Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Balancing the lifestyle...

As I was trying to fall asleep last night I thought about Trimommy's post about Visualization and how she uses it before race day and it works so she should try using it in the realm of parenthood. (how's that working trimommy?)... as I lay there I was also thinking about what was on deck for my workouts for the next day. I always do this.

I'm not sure about all the other moms of young kids out there, but one of my main struggles in motherhood is REALLY connecting with my kids on a daily basis. YES, it's true. I spend almost EVERY waking moment with my kids and it's not uncommon for me to go to bed at night and not be able to think of one moment in the day where I really stopped the chaos and madness of motherhood/house caring to connect with my children as opposed to just responding to their needs and shuffling them around for school and errands. And this is not a new problem...

I've tried a number of times to figure out how to fix this problem. To be more scheduled about our day... but really it's not my style. So then I was thinking... okay every day I have at least one (sometimes two) workouts planned each day. I am non-negotiable about this and it gets done every day.. barring any unforeseen circumstances ... normally related to the aforementioned spawn. So why not do the same thing for the kids and I. I could plan an activity or something for every day that is 'non-negotiable'. It doesn't need to be elaborate because frankly they just don't care they just want my undivided attention. And really is that too much to ask of your mother!? It could be reading books or coloring.. and I mean coloring as in me coloring too not them coloring while I'm on the computer!

So today's activity is going to be a hike w/ Leo dog, then a trip to the library to return the Halloween books and movies (and pay for the movie that Jason broke before we even got to watch it.. ugh) in exchange for some Thanksgiving stuff. That's as far as I've gotten right now.

Another area that I'm struggling with is the 2011 goals and image board. I'm all set in the world of endurance sports, but struggle with adding things around the family goals. There's just ONE big one... other than that I'm stumped. What's wrong with me? Clearly the undivided attention goal is a good one, but other than that??? I guess this is one reason why I love triathlon... it gives me a schedule and goals. Mostly I feel like there is a schedule to get the training done and the rest just happens. I know I need to make it so that the rest has purpose and intention as well, but I get so overwhelmed with it.

How do you do this ladies/gents? How do you make sure to spend that quality time with your kids? I feel absolutely ridiculous asking this question, but I know I can't be alone in this. I never thought that as a stay at home mom this would be an issue, but it's easy to get distracted by all the mundane things that 'need' to get done to run a household.. and frankly playing trains bores me! :)


  1. Great post, Laura. This is something I struggle with too, but I also think that our kids value more than just playing with us, so don't devalue the things you do for them everyday!! I also love to find things to do with the kids that we all enjoy, like cooking or being outside.

    My visualization practice is going great, especially when I do it! ;) I forgot last night, and the morning, well, let's just say, it wasn't pretty.

  2. Undivided attention is a huge goal and if you can accomplish it even on a part-time basis you'll be successful!

  3. Oh you are NOT alone in this FOR SURE.

    You are doing a great job. Kelly said a lot of what I was thinking. I really TRY and somehow make laundry fun and heck, if that means she'll be helping me ---- awesome. ;)

  4. Great post, Laura and thanks for writing it! I struggle with this, too, and it became so apparent one day when the kids wanted to go to the pool. We went, and I was sitting at the edge while they swam because I was "cold." Then guilt and realization hit when I realized that I have gotten up countless mornings, and gotten my ass in a pool for a workout. It was cold, it was dark, I was tired. And here I can't even swim with MY KIDS!? That was a wakeup call!
    For Lent last year, I made a silly little goal with myself to do just what you wrote, one thing a day with the boys where they had my attention and I was actively playing with them. I think it helped when I realized I didn't have to make up some elaborate craft or playtime. It sometimes was cuddling on the couch and reading books, or playing a board game with them. Most days, I met that goal, and some days I didn't. But your post reminded me of this. So I'm going to try too!!!
    Wanna keep each other in check?
    Miss you TONS!

  5. You most certainly are not alone. I get caught up in all kinds of things and forget to provide my step-son the attention he deserves.

    I think for me the issue is that I get confused with the 'step' part of step-son and think that his father will do these things and that is not the way to go about it.

    Mon-Wed my wife takes him to daycare and I pick him up and we have 2 hours or so alone with nobody around and I have to take advantage of that more often in that I am not on the phone or laptop.

