out! We use a schedule and stick to it most of the time. It works for us!

Wifey said...

Great post! Schedules do make a difference. You've inspired me to tighten mine up!

Winks & Smiles,
Wifey

Melissa said...

I can see where a schedule is a must!
You seem to have it well thought out.

Melissa said...

I can see where a schedule is a must!
You seem to have it well thought out.

Sara @ Domestically Challenged said...

You said it. As a mom, wife, teacher and all of it? I just DO IT. Because at the end of the day? It makes me a better mom and wife!

Cynthia O'H said...

It's always about balance. Whether we want to or have to, we keep the balls in the air.

Thanks for commenting on my sugar profile.

Runners Fuel said...

Very busy day. Mine looks similar (but without kids). Good job!

Megan said...

Yep. It takes discipline and planning and luck. Most days I can fit it all in. Some times I leave the dishes in the sink and go bed at 8PM.

FruitFly said...

Oy! I need to take a nap after all that! :-)

the dawn said...

that schedule is mighty impressive. wow, i second the nap idea...

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