This past winter has been a busy one for me as I continue to build my teaching business and juggle all of my normal duties as a full-time Mom of two. There are days when I’m able to handle all the ups and downs of parenthood very well…calmly handing over a towel when milk gets spilled, taking the time to walk over & put my hand on my munchkins’ shoulder when they’re having trouble tuning me in, being patient while I wait for little voices to explain what they were thinking when they fed the dog the entire bag of goldfish, etc. Then other days, I’m like a short fuse, just slowly fizzling until finally it reaches a point that sparks or explodes, resulting in yelling, less than helpful comments, or a negative tone….not my ideal me!
One thing positive parenting training does is help make you become very self-aware. As I’ve watched myself have good days and bad days over the years, I’ve realized that it truly all does start with me. On the days when I’m irritable and unable to provide the patience, calmness and positive intention I want for my family, my bucket is usually pretty low. Sometimes, it’s nothing I could’ve done (i.e. baby was up all night with croup, bad case of mastitis or the flu, long international flight, etc.), but most of the time, I realize I could’ve done a bit more to take care of me (i.e. gone to bed when I said I would, woke up 20 minutes earlier to pray before the chickens wake up, taken my lunch break to go for a healthy walk or brisk jog, or perhaps not had that extra glass of wine?)
So the word B A L A N C E comes to mind when I think of how to make it all work. Emotional health depends so much on our physical and spiritual health, which are both so easy to neglect when we’re focusing on raising little ones. I’ve noticed that the most common response I get from friends I greet these days, when I say “Hello, how are you doing?” is “Good, SO BUSY…but good”. Taking a pause to analyze a.) can we simplify our schedule at all? and b.) how will I prepare my mind/body today to handle it all? is extremely important. Scheduling in daily exercise and time to prioritize good nutrition is crucial, as your body will be so much more able to execute healthy parenting when it’s feeling healthy! Mental breaks are so important also, so I’ll focus solely on that area next time, but for today, I’ll focus on physical balance.
The biggest question most of us have is how do we find the time to do something physical everyday (or at least most days), when we’re being pulled in a million different directions & have a giant on-going to do list. Some have full-time jobs outside of the home where before/after work or their lunch break is their only chance to squeeze in a workout. Others have part-time work or volunteer duties that give them a more open schedule, but often have tiny little friends around who are always along for the ride! Squeezing in time to tend to our body is tricky…for everyone, and doesn’t just happen. It’s something you really have to prioritize and make happen in your life…each day.
Last fall, after I suffered from an urchin spine stuck in my foot that required surgery (yuck!), I discovered Pilates. I was quick to become intrigued and impressed with how Pilates combines the deep cleansing breathing of prayer, meditation of yoga, with intense strength straining and toning. My neighbor & friend Natalie (who has an adorable style blog) turned me on to a fellow young momma who has a Pilates based blog and I started following her.
Her name is Robin Long and you can find her at The Balanced Life. After doing her workouts for the last 6 months, I’ve become hooked & am a huge fan! I love her teaching style, love Pilates and how it makes my body feel, and love how short & sweet her videos are. Robin’s approach to a balanced life is super healthy and attainable.
Check her site out & try a workout or two. She has tons of free 10 minute videos on youtube or you can join her “sisterhood” for a small monthly fee where you’ll get new fresh workouts, clean recipe ideas & other support monthly. She’s helped me feel stronger, in both my mind & body and I hope she helps you too!
Cheers to trying to balance it all, it’s definitely an art : )
*”Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting. So…get on your way!! ~Dr. Seuss”*