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Joined: 28 Jan 2009
Posts: 191

PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2012 7:52 pm    Post subject: All about me... Reply with quote

Or is it?

So a little update - all is well in our little Party of Five world. DS is 8 next week, DD is 5.5 and our "baby" is just over 2. WOW, right? Where does the time go? For those of you that know me well this time last year, DH was going for the snip and while I was certain it was the right decision, I was still sad. We played with fire those weeks following the V, but the surgery took and we moved forward with our little/big family and haven't looked back since. I still admit to getting broody seeing another mom's bump, and even a little nostalgic when I see a newborn infant..I can't help it and I just think I will always be that way. But finally (finally) I am totally GOOD with it (lmao prob only because I know I dont have a choice!!) ...I just cant imagine my life any other way. We were totally meant for 3!!! I love our family and the dynamics so much :-)

But it brings me to my next dilemma. How long does it take to get the Mommy time back? I will admit whole heartedly, my family comes first 110%. And its ALL my fault. LOL. I take on the world and dont' ask for help...But, My health, well being, everything is put on the back burner...And while up until NOW I have been fine with it, I am beginning to realize its taking a toll.

Now, this spring our life was turned a little upside down...DH was sent away for work for 3 months, so I was left with 3 kids, a full time job and all the duties we'd typically share (Kudos to all those single moms + and military mommies, you are my heros!!) We muddled through, took a quick jaunt to the tropics for our 10th anniversary to recharge and he was home for a week and then got called back for 10 days...again. He's home now, but we've lost our groove ... I need to LOSE weight badly (like 40 lbs) And our busy schedules and 3 kids just dont allow for any ME time (ie. for meal prep, WW meetings, work outs, jogging etc) There are just NOT enough hours in my day. I start at 6am and dont' sit down until 9pm and then, well, I am just done. I have nothing left in the tank. DH's new job is crazy hours and so unpredictable...He'd do whatever he could to help me, but his hours are too unreliable, we have soccer 4 nights a week (and thats just 2 kids!) and then we go up north for the weekends. If I DO ask for help, I chose it in the form of wrangling kids to soccer games (ie. Nana or papa) instead of saying "I need to go for a run"....At this point soccer trumps me I guess.
I am concerned for my health (not to mention I just feel crappy like this) But I have tried to figure out a solution and JUST CANT.

What do you guys do? What can I do? I am so organized when it comes to the family, but as a woman I am falling apart at the seams. One side of me says "suck it up, this is your life, kids come first" and the other thinks "get a plan, other moms do this all the time and with more kids".
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Joined: 23 May 2010
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2012 8:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My kids are 9, 7, and 3. I work 20-36 hours a week. I feel like I squeeze in the me time that I need, but I have to make it a priority.

First off, I exercise 3 times a week, for 30-45 minutes. Well, sometimes it's twice a week, but I try to get in 3 times. I have found that there is absolutely NO WAY I can get to the gym. With work, soccer, karate, cub scouts, etc, I just can't get out. So, I bought a used elliptical and I put it in the playroom in our basement. I do that and I do abs or arms for a few minutes after each workout. A 2 year old should be able to play for 30 minutes while you exercise. This is a life saver for me. It really helps with my attitude and obviously, my physical health as well.

I like to take baths.......that's always been a special little treat for me. I don't like to do it when the kids are awake, because they are always asking for something. I put them to bed, give them a kiss, then fill up the tub and grab a book. This works wonders too.

I do get to go out with friends for dinner. I don't have family that can watch them, but my husband is home and he has no issue with me going out with the girls. I don't get to it too much, maybe once every month or two. I'm not sure what you would do with not having your husband around though. That's tough.

I don't think you should let your own needs slide. Your physical health is important to them too. They need a healthy mom. Maybe try doing things at home, I have found it to be a lifesaver.

Vacations are so nice and needed, but maybe not going away every weekend would help too. If you can use Sunday to prepare large freezer meals, you can pull them out during the week. It's so hard to work all day, cook, then go to the soccer field. If the cooking is mostly done, that will help too.
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Joined: 19 Apr 2010
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2012 1:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I can completely relate...here the kids are 8, 5 and almost 1 y.o. I work 32 hours (means 4 days a week). DH helps a lot, but sometimes he makes longs day and these evenings - picking everybody up after work, cooking, putting everyone to bed on my own - are reallly difficult.
I enjoy the dynamics a lot, but yes, me-time is hardly to be found...I tried picking up jogging, and stopped after doing it for 5 or 6 times..At 9p.m. I am just so tired, that I just can't..just can' t go out jogging. Going to the gym is impossible at this moment, there is just no time for it. We also have zero help from the family just due to the fact that they live abroad.
My biggest problem right now is that I feel as if I kind of can not find the "previous" me..Sometimes I have time, but I am not sure what to do with it..I feel emotionally and physically drained, and don't undestand what interests me apart from family and work...as if I don't have energy to begin anything new, am not sure if I put it clear. Next saturday i am finally meeting with a friend of mine and we are planning to go shopping and just to go for a cup of coffee and a chat..And we are going a weekend away with DH in August (my parents are taking all 3 of the children), last time we were without children for a weekend was around 2 years ago.

