I’m not going to lie here… I’m having trouble finding balance as I’ve gone back to school (work). I feel like this is something many can relate to – finding balance during a new life stage. And I’m not just talking about mommas today – maybe you’re going to school or graduating from school, starting a new job or switching jobs, having a baby, getting married, or maybe just trying to incorporate more healthy choices in your daily life. Whatever it may be, usually change takes some time to find that balance, get adjusted, and determine a routine that works for you.
I’m your routine, Momma!
After having William, I definitely went through that for the first month or so (roughly speaking). Eventually, I found what worked for me. I was able to take almost daily walks which counted as my fitness; not to mention all the benefits of mental health when I was out in the sunshine. I even went swimming a few times. When I was able to get out and about with William, I would grocery shop, and even cook here and there when he slept. I never really napped, but I felt like I had down time since we were pretty much home all day.
Now that I’m back at work, itz all changed. My fitness consists of running around my house in the morning trying to get myself and William together along with everything we need for the day. Healthy eating and cooking? Ha! I’ve eaten cereal for lunch more times than I care to admit, and our fridge is bare the majority of the time (with the exception of when my parents, in-laws, or grandparents so kindly provide us with leftovers!).
I only have time for so much, and I know during new life stages, priorities must shift. I’m still getting the laundry done, and our house is as clean as it usually is (which isn’t really lol but clean enough!). Priorities include taking care of William, taking care of myself, and the house. When William is sleeping, I feel like I have to get something done, so when do I ever have down time as a working mom? I suppose my down time is the time I give myself to blog, and I don’t really want to give that up because I do enjoy it so much. So what do I do when I feel like I literally have no extra time? Hmmm.
As long as you have time for me, nothing else matters.
I consider healthy living to be made up of five parts: fitness, nutrition, sleep, social, and emotional. