I really wish I could remember where I heard this, but someone once said, you don’t need balance to raise kids, you need endurance. Holy buckets isn’t that the truth. As a mom of 3 kids, endurance most certainly comes first. Without endurance, nothing else happens. Once you’ve got your steady pace, your groove then the balance comes. I feel like for me personally, the first 2 years of my kids lives it was just a wreck– schedules were always changing, babies getting sick, weaning, it was just A LOT. Granted as each kid came, the transitions got easier and I felt like i got my groove back earlier and earlier.
This may sound all twisted, but I feel like for me I come first. If things with me personally are off– everyone in my immediate family suffers for it. I am the “main” parent. My husband HATES this term, but I drive the ship– I make sure the kids get to where they have to be, pickups, activities, birthday parties, doctor appointments– all that crap gets taken care of. I NEED to be on my top game for all of that to move in a forward direction. I’m not saying it’s pretty and seamless but we get where we need to be and EARLY.
The things that I need to stay sane are really quite simple– the gym. I am obsessed with going. I am not the fittest person, but music turned up and a good sweat can turn my mood around. I have to go 3 times a week. Unfortunately my schedule only allows 3 days in a row– my life would really benefit from every other day at least. Something else that i NEED is to have my nails done. You will rarely ever catch me with my nails not done. (Check out my hack to see how you’ll never catch me with a fucked up nail…) Lastly– Girls night. It’s something that I desperately need. I try and get one in a week if not every other week. It is SO important to me to be able to hang out with my girl friends. These ladies are the ones who are there when shit hits the fan, to bail you out when your stuck and can’t grab your kid on time, to come and get you when no one can’t.. These are the women who will stand by you during the good, bad and ugly.
I do my best to participate in my kiddo’s school activities. I don’t often do a lot of facetime at the school; however, I do volunteer my time and make it to important performances. I really used to beat myself up when I couldn’t always be the parent volunteer on a field trip, or always be at stations. (I’m sure those who know me IRL are laughing..) but Mama has to work and I think that ultimately showing your kids what commitment and responsibility look like will leave a lasting impression.
When it comes to kids and their activities.. Lets face it. I’m ONE mom with 3 kids and more than one activity per child.. It gets a little bonkers. I already feel like i’m constantly rushing my kids.. I can hear Natalie saying now “Mom, so rushy rushy,” I really need to ensure that each kid gets number one a little down time, and have time to do something they want to engage in. Classes usually run 8 weeks– it truly is a bonus if the girls can decide on something together but that’s not always the case. Anyway, after the 8 weeks, we re-evaluate and see what’s next. On to Mom and Dad life.
So up until recently our life as a couple sucked. Talk about balance and endurance. We had that all handled but dispersed in all the wrong places or not equally weighted. For the longest time, I couldn’t remember the last time that we dated.. It was sad. We’ve created this well oiled machine of the day to day life as a family but together as a two-part unit, we sucked.
Brendan is incredibly busy with work and music and I am busy working 3-4 nights a week and including shows, practices and girls nights.. Our date night just didn’t exist. We decided that we needed a weekly date night. Nothing fancy, over the top– just an hour in the least to just chat without being interrupted. We put the kids down and usually head to for a drink or dessert. It’s nice to be able to catch up, decompress and date again. I feel like once kids come into the picture, a lot of that gets pushed back.. And well the burn is incredible. I’ll probably be the first to admit that, but it freaking takes work and it’s not always easy. It’s so worth it to be able to create a better foundation so that not only we strive but that our kids have a solid foundation.
So just to bring it full circle, with endurance comes balance. There is going to be a lot of trials, tribulations, but one day, it’ll all come together. There are ups and there are downs, but I swear raising kids under the age of 7 is the hardest times for families. EVERYONE that has older kids, constantly says that we are in the thick of it all and it will get better. “Valleys and hills” says one mom and another says “act as if..”