Monday, 23 April 2012

Balance

My toddler boy has me wrapped around his cute, yet slightly dirty, little finger.

My Spartan Race is under 9 weeks away and I have not been getting in as much training as I want to . . . probably as I need to.  I took on this challenge as a way to see if I could not only change the way my body looked but to also see just how hard I could push it.

So far, not much has changed.

The weather today meant no opportunity to get out at lunch and get in my training workout but I knew that tonight was available to hit an extra class at the gym and I was banking on that to fill in for the missing training workout.  Then it, or rather he, happened.

While I was changing into my gym clothes, I was followed into my bedroom by a sobbing toddler man.  Placing his arms across the doorway he told me "You stay momma.  You stay."  He pointed at my clothes and told me to take them off because I was staying.

It was the heartbroken look on his face that got me and so I changed and we headed back downstairs to cuddle on the couch.

Yes, it was completely the right thing to do as a mom but to be completely honest, it was the wrong thing to do for me.  I needed that workout . . . to clear my head . . . to work off some of the weekend stresses and to just spend sometime being Jenn . . .  not momma.

Balance . . . is it even remotely possible?

I am a mom that works away from home.  I leave the house at 7:15am, drop the kids off on the way into for for 8 am.  After an 8 hour day I head back to daycare to pick the kids up and we head home.  The kidlets spend the majority of their time away from me.

It makes sense that the little man wanted me to stay home . . . he missed me and he wanted me to put him to bed.  Lately all he has wanted to do is cuddle right into me, as close as he can get, and snuggle until he drifts off to sleep.  What can I say, I love it.  I love feeling his tiny body relax into me and the smell of his hair reminds me that he is still a baby.

In the same breath, I want/need to get to the gym and get in some workouts . . . particularly before my race at the end of June.  I am nervous that I am not going to be prepared.  It has been mentioned to me that he is just going to keep "pulling this" because I "give in".

If I don't make it for the early class, the one at 7:15pm, I realise that I am not going to make it at all.  On a really good night I can force myself to do the training workout at home but I do admit that it is so hard to get motivated after 8pm.

So how do I handle these conflicting needs?  How can I be there for my kids and for myself?  We won't even begin to mention trying to find the time to clean the house . . . cook meals . . . buy groceries . . . make lunches . . . sigh.
Jenn

 
 
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31 comments:

  1. The ultimate Mother's challenge!! Why isn't this a reality show? Really. People have no idea. The balancing of the needs between kids and mom so that everyone is happy and healthy is hard work. I love this piece. Honest, revelatory without TMI, and warm---I can tell you are doing it all just right. Good luck in your race, Erin

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    1. Thank you so much for your wonderfully supportive comment!
      Jenn

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  2. Balance IS tough, so you're not alone. It all really boils down to choosing your battles and prioritizing. What about setting a schedule for your personal work outs? Posting it in the kitchen for everyone to see, understand, and expect? You may not get in A LOT of time, but you can make the most of the time you DO get? Explain the schedule to little man so he knows when to expect you and him cuddles.

    Hugs! You'll get through it!

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    1. Thanks Carmen! I like the idea of a schedule that he can see.
      Jenn

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  3. It's so tough, isn't it? I still haven't figured out this whole mom gig. I'm thinking I never will. It's important to look after yourself and it's important to look after our kids.

    I think this...that when we take care of ourselves we're in better shape to take care of our kids. We need time to refuel and take a step back. Just my 2 cents. I get how hard it can be to know what to do and when to do it. Don't even get me started on making lunches...probably one of the things I hate the most.:)

    Good luck with your race!

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  4. Oooof, that's tough! You can't forget about taking some time for you!

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    1. I try not to! Sometimes the guilt just gets the better of me.
      Jenn

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  5. I can relate, on a lot of levels. I think we will spend the rest of our lives trying to find that perfect balance, and I'm not sure it exists.

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    1. I have to agree with you . . . I strongly doubt that a perfect balance exists!
      Jenn

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  6. Balance. It's what we all aim to achieve, and especially for strong women who wear many hats.

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  7. No matter what we do it seems there's no way to get the right balance. Scratch that. Part time work would probably do it. I have the impression that part-time is the sweet spot for us moms who don't want to miss out on our children but don't want to lose ourselves either. My son did the same thing when I put on work clothes screaming for me to take them off. Broke my heart into little pieces. What a challenge!!

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    1. It really does crush your heart!
      Jenn

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  8. I wish I had a better answer for you. Even as a stay-at-home mom, I still struggle with balance. Hang in there, and good luck with the race!

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  9. This, my dear, is the million dollar question for so many moms. If you find the answer, you better patent it!

    By the way, I don't think you're little one is "pulling" anything. He's in a clingy phase. It's normal and it will pass.

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  10. I sympathize. I swear I'll never get it all balanced. I don't work outside the house and I still can't find any sort of balance. If I did have to cram working full time into the mix....well I hear the padded room is quite nice and they give you the good drugs.

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    1. See now, I could work on my kickboxing in a nice padded room . . . :)
      Jenn

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  11. I work outside the home too. It is SO hard. I get it. And you do "give in" but it's not really that. It's deciding for that moment he needs to come first. I have no idea how to find balance. I'm pretty sure I don't even know what it is. Just know you're not alone :)

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  12. I wish I could offer some advice and help, but alas, I'm not a mom. I do know that my sister struggles with these same things everyday. She works away from home, is a mother to a toddler, and also happens to love working out. Finding the balance is sometimes nearly impossible for her. :(

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    1. There are days when I missed the freedom to just hit the gym whenever I felt like it! Although, most days the kids are cute enough to make me not miss it too much.
      Jenn

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  13. Finding that balance is so tough, especially when those eyes look up, right? Good luck, and what I have learned in motherhood thus far, is we have a way of pulling shit out of our asses when need be. I don't doubt you'll kick ass in that Spartan race!

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    1. Oh those eyes . . . the tiny little hands grabbing at me . . . the pleading with his new words.
      Jenn

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  14. No idea how to find that balance, but it sounds like you knew what needed to be done in the moment. There will always be another race if this one doesn't turn out the way you want (hard to think about when you're in the midst of training, but still true).

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    1. Aw thanks! I did do what needed to be done . . . I just wish there were more hours in the day. :)
      Jenn

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  15. Ugh. I wish I had some advice. I don't know what it's like to be gone all day and then need to leave again...is it possible to do your training on your way home (or god forbid, on the way to) work? :( I know you'll do great in the race, but I hear ya. You need to feel and be prepared.

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  16. Oh god, I don't know how you do it. I had to get at home DVDs and took up running just to save time traveling to and from the gym....it's horrible but Jillian michael's "30 day shred" is amazing!

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  17. I don't have any advice. I wish I did. The pull and push of motherhood is so hard, isn't it? Our needs are as great as theirs, the fulfillment of that, as important as the children's. Looking after ourselves first, should me better mothers looking after the children, no? But some would argue, but where's the time to do the latter then? See, questions beget more questions.

    I hope you find a balance of some kind soon, Jenn. Good luck!

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  18. Oh I remember those days! I don't envy you, but I do empathize!

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  19. It's tough for fathers, too! Good luck with finding that happy medium.

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Ah connecting is a grand thing!