Monday, March 19, 2012

MOMday: Juggling it All

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The topic for my Running Room Half Marathon Clinic was a timely one this week - Juggling it all.   It is probably the question I get most from people when they find out I am a working mother of toddler twins who is training for her 8th half marathon in less than 2 years and actively blogs throughout the week.   I always throw the same answer back at people - "I do it because I have to"

And I do.  If I don't run, I'm not a very good mom, I have nothing to blog about and I am definitely not a very focused employee.  Running makes all of this possible for me.

That is not to say it's easy.  It's far from easy.

Would I much rather curl up on the sofa with my TV and a big bag of chips EVERY NIGHT?!?!  Hell, yeah. But too many nights of that and I start to head back up the way I came on the scale.  Instead, I PVR everything and spend my weeknights getting my workout and special projects in and my off nights snuggled up with hubby getting caught up on my TV.

Do I still spend lazy Sundays curled up on the couch snuggling my daughters?  You betcha.  Doodle demands it. But the second they are down for their Sunday nap - I am in the workout room - getting in my training time.

My training does cause me to sacrifice a few things, though.  I don't volunteer as actively as I once did.  I also don't have time to really put in much work toward my degree so won't finish it as fast as I want to.  BUT, I see some of these things changing as my daughters get older.  There will be time to volunteer when they can join me and there will be time to do homework while they are doing theirs.

Juggling it all takes planning and preparation.   Our family uses an online organizer, Cozi, to keep our plans straight so we can adjust as necessary.  I feed all of my running distances from my training plans into this calendar (it connects nicely to Google so I can do that) and my hubby has come to know how long a certain distance might take me in training.  He knows I have a standing date on Saturday mornings and is kind enough to not complain about it.   If he wants to schedule something for himself, he just needs to add it to the calendar and we can rework life around that as well.  It works for us.

To allow more time in the mornings to get us all ready for work, I will usually batch cook all of my breakfasts and lunches for the week so I can just toss them into a lunch bag and go.  I also organize a weeks worth of outfits for the girls onto hanging shelves in their room so I don't need to think as I get them ready.  These two steps have made our mornings go much smoother than they would if I had to make breakfasts and lunches and pick out outfits.  It might go even smoother if I had the foresight to plan my own outfits as well...but that's a task for another week.

Because we need to leave the house by 6:30 am - morning workouts are not even a glimmer of a possibility.  I would need to be up at 3:30am to do those...and that is NOT going to happen.  So - once the girls are in bed - I head down to my home gym.   This training cycle, I have discovered how much easier it is to have a treadmill at home.  It erases a lot of excuses.  If I had to leave the house to have a late night run - I would probably skip it.  Heck - history has shown that I will skip it.

Nobody ever said this motherhood thing was going to be easy.   But I know that by having focus and goals - I am teaching my daughters valuable lessons that they will grow up never having known any other way.  

By wanting to get healthy and maintain a healthy weight - I am showing them that there is good food out there and that by eating it will make us strong and energetic. 

By exercising - I am showing them that it is normal - not a chore.   I love nothing more than hearing the excitement and pride in Buggies voice when she sees me in my running gear and exclaims "Goin' runnin' mommy?"

By going to work and spending time with my friends once a week - I am showing them that mommy is a person and that by nurturing myself, I am giving them a better mommy who is ready and excited to play with them upon my return.

By setting goals and incorporating them into my life - I am showing them that you can plan for success and build a life worth living

By taking advantage of opportunities that present themselves - I am showing them that life is an adventure and they will be able to see the adventures as they arrive in their own lives instead of being fearful of trying new things.

Getting in a run is almost like paying it forward for all of these things...and us mommas need to do that - for both ourselves and our kiddos.

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