Yes, I meant to put that question mark there. Because in MY house, back to school means back to EVERYTHING else. It means back to taekwondo full time (sorry, Master Davis, we’ve been laxed), back to dance, back to gymnastics, back to the teenager wanting to go to the football games (well, at least he’s not playing this year. Oops, did I say that out loud?), prepping for tracks season, ROTC, fundraisers, church groups and the like. That little “wiggle room” I had to maybe jump in an extra class or throw some workouts in while my daughter was at day camp and my teenager was entertaining himself are now gone. Now I have to be strategic about EVERYTHING. A workout gone too long could mean some kid doesn’t have snacks for lunch the next day. Sigh. Balance is the story of my life. It started in the fourth grade. That’s what grade my daughter is in this year.
When I was in the fourth grade, things started to change. I was having issues at home which then translated to issues at school. It was the very first time I remember taking on someone else’s opinion of me (someone in authority, outside of my family that I admire) and having it crush my spirit. My fourth grade teacher, Mrs. Boone, called me “mediocre” in front of my entire class. Because I was already feeling awkward and uncomfortable (I wasn’t the popular girl or the rich girl. There are times that my back pack broke in between pay days and I had to carry my books in a plastic bag to school. I got free lunch. I didn’t wear Guess jeans. That kind of stuff to a kid, when you already feel out of place, can wear your down) and so I began to change. As the school year started, I thought of the one thing I needed to do better at balancing; including my children’s emotional health as a PRIORITY.
Let me say I’m not neglectful, in any way. I’m the sensitive type who asks her children EVERY morning how they slept and tell them I love them and I want to know about their day. But, sometimes, I feel like I am so wrapped up in my work life that I don’t LISTEN like I should which was one of things I always felt like I wanted more of as a child. My children “understand” my life. They were not upset when I left to go to Baltimore to the Under Armour headquarters the day after school started. As a matter of fact, when my friends at Under Arm0ur sent them both back packs (which, by the way, are SUPER cool and better than ANY back packs I have EVER had and will save their backs (strap in the front! How cool is that?!?!?) because they are sturdy and their reputations because they are trendy and my daughter had already counted how many of her classmates had Under Armour back packs but that’s a different blog) my kids were running through here yelling “PROTECT THIS HOUSE!!! PROTECT THIS HOUSE!!!!!” They know what I do and they are proud of it and believe in it (have I mentioned that my son eats EVERY fruit and vegetable known to man and my daughter has been doing push-ups on her knuckles since she was about five years old?). However, as a mother, in the midst of ALL of their activities and mine and my workouts and piece of mind, I have to invest in them. With intention. Because my life took a change for the worst in 10th grade. And, yes, my son is in the tenth grade this year.
My father became really ill, I started dating seriously, I crossed a major hurdle at school on a dance team (which I didn’t know until I became an adult) and came face to face with some of my biggest fears. I began acting out because I felt alone, worried, misunderstood, awkward and afraid. My son has been through A LOT in his short 15 years on earth and he is a good kid. So was I. It only takes one thing to knock us off our game. My parents did their best with me (I think I turned out pretty good!). I want to say I did the same.
What does that entail? I’m almost afraid to say…..
Before school was out, I used to get up before my wake up time (which is usually no LATER than 4:30 a.m.) and do a brief workout to get my blood going while my tea and breakfast were going in the DARK. I’d run my errands in the morning, get my workouts done instead of hanging out on Facebook (sorry for those who are missing me. I’ll see ya soon!), work on making them quick and effective (I like interval training and I am NEVER in the gym for longer than an HOUR at a time), pick my clothes out for the next day before my kids get home, cook my food in advance (just got back into this. Did you see my Instagram yesterday? Good Lord. I was on it. And I didn’t even post everything.) so I can just reheat, say NO to extra commitments that feed my ego instead of build my excellence and get to bed on time so I am not cranky. That way I make myself available not just physically but emotionally and I don’t feel like I have “sacrificed” the “me” time I so desperately need because, hey, to keep up with these active kids of mine I have to be healthy. And happy.
What are some of your balancing tricks for staying on your fit game now that the kids are back in school?
–Disclaimer: The back packs were sent to me by Under Armour for review. I was not compensated for this post other than receiving the book bags. The opinions listed are honest and my own. 🙂