I haven’t used an alarm clock in 4 years and 310 days. I no longer need one because my four- year-old daughter makes certain that I rise between 5:15am-5:54 am daily. The day we brought her home I told myself I’d get used to it.
You never get used to it.
The day I became a Mom, my schedule, as I knew it for the last 10 years as an adult, was done. My new boss was a 7lb, 20in, ruthless individual who ruled (and continues to rule) with an iron fist. I wanted to shower, she wanted to eat. I wanted to eat, she needed a bath. You get the gist….To this day I’m convinced that shedding pregnancy weight is more due to postpartum fasting rather than a combination of nursing and crash dieting. I never thought in a million years I’d forget to eat. But as a new mom, food is an afterthought at best. The first year was a whirlwind, and I spent many sleepless nights convincing myself I’d lose the rest of my 50lb weight gain, I’d head back to work full-time, I’d complete my Masters all by my daughter’s 1st birthday.
Did I mention sleep deprivation often results in hallucinations?
It took me a good 18 months to shed the weight, 2 years to complete my Masters and 2 1/2 years to go back to work full-time, but I got it done. With a little patience, OK let’s be real, a LOT of patience, planning and bit of procrastination (I’ll explain), I was able to accomplish my goals that I had set for myself; because I finally put in the effort to take time to make time.
Being a Mom requires a monumental amount of patience. Use this energy to your advantage. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither was your life. Not meeting your fitness goals? Blew your diet by finishing your son’s Mac n’ Cheese because you didn’t have time to grocery shop? Be patient with yourself. Just like when we practice patience with our children’s constantly changing schedules, be patient with your own schedule. Motherhood is the only job that requires no previous experience and no employee training, and yet expects you to make life altering decisions on a daily basis. We are all learning on the job. We’re going to slip once in a while, but that’s ok because our bosses tend to be endlessly forgiving.
Now is the time to use your children’s early bedtime to your advantage. Before you pour that glass of wine and catch up on your 10 DVR’d episodes of Real Housewives, take the time to plan out the next day, make a list of “must do’s” to accomplish for the day. Be sure that one of those tasks is exclusively for you. I know taking time for you is a foreign concept these days. Take a new fitness class (I like Tabata), and even better, take a shower…alone! Bring the kiddos along to the gym and take advantage of the FREE childcare for family memberships. Childcare is offered at every site at all Elite Sports Clubs.
- Be sure to make your list of “must-do’s” for the following day early in the evening. Doing so will send you to bed with a clear mind, and will result in a more restful sleep.
- Tackle your “big ticket” items first. No one will suffer if your laundry is not color coded and sorted by style. But you may pay the price if you miss your child’s field trip or forget that deadline for work.
- Set a limit. Don’t allow your “to-do” list to get any longer than 10 tasks per day. There are only so many hours in the day, and an endless list will only make you feel overwhelmed.
Procrastinate (a little):
Sometimes, it’s necessary to take that long list of tasks that’s staring you in the face, and throw it out the window. It is so easy to get caught up in the day-to-day multi-tasking that sometimes we lose perspective on what’s really important. If your child has a cold, parents are visiting from out of town, friend had a bad day and needs a shoulder to cry on, Husband has a birthday, drop that broom and take time for your loved ones. Chores can wait, errands can wait, but we only have one chance to live and cherish moments with those who make the greatest impact in our lives.
The truth is, I’m just like you. I’m a 34-year-old mother of two amazing children. But I am also a wife, musician, traveler, career woman, cook (on a good day), daughter, and friend. We can’t do it all—I’ve tried many times. There simply aren’t enough hours, hands, and fairy godmothers at our disposal. But, by taking a little time each day to set some goals, big or small, and take care of ourselves, we can accomplish more than we ever imagined we could!
I’m new to Elite Sports Clubs, and I’m really looking forward to continuing my journey of taking the time to take care of me, and incorporating Elite into this process. One day I may be in the club spinning for an hour in attempt to burn off my daughter’s Halloween candy that I decided to make into a meal. Or, you may find me at one of the tables in the lobby downing caffeine and catching up on deadlines. Either way, I look forward to meeting new people, exploring new classes, and making year 34 the best year yet!
-Written by Susan Madden (Member, Mom, and Guest Blogger)