I am planning to start jogging again this week though..I think even if I do it at 9 p.m. while being tired, it might bring me more energy..
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2012 7:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the kind words/replies.
Right now I am working 40 hours a week, with alternating Friday's off so we can go up north a little earlier and enjoy one extra day up there (DH works like 50-60+ hours and those hours are really unpredictable. Ie. Home one morning to take DH to camp with the promise of being home for the pick up, a dr appt and soccer but 60 mins before this all happens he gets called to an emergency meeting downtown and is gone till after 10pm. So all of a sudden I am tasked with all of the above including my commute, the dinner, dragging all 3 kids out then doing bath and bed. I dont complain. I am capable. It's "what I do!!" but when I was still packing lunches at 930pm last night, I was done. Just done.

I agree with Nata when I say, I lost a little bit of my previous self. It was amazing to get away our trip and I definitely recharged. DH said when we came home how much he'd miss the drinks and food...Where I was like, I am going to miss my bed being made, eating hot food and not showering with 3 little people staring at me. I do have some close girlfriends and we occasionally make time for "us" (ie movies and dinners) but other than that there is not much and they are so far between because of conflicting schedules. We have many friends at the lake, but that is always family time, not mommy time.

If I am being honest, its my mom that is all over me (but it made a light bulb go off I guess)....she thinks the 40lbs is just a sin (health wise) I get it. I dont like it and I am probably not doing myself any favours carrying it around...But I think in the grand scheme of things?? I dont smoke, I dont drink (well much, LOL), I dont do drugs, I have a roof over my head, I am a good mom, wife and friend....Dont those have to count for something? She only had me and my dad was home ALOT. She always had ME time. DH has a job that means I am primarily responsible for many things/jobs that we'd typically share. She says "just make time"....right now that would consist of me either making DH quit his job or taking them out of soccer completely. Or start getting up at 430am and going for a jog before DH leaves. That is prob the best option at this moment, but 430am?? Jeesh. I just dont know.

I feel like I am at a loss. Totally and utterly. I make no excuses. Since the spring I have been eating like garbage. Not entirely bad food, just bad combos and/or at the wrong time (ie. skipping then binging at 9 at night when I finally relax!) The weight does not come off I am not eating right and then dont have time to burn it off...Such a vicious cycle!! I want to be "that mom" the one who has her shit together...and while I do on the family front, I dont have it on the mom front. Where do I get more hours and energy??
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 12, 2012 2:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Let me tell you what I think about those people that 'have their shit together.'

If you have issues with finding me time and being healthy, I have issue with having a clean house. I just can't seem to do it properly. I have 3 VERY dirty bathrooms. The kids sink has toothpaste stuck to it and the mirror is spattered with toothpaste too. I just walked by it instead of doing anything about it. My couch has a load of laundry on it that has been sitting there for 3 days, my dog has now slept in it repeatedly. My front yard is full of weeds and there is no nice landscaping. The kids rooms are a mess and my office area is literally a junk room full of clutter. I just can't keep up with it.

My brother has 4 kids. Every single one is involved in after school and summer sports. They both work, my SIL is part time. Whenever I go to his house, it's just perfect. The landscaping is perfect. There is no clutter in ANY room. There aren't any dustbunnies. Even his basement is organized and tidy and squeeky clean. His garage doesn't have any litter that has found it's way into the corners or piles of assorted sports equipment. It makes me feel terrible every time I go over. There is NO WAY I can compete with him.

Honestly though, his house is perfect and they appear to have their shit together, but I sometimes wonder about their marriage and how stable it is.

So, what I am saying is you might 'see' someone that has it together, like my brother and his perfect looking house. But, that doesn't mean that it is the 'perfect' that you would want. I would rather have the untidy house and the good marriage any day.

