A few days ago, I was able to have a brief conversation with a lovely lady who I attended high school with. She asked a lot of different questions about our life from Morocco to teaching to the gym. It was a really lovely conversation. However, she asked me a question that has continued to resonate with me rather deeply.
She asked "How do you have the time to be a mother, a teacher, AND workout?" She seemed genuinely curious. I answered her with all honesty I could muster. In fact, I replied with "I don't." We are all busy. We all have more on our plate that we can handle without a WHOLE LOT of stress, convenience of food, and sacrifice of well... ourselves. I hate to be the one who tells you but when you sacrifice yourself- your own needs- your happiness- you end up sacrificing your family because in your deep downs, you are not happy, confident nor healthy.
So, if I admittedly told her I don't have the time to be a mother, a teacher and workout- then how do I do it? I MAKE the time. I hold my gym time near sacred. It is MY time. I am giving myself a guaranteed ONE HOUR out of twenty-four to keep myself sane, happy, and healthy. Now, selfishly, during the summer when I am no longer a teacher, I give myself TWO HOURS. I wake my children up, haul them to the car in their jammies at 6:30am- a whole half an hour before their normal wake time to get in a morning workout. We then come home to chores, playtime, errands, etc and then I load them back up in the car at 4:00pm so I can get in another one. We meal prep all our lunches and snacks on Sundays. We enlist our children's help. It takes use TWO HOURS to measure, prep, cook, and individually package- so our RAW FOOD is all prepared for the entire week- CONVENIENT FOOD! YUM!
During the school year, I work from 8:00am to 4:00pm. I am paid from 8:00-4:00. I love my students, I love my family, and they all appreciate me more when I am happy and healthy- TRUST ME. So, I leave work at 4:00pm with my children in tow, straight to the gym. I no longer volunteer or schedule after hours work meetings or committees. I deserve my time. I sacrifice so much of me and my time that again, I MAKE the time- I PROTECT it- I DELIBERATELY tell people I cannot meet at that time because I am busy. I do not expect people to understand why this time is so important to me, I know people even judge me and hold me to standards of "gawk, she wouldn't do ____________ for _______ because it interrupted her workout??!!"
Yep. Sorry, that doesn't work with my schedule. MY time. We all DESERVE to enjoy, be and relish in time for care for ourselves because everyone else we come in contact with is positively affected by our happiness and healthiness. Now, what I am not telling you is that we do schedule our kids for activities. Chad plays soccer, baseball, and we encourage him to find and participate in activities he chooses and in doing so, I leave workouts early to take him where he needs to go. This year, I even coached Chad in baseball!
A few things I have learned about my children in this process- they survive. They even tend to PARTICIPATE in the workout with me. They CHEER me on. They INTERRUPT me to ask for water. They WATCH. In all of this, I hope that I am teaching my children to persevere, work hard, find a passion, and to be HEALTHY.
So I suppose my answer should be I don't have the time, I MAKE the time- for me. You all deserve that same. MAKE time for your passion and what you LOVE to do!