As a mom to a busy toddler with baby #2 on the way, I find myself reading a lot of mom/running blogs. I find it helpful to read about other people’s experiences who are in a similar position as me. We have the demands of caring for our families all the while trying to balance out some time for ourselves.
Which makes me wonder about how others find time to balance it all. Running is just one of the few things I need to fit into the day as well as cleaning, grocery shopping, cooking, shopping for family clothes, taking care of my toddler, finding time for church, teaching my music class, and working part-time.
So, how do you all find time to fit it all in?
As far as running, I run first thing in the morning and am usually up and out for my run at 5:45 am. I know some moms bring their kids on stroller runs but a) my toddler does not last long in the stroller b) I hate running with it and c) I really enjoy my solo runs (without the distraction of having to stop to collect toys, blankets, food, etc.
After my run, I take some time to read, drink coffee, check facebook, and hop in the shower before little Miss is up (usually by 7ish). Once she is up, we get dressed and are off to start the day which usually involves some outing in the morning (grocery store, music class). Sometimes we stay home to clean and do errands around the house but this is usually difficult because my toddler demands my attention a lot and trying to clean while she is urging me to play tea, cook in her kitchen, and help her tend to her dolls makes cleaning around the house a bit more challenging. If we go out for the day, we are almost always home in time for lunch so that we can eat and settle down for naptime (sometime between 1 and 2 pm). Of course, today we cheated and met Dad at Five Guys for an indulgent lunch. What can I say, the pregnant lady was craving a burger 🙂
During nap time, I always vow to clean or do something productive but after being up for so long, I usually read, nap, blog, and try to get dinner prepped so that it is easier to prepare dinner during that awful witching hour in which my toddler is very clingy and fussy! That way, we are free to spend our afternoons playing outside, playing with her toys, etc.
But as you can see, I feel like most of my life revolves around tending to my family and squeezing in some “me time” to run. But yet, since most of my runs are solo, running does not feel like enough of a creative, social outlet for me.
For my daily reading, I have been reading a book my mom bought me for Christmas.
Each day, there is a daily reading and the other day’s reading talked about taking two hours a week for a solo excursion. Wow, two hours a week to do just peruse a store, drink coffee? That sounds so indulgent! The book mentions that it does not need to be anything expensive, just an outing to an antique/thrift store, a cup of coffee by yourself in your favorite coffee shop, an afternoon in the park, or a visit to a bookstore.
As a stay-at-home mom on a budget with a husband who works most weekends during the year, I don’t ever afford myself this luxury of hiring a babysitter for an outing. I’m grateful to have parents who offer to babysit when I ask them, but I know that they are busy too and hate to overuse this privilege. But, I think finding time for something new should be a priority. Otherwise, my life becomes a string of endless obligations/to-do’s.
So, this week, I hope to challenge myself to put down my to-do list, let go of the cleaning, step away from my running regime and perhaps carve out just an hour to do something creative and new. I think I need a bit some change and new things in my life!