Do the best that you can. Don't let your mother upset you. She is not living your life. Eventually things will settle down and you will find a groove that fits for you.
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Joined: 16 Jan 2011
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 12, 2012 1:24 pm    Post subject: Finding time to work out Reply with quote

It is difficult finding time for yourself, I agree and I only have 2 kids. I work full time and my kids go to a daycare centre, they are 2 and 4. You also have the added challenge of your husband not being home consistently in the evenings, so it would make joining a gym or class impossible. What about buying a treadmill or elliptical machine (I think someone already mentioned this). You could maybe hire a teenager for an hour a couple times during the week to play with your kids while you get in a quick run or workout video. It would probably recharge your battery and they would get to play with someone new for a bit. When I've had a long day, the last thing I feel like doing is excercising, I get it, but once I am running on the treadmill with my earplugs in and music blasting, the stress just drains from me. Some gyms also have daycare centres in them too, so maybe you could leave your kids there for an hour to play while you get in a quick workout. You have to make the time for yourself. Schedule it in your calendar like you would other appointments. You are just as important as the other members in your family and a happy mom means a happy family! Good luck!
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Location: Colorado Springs, CO

PostPosted: Fri Jul 13, 2012 8:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I haven't checked in on this forum for a while, but today I felt compelled to and I think this post was why. If I had a dime for everytime my friends and I had this conversation I would have enough money to hire a nanny and housekeeper!

Here are my favorite words of wisdom - The very best thing you can do for your family is to take care of the mommy!

It isn't easy to "do it all". And those who look like they can are probably faking it or have secret help. I have 3 kiddos, DD is almost 7, DS is 4.5 and DD2 is 15 months. We just moved with the military, so I won't start my new job until August, but at our last assignment I worked full time (40-50 hours per week) and DH is in the Air Force and usually worked 12 hour days M-F (sometimes on the weekends, and sometimes at 2am - it was a crap shoot). Following my 3rd pregnancy I was 50lbs overweight and miserable. I tried working out at night after the kids went to bed and found, like others mentioned, I was exhausted. So I started getting up at 4am. Yikes! I know! It was about an hour earlier than I usually got up to go to work and it definitely took about 3-4 weeks to get used to. But I will tell you, it was the best choice for me. I would get up, work out for about 45-60 minutes at my house - I never went to the gym. Then I would empty the dishwasher, pack my healthy breakfast (to eat at work) and lunches for myself and DD, shower and get ready. I was usually finishing up when the kids started to wake up. It makes for a very early day, but it finished early too since I was usually in bed by 8pm. And as someone suggested earlier, I cooked in batches using Once-A-Month-Cooking as a guide. I made healthy meals ahead so it was harder for me to opt for McDonald's or Pizza when there wasn't a planned dinner. This also saved me tons of money and time at the grocery. I am sure I am not the only one who has come home from the grocery and then immediately said - hmmm . . . what is there for dinner?

Like I mentioned my baby is 15 months old - today - and I am 45lbs lighter (of course some of that was baby weight) and way healthier both physically and mentally. I used 3 tools that have been invaluable to me.

First, and most expensive, was our treadmill. It had been barely used before then, but I began running using a program called Spark Your Way to a 10K. Started by running 1 minute and walking 5 minutes. I worked my way up to a 10k and just finished my first Half Marathon in May. And no, I am not someone who liked to run. I HATED running!! But now at age 36 I run 3-4 times per week and love it. I will begin training for my first marathon next year. The great thing about running is that it doesn't cost more than a good pair of running shoes and you can do it anywhere - including vacations.

Second, I downloaded a free app on my phone called Nike Training Center. They have 15-45 minutes cross-training workouts that only require a set of hand weights (I used 5lbs) and a medicine ball (I used 6lbs). I would do them in my living room and just adjusted as necessary if I didn't have enough room to do the exact move they suggested. But that didn't happen very often.

Third, and in my opinion most important, I use Spark People (www.sparkpeople.com) which is a FREE website that helps you track your food, workouts and weight. Since it is free you really get out of it what you put into it. It can be a bit time consuming when you are first using it, but I have used it after each of my pregnancies and it is very user friendly. I even have the app on my phone so I can plug in what I am eating while I am at the restaurant. I was amazed by how many extra calories (and sodium) I was consuming even when I thought I was making healthy choices. Lots of great recipes, articles and discussion forums. And I can use it from the comfort of my own home - no meetings, no weigh ins.

Modeling a healthy lifestyle for your kids is one of the best things you can do for them and you will find you have more energy to enjoy their soccer games and any other activities they get in to. You have made the first and biggest step - you want to make a change and you have asked for help.

I will echo 2blue1pink - my house is not perfectly clean. My kids are not always that clean (I call it summer-dirty), but I have made time for me a priority. And since I am happier, the whole family is happier. And by the look of their rooms, my kids certainly don't care about a clean house.

Trust me - you are totally worth it. And I bet your family will get behind you. Your kids will be so proud of you and will likely want to help you stay active. And your husband will think "Man - my wife is HOT!" It is an adjustment for sure, but one that will pay off big in the end.

I wish you the best of luck. And I look forward to hearing your update when you find the healthy routine that works for you. And feel free to share any great tips you come across along the way.
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