- Posted September 17, 2013 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Confessions from imperfect parents
In the balance
It's back to school. It's back to soccer practices, ballet lessons, and cranky, sleepy kids being woken up at the crack of dawn to get ready in time for the bus. It's hectic. As parents, we are all waking up a little bit earlier and going to sleep a little later. Summer, and a slower pace, are gone as we know it.
By now we've figured out that if we don't look for matching socks the night before, it will never be found the next morning. We know now that all preparing must be done the night before. We know what happens if we don't. But what about the rest of our lives? What about all the other demands? How do we manage to keep a balance of everything?
Everything. It's a scary word. Try to take a deep breath before even looking at it. It's not a pretty sight. It's laundry piles as high as your toddlers, its an errand list as long as your arm, it's paperwork, appointments, and pure chaos. Now that we know the monster we're up against, the question is - how do we handle it? I assure you we can, our children and husbands have already been oh-so-willing to entrust total confidence in us to handle it. Gee, thanks there, guys....
Get out a calendar. One with paper (I know, so old school). Everyone in your kingdom needs to be able to see it. Delegate days for everyone to take turns cooking. If you find yourself ordering out more often then you should - give your wallet a break and put those entrusting loved ones of yours to work. You don't want them living off of take out when they get to college do you? Or worse still, expecting to marry a chef? And of course, they will be content to live with you until they find that magic chef. Let this be your opportunity to delegate the task on to others and teach them an important life skill in the process. Even if it means you start out eating mac n cheese and hot dogs for the first couple days. It's a start!
Write on your handy dandy notebook some things you struggle to get done and figure out days to do them. Delegate those too. I'm not talking about running Annie's Orphanage and putting kids to scrubbing floors, but they can contribute to cleaning up some of their own messes and they can learn some personal responsibility. The entire house will creep up on you if it's not tackled a little bit at a time and then everyone wants to fold in the towel and you find yourself going at it all alone.
Work, play, drink coffee, repeat.
And some times during the week, make sure you are getting out to drink that coffee with a friend. Drag yourself out of the dishwasher and go. Force yourself to wear real clothes. It may only be an hour but you will thank me later.
Run for your life.
Exercise. If you have a full time job, eat lunch at your desk and walk on your break. Or get up early and look like a die hard fitness rock star. But you must, I repeat, you must get some exercise - breathing actual fresh air - lifting and breathing in your son's hockey equipment does not count.
Date your baby daddy
Go out on a date regularly. Be an adult once a week and enjoy each other's company.
Mommy and me days
Give your kids some uninterrupted time. Let them talk your ear off for an hour about the video game boards they beat and how to conquer the bad guys. Be a part of their world. Soak up the privilege that they are inviting you to be a part of it - enjoy that while it lasts. When you let them talk about anything and you actually listen, you help ensure they talk to you about everything later on in life. They need to see you playing with them on the play ground, swinging on the swings with them - not sitting in the distance on a park bench talking on your cell phone. If you don't include yourself in their lives now, don't be surprised when they eventually leave you behind. These moments are precious and your kids need to see that they are precious to you.
So, recognize that for the overall health of you and your family - life has to be a balance. And when you get it in balance, make sure to do it again in a couple months cause things change.
The fate of the world - well - at least your own - depends on it.