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How do you do it all?

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

I am 44 years old. I have a five year old and a three month old. I just went back to work full time teaching. This job requires at least two hours worth of school work each night. I get the kids to bed by 8:30 pm usually, tonight it was 9 pm. I am still doing laundry at 9:21 pm and was planning on exercising but am going to bed once I finish the laundry and put the dish washer on.

My brain feels tired. Last night when I made it to bed after 10:30 pm, I realized as I laid down in bed that it was the first time since 5:30 am that I was not in motion or required to do something. I know this will pass but how to deal with it now?

I went on the scale today and did not lose anything. I almost cried. I worked out, but little 15 minute workouts where I could fit them in. I did struggle with my eating but it was carbs (breads) that did me in.

My clothes do not fit due to my tummy. I had a c-section and am not sure if the tummy is due to my section or the 20 bls I gained. Then, I feel like I will never lose that tummy again and then I say, "hey...with hard work I can do this" and then...it is 9:30 pm at night, no exercise and just tired where I could cry.

So...how do I do it?

I have decided that I can only exercise at night. I cannot wake up early. Tonight is not very typical...I thought I could exercise every other night and do my school work on the other nights.

Tomorrow, I have a staff meeting at work and won't even pick up my kids until 4 pm. I am sure I will be tired then.

Ok...venting, whining over...need help, hugs and advice. emoticon emoticon emoticon

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    I love what JPGSMOM said. Thank you for posting this. I think, as women, we hold ourselves to such high standards about our parenting and how we should look, etc. It's important to hear that we all face this to some extent. I can't do it all and I only work 4 days a week and mostly keep them to 8 hrs. I still beat myself up for not being the perfect mom, but something has to give. Sometimes it's work and sometimes it's cleaning and sometimes it's exercise. (OK, sometimes it's all three.) I'm trying to find a balance now that my son is 2. At 3 months, and with your schedule, you should be thinking about nothing but survival. Hang in there. Get as much help as you can and try to let some things go. One day at a time.
    3275 days ago
    I know that a teacher's work seems like it is never done, but I really don't think it requires at least 2 hours of work every night. I know it's difficult, but sometimes you just have to put things off to keep your sanity and your health.

    I am extremely blessed to have an amazing team at school and we work really hard to help eachother out, and one of those ways is to make sure we're not spending hours and hours every day grading, lesson planning, etc. Work smarter, not harder. Can your students help grade things? Or DH- mine helps with things that are multiple choice.

    Also, I agree with some of the other posters that DH may have to step up too. Mine works long hours (12 hour shifts) and doesn't get home until 7, but he starts a load of laundry before he leaves and we fold them together at night while we're talking about our days. It's all about creativity and using time wisely.

    I know it's so much easier said than done, and I may be eating my words in 3.5 months when Baby Reid is here, but it can be done. Not necessarily everything, but once you prioritize, you'll get there.
    3275 days ago
  • MJK0430
    emoticon My baby is 15 and I still don't get it all done. If I had to do it over again with a young family my # 1 priority would be healthy food and snacks. #2 Enough sleep, even if I was going to bed at 7 with the little ones and then maybe a 20 minute walk around the neighborhood while DH watched the kids. You definitely need more sleep.

    emoticon I hope things start easing up for you.
    3282 days ago
    Haaaa...my reply might be longer than the blog itself.

    emoticon emoticon
    3283 days ago

    Comment edited on: 4/26/2012 8:52:30 PM
    OK. I'm 44, just went back to teaching full-time, and I have two kids. Mine are older (8 and 10), but I completely understand what you're saying. I rarely have a moment when I'm not running around, crazed. I'll tell you what works for me:

    I put my kids to bed earlier than that. They're in by 8, and they can stay up as long as they want (within reason) but I cannot have them down here. They read or whatever, but come 8:00, it's mama time. I got stuff to DO! Believe me, that extra hour makes a huge difference, because I can feel it for sure on the nights when they're up later for some reason.

    I limit what I do for school. I do a good job with my teaching, but I am very careful with the extras. It's hard, because, it being my first year back under contract, I'm not tenured, and I feel I have something to prove. My first instinct was to serve on committees and take on extra assignments and be the first one to say yes when someone put a "hey, can anyone..." email out there. I cannot. I CANNOT. I have colleagues whose children are grown, or who don't have kids yet. They can do those things. Before kids, I was there till 6 most nights. I did it all. I will be that teacher again. Just not now. I also don't bring work home, except IEPs that have to be written. If I can't get it done during my preps, I stay later, but it gets done at school, that way when I'm home, I can give my full attention to the sh**load of stuff that needs to get done here!