    I know when the alarm goes off at 4am I am working out. So when the 'alarm' goes off to pick him up I have to stop and be with him and mom when she gets home as well.

    Thanks for the post. It isn't easy and we do the best we can but we always need reminders.

  6. Thanks everyone ... it does give me peace of mind to know I'm not alone. It's so easy to 'perceive' things in different ways in the blogosphere. :)

    I succeeded in taking the kids on a hike without checking my email... :) we also hit the library. Today was a success. 1 day down.. the rest of my life to go! :) ha ha

  7. This is such a great post. I totally have the same problem. It's so easy to get cought up in all the day-to-day stuff that comes along with being a mom. My husband and I concously make an effort to have a date night every week or so, and we should do the same thing with our kids - concously make the effort to spend time with them. My dad is a really good example to me. Whenever we go visit him, he gives the kids all his attention. He'll sit and watch the most anoting cartoons with them, or he'll go outside and swing them or play in the sand box with them, and he has a great time doing it! It's so hard for me to want to do those things when I'm so tired from everything else and that stuff is just not fun for me. But I have time set aside for training, and it's not always fun or convenient, but I make sure it gets done. Why should we give our kids less than this? Thanks so much for the reminder! :) oh, I've also noticed when I'm giving my kids my full attention, instead of trying to read or check my email or whatever, they annoy me less. They're no longer a noise in the background, they're part of my life.

  8. What a great post, Laura! I loved reading about your trials and errors with your kiddos - ugh, I don't feel so alone then.

    I just bought this new memo board/easel to put in the kitchen. My goal when I bought it was for this whole point. I was going to have Carter and Addi tell me one or two things they want to accomplish with mommy each day. I plan to write on the board and hold myself accountable.

    It is soooo easy for me to get caught up in daily life. Is supper on the table? Laundry? Clean house? UGH - I also make way too much time for the computer with email and FB, so I owe it to my kids to be better at one-on-one time with them.

    Thanks for a great reminder! Hope you all are doing well. Think of you often!

    Always like checking in on you guys and seeing some pics. J and L have sure grown! WOW! :)

  9. Anne.. I love the easel idea!!! :)

  10. I just wanted to first lose the .blogspot to the url

    I haven't gotten a chance yet to explore the apps that come with this.

  11. Like others have said, you are definitely not alone. I have two boys, 3 and 5, and I struggle with the same thing. I try to find ways to give each of them my undivided attention, but it's tough! These years with them are precious and I really need to be more conscience about spending "quality" time with them. Thanks for this post! :)

  12. this is a big issue as any mother who wants to have a life outside her kids knows! Whether it's lots of training, working, etc, trying to find a balance is hard. I now have 2 part time jobs, I try to get to the gym 5x per week, plus I have 3 kids and a house to take care of as well! Lately I am finding I am letting the housework slide in favor of time with my kids. Right now it's just me and Charlie and I am soaking it up. (Love this kid!) I find it difficult to try and be "fair" to the kids, and to give them each the attention they deserve. We have been playing games during/after dinner which is really fun, and like the other person said I get less irritated with the kids if I don't try to multi task while I am paying attention to them. I think full, undivided attention for a shorter period of time is better then half attention and irritation for longer! (it's a process though, right?) At least we are aware and when you know better you do better, right? :-)

  13. Day 3 of the easel - it's working! Carter loves waking up to a new message each day from me.

    Why didn't I learn of this earlier in my life? Ha.


  14. Anonymous11:30 AM

    I am a "single" (loose term too hard to explain) mom of two beautiful girls ages 6 and 9. My two "non negotiables" are dinner and bed. Dinner time is our time to connect over the day. I don't allow TV, fights, etc. to come to the table. It's just us. My second "non negotiable" time is bed. 10 minutes before each bed time I sit with each girl. We usually read or discuss a book or a project or play a game or just snuggle. But each get's her time. There are several challenges to these times as well as their benefits but, like you, I struggle with making sure I am "connected" to my loves whom I have a life separate from. So, I take on the challenges here and pray that in 4 or 5 years they still will want to sit down to dinner with me and let me lay in their bed before they sleep. :)

  15. Jessica.. thanks for the comments! So true.. to hope that in years to come they will still want to sit at the table with us and let us lay in their beds. :)