We had a pretty normal Sunday over here!
The highlight for the kids was definitely the dog pancakes.
And all of the matching and ballet dancing happening. Brooke starts ballet tomorrow and she is so excited!
We worked on Valentine’s Day mailboxes (Knox is making an astronaut).
And made a Macaroni Penguin out of macaroni noodles for a report.
Let me start this post off by saying that my situation is very different than many working moms out there. I have had a lot of questions lately about how I balance the two things so I’m just sharing from my perspective. I am able to work about 30 hours a week with very random hours (early in the morning, when Skye naps, when Andrew isn’t working ((he works 3 days a week)) and I know that isn’t the case for others so I would love if I could hear everyone’s experience in the comments! Working, full-time at home (bc being a parent is a 168 hour a week job), no kids, one kid, lots of kids etc.
Here are my random thoughts about seeking balance, checking off the things that are important to me and still sleeping as much as a newborn haha.
*I ask for help. When marathon training was crazy last year and I just couldn’t get the energy to run, mom, work and clean… I hired cleaners to come. I cut out other things (like eyelashes/lululemon ha) to afford it and it changed my life. Now that I’m not training as hard I have the energy to clean again but for a season there, I would practically cry just thinking about scrubbing bathrooms so I asked for help. This has also been something I’ve had to learn in our marriage too. My personality wants to feel like I can DO IT ALL but I can’t and I’ve had to learn how to be more vulnerable and really ask for help from Andrew. I am very lucky to have a husband that truly loves to be active in every role… He changes as many diapers as I do, he cooks more than I ever will, he picks up like you wouldn’t believe (that one took a little training;) and the list goes on and on. We are equally nurturing and equally doing the other things needed to have a family (although I really wish we could trade off being pregnant;). This is what works for us and something I was definitely looking for in those dating years.
I think Andrew actually needs to write a guest post about how he balances fatherhood and working because it’s incredible to see how he can come home from a 12 hour shift and be so involved.
*I give up the things that just aren’t fitting into the day so that the important things do fit in. I don’t do the strength training that I should, I’m very simple with our meals (unless it’s a blue apron week which makes everyone happy ha), I do pretty much all of our shopping online and most days our clothes come from the pile of clean clothes in the laundry room that never ever get put away. I’ve learned to say no to events/activities/assignments that make me feel anxious because my plate is too full. I definitely used to go to every little thing that anyone ever invited me to because I felt like I needed to but with age I am SO happy that I’ve realized that my mental health of not being a stress case because I’m so busy is more important than pleasing others.
*As far as sleep goes… This is something I’ve really become passionate about lately (and I’m not talking about if in this season of life you don’t have the chance to sleep well or you struggle with insomnia… I’m just talking about if it is something you do have the option to choose). We invest a lot of time and thought into taking care of our health with the foods that we eat and the way we move our body but I truly believe that the rest that we give our bodies is so important like those other things for our overall health. When I do sleep well, it’s so much easier for me to get the important things done that I need to do each day. I want to live as long as I can (and run as fast as I can) by eating a variety of foods, exercising and sleeping so I have put all three of those things as priorities. I definitely know that a lot of sleep is not something that can happen at all stages of life (ie I don’t know what I’ll do when my kids are teens and out late) BUT if I can make choices that help me to get more sleep (ie put my phone away, choose sleep over tv etc) then I will make those choices. Better sleep leads to better balance for me!
Skye thinks she needs an eye mask too.
*There really isn’t one right way to be a mom or to balance it with everything else on your plate. I truly believe that there are so many ways to do it and we just have to really stick to what is right for us (and not what other people think we should be doing) and our families. The balance that is working for you might not work for someone else and that’s okay, we can all do it differently.
There is no such thing as perfection and as soon as guilt sets in with motherhood (no matter what your situation is), remember that connection is what matters! Whether that be a note in their school lunch, snacks on the weekends together, bedtime stories etc… focus on those little things rather than feeling overwhelmed by whatever you think you are not doing!
*My planner has really helped me to put things in perspective. It has an area for all of your to-dos but then you list the top 3. It helps me to see that I just need to get those top things accomplished and the other things will happen eventually but if they don’t, it’s okay… the top 3 did. It also has me enter in FUN into my days and I really think that is important because it’s so easy to get caught up in being busy and forgetting to have fun.
*I don’t post times on my blog for safety reasons but I’ll give you a rough outline of what my day looks like:
-Sometimes I get in a little work in before I run and sometimes I just give up the idea of getting anything done work-wise until Skye takes a nap.
-Depending on Andrew’s work schedule I’ll either run very early in the morning, run on the treadmill at home or run after Brooke and Knox go to school.
-I’ll do a little laundry, dishes, pick-up, shower, get Skye ready for the day, eat, play with her or take her somewhere fun.
-Feed Skye lunch, put her down for a nap, make lunch and eat it at my desk while I work for a few hours.
-Pick-up kids from school, do homework with them (unless Andrew is home then he usually does that while I get some work done), make lunches for the next day and think about what we should eat for dinner 5 minutes before we eat it;)
-Kids play while we try to get the house put together quickly and set out clothes for everyone for the next morning—> school clothes, my running clothes, Andrew’s work clothes etc… this part of our routine makes the next morning so much easier.
-Kids go to sleep and we hang out for a little while and now that Andrew works early in the morning, he is ready to get in bed by 9 with me.
-If we decide to ski that day then all routines/organization go out the window and there is no balance but that’s worth it for these really bonding days.
*I really think it is important to spend time each day taking care of you in order to take care of others. I think one of the many reasons that I really enjoy being a mother is because I spend time each morning doing something for me. Running gives me that time each day to focus on my growth and my passions so that I can give the rest of the day. Without having something for me, it is way harder to give give give all day. NEVER feel selfish for taking care of yourself because I think that it is a necessary part of having healthy relationships with others. Long story short, running helps me find balance.
*One thing that Andrew and I keep finding ourselves needing to improve on is that we keep putting kids/work/life ahead of going on dates so that is something we are constantly trying to fix. I think it is tricky for us with our kids going back and forth because we feel this need to utilize every minute that they are with us which is good but what we really need is to make sure we are spending time just the two of us no matter what the back and forth schedule is for the week.
*PLEASE remember when you look around at the people in your life and on social media that nobody is doing it all. You are not the one person out there that is saying no to things or dropping the ball in different areas of your life. Some weeks I rock it at work and feel like I missed it in motherhood and some weeks I feel like a rockstar mom while I’m just waiting to hear from you guys that I’m fired. Everyone is just attempting to do their best and kids are resilient and they forget all of the times that we fall flat on our faces:)
*Don’t forget to talk to yourself about balance the way you would talk to your best friend. If your best friend came to you telling you that they are doing a terrible job at balancing life you would reassure them that they are doing the best job they can and remind them of all of the amazing things they are doing. Do the same to yourself! Focus on all of the great things you are doing, not the things you are not doing!
Tell me about your situation and how you seek balance or what your idea of balance really means!
Do you run at the same time each day or does it vary?
-At this point in life it’s kind of all over the place for me!
What is your run today?!
Least favorite chore at home… ie dishes, laundry, cooking etc?