    I let go of a lot of things. I used to be the mom who baked and volunteered and sent in goodies and went to all the scouting events and said yes to everything. I don't anymore. And you know what? There is still a book fair at the kids' school, without my volunteering. My neighbor's daughter still got married without my attending the wedding. I'm very, very choosy about what I agree to do, attend, participate in. I am protective of my time--family, church, work get priority and everything else gets back-burnered right now. It's survival!

    I keep my expectations for myself reasonable. I do 20 minutes on the treadmill after work. I want to do 60. I used to do 60. It's not reasonable right now. My expectation is that I will keep my eating under control and get a little bit of activity every day. I have to be realistic.

    Finally, my husband has absolutely had to step it up. He now does ALL the laundry and cleans up the kitchen most days. He doesn't like it. *I* don't like it. I loved being the stay at home mama who was on top of the housework and had fresh cookies for after school snack. Had to let that go. He has to suck it up. I cannot do this alone, 7 days a week, 18 hours a day.

    It works for me. It's still freaking hard, but it's manageable. I don't know what will work for you--maybe none of this! What I want you to know is that something will work for you--you just have to find it. Your baby's only a few months old. At that point, I was sitting on the kitchen floor daily in a puddle of tears. Cut yourself some slack until you figure out how this is going to work. But keep the faith that it WILL eventually.

    3283 days ago
    We all get those periods in life. You can, and will, get through it!
    Just remember these fine mottos:
    Keep Calm, and Carry On.
    Just Breathe.
    The best is yet to come.
    Tomorrow will be a better day!
    3284 days ago
    Take it ond day at a time and one step at a time and quit beating yourself up - just enjoy the beautiful children.
    3284 days ago
    Thank you. emoticon I needed to hear your encouraging words.
    3284 days ago
  • no profile photo CD7573527
    There is no way you can do it all. Can you put the kids in a stroller and go for a walk? I did a lot of that when I started to try and lose the weight after I had Gunnar. Of course he was 8 months old at the time.

    I also had a c-section and didn't think I would ever lose my belly, I have lost most of it, and what remains was there before I got pregnant.

    You are doing great. The 10-15 minutes do help, at least it is movement. (((HUGS)))
    3284 days ago
    I found myself feeling many of the same feelings after I had my son. It took me a very long time to realize that I couldn't do it all. I ultimately ended up sitting down and trying to make myself a personal schedule, but soon tossed it aside because it wasn't feasible. Then I took a different approach. I took all of my "would-be" tasks and organized them by "have to do", "want to do", and "do if there is time". I soon found that all I had time for were some of the things on my "have to do" list. Then I slowly started understanding the real "have tos" in life. I lived the first few years of my son's life with un-made beds, dirty dishes, extra pounds, etc. But in the end, it was a passing phase and I got through it. My son is now 6 and I'm finally able to concentrate on me a little more now. Looking back, those days were very precious. And when my son told me one day that he liked my squishy tummy because it was comfy, it made it worth it. I know it's overwhelming, but you will eventually be able to find your way and what works for you. Take advantage of those hugs, because Mom's need them as much as our little ones do.
    3284 days ago

    Comment edited on: 4/25/2012 12:51:53 PM
    Gosh, I don't remember even giving exercise a passing thought 3 months post partum. You've got your hands full. Do what you can and start everyday anew. Is there anyway you can get 10 minutes in during your workday? 10 minutes before work, 10 minutes during work, 10 minutes at night. There's your 30 minutes. Then try to get longer workouts on the weekends.

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
    3284 days ago
  • TEXANMOM81275

    You're amazing and you can do it. Just remember that if you hang in there for a little bit longer and your baby won't need quite so much effort.

    Also, pick and choose your battles, you don't have to get everything done every day. My son has learned that Mom often falls behind on laundry, so if there are no socks in the drawer, go look on the chair in her room. emoticon
    3284 days ago
  • MARY0001
    Accept and embrace this stage of life; it is demanding, but there is much to cherish in it as well. Do those things you can do: make good food choices, fit in exercise as time and energy permit, get adequate sleep, too. Find joy in small things: NSVs and modest but steady weight loss. Keep the Serenity Prayer in mind when things feel overwhelming. Resolve to be happy. Let gratitude for all the good things in your life lift your spirits.
    emoticon emoticon
    3284 days ago
    Hang in there, it will get better!

    3285 days ago
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