As the new school year approaches, I am beginning to feel a bit anxious about going back to work. As a kindergarten teacher, I so appreciate the summer break and look forward every year to coming back in August refreshed and able to fully enjoy my new crop of incoming kindergarten babies.
Summer is a constant reminder of the freedom I so envy, and I truly enjoy my lazy days to spend with my boys. A clean house, fresh fruits and veggies on the table, trips to the pool or zoo, and constant play time with my two littles. A reminder about how all of this changes once August comes around.
My husband will attest to my sporadic and crazy mood changes throughout each school year. I would say that at least three times a year I have a complete and total breakdown, where I cry myself to sleep for a few nights in a row, full of complaining and self-loathing, and wondering how other moms out there can do it all. Are they sleeping on a snotty pillow like me, or am I the only one who feels so utterly overwhelmed at the attempt to keep my head above water as a working mother?
As a teacher, I think I find it exceptionally hard to swallow, since I am always given that glance, the preview, during my summers to what my life would look like if I was able to stay home and do all of the things I enjoy so much. I am a wannabe stay at home mommy, but I have to work.
Finding a balance of all things is completely overwhelming. It comes in waves where I feel like I am on top of the world, and then at times where I feel like the walls are crumbling down around me, swallowing me up whole. How does a mom keep a happy spouse, happy kids, thrive at work, have dinner cooked, and get her workout in all in the same day?
One thing that in which I have always taken pride, is my ability to prioritize. I definitely don’t always have it ALL put together – hence the breakdowns when parts of my life seem to be falling behind. But I do feel that the places I start to neglect are the appropriate ones to leave in the dust. I always make sure to make time to stay healthy. That includes finding time before or after school to get in some kind of a workout and preparing healthy meals for my family. If I don’t feel good about myself, every other area of my life will suffer. I always make sure to keep on top of things at work – no slacking there, I need my job, and love those kids as much as I love my own, and they deserve the best education, no excuses. I also try my hardest to give quality time to my kids and husband each night. The kiddies are not of a homework or sports activity age yet, so I am thankful for that. We find plenty of time to play and get out to ride bikes or read our books together every night.
So here are the areas that suffer: my house is usually a hot mess. I have moments of cleanliness and utter organization, but for the most part, if something is slacking – that would be first to go. And, I am okay with that. My friend, Kelly, made me a sign : Excuse the mess, the children are making memories. That suits me just fine. I can let the clutter go (for a little while) and enjoy time with my hubby and kids while ignoring the pile of dishes and heaps of laundry. My relationships with friends suffer as well. I feel like I can go longs periods of time without really talking with my friends and sometimes extended family. I am so thankful for Facebook and Instagram so I can virtually keep up with the things going on in everyone’s lives. Date night with the hubby is also one of the first items on the chopping block. Although as a family, we make time to be together each night, there are times where Meade and I don’t get the time we need to be alone or grab a bite to eat sans kids.
I understand completely why people can let their need and commitment to staying healthy or fit slip down in their priority list so easily. It is a big time commitment, and it is quickly neglected and dismissed because it is so easily labeled as selfish. People don’t think of it as a commitment to their future or as a gift of time with their kids in the long run. They think of it as a nag or another item to check of their list of things to do each day. Why can’t we reference that “walk on the treadmill” as “watching my first grandchild take their first steps”, or that “30 minutes of strength training” as “avoiding a hip replacement when I am 60”. Each movement towards greater health in your life is a gift of time to your future self. I know the rewards of the future are so worth today’s sweat or few extra bucks at the grocery store check-out.
Like I said, I understand this completely. We want to help YOU understand this. That is why my sisters and I are here in cyberspace. We are here to help motivate and inspire each reader to find the healthiest version of themself. We want to share the ideas and successes that have worked for us, and maybe some of the things that did not work out; help you find the balance in your life – not because our way is best, but because it works for us, and so maybe it would help you too.
As a Challenge Coach and Fitness Consultant, I have a personal goal as well. If I can take one of my priorities off of my plate and help make my life even simpler, then I will consider this a success. Maybe that means being able to hire someone to clean my house, so that I no longer have that stress when I get home from work, or maybe that means that I no longer have to work outside of the home at all. Inspiring and motivating others is something I already do on a daily basis anyway, so why not turn it into an opportunity where others can find success as well. Each day my sisters and I want to inspire others to lead healthier lifestyles. The information on our website is and will always be free, but we will also offer challenges and online training and motivation to help kick-start your journey towards a healthier and better you.
We hope you enjoy our journey and are able to find a balance in your own lives to avoid those breakdowns in life. We hope to help build you up and inspire you to create a lifestyle that highlights the needs and priorities specific to you, whatever they may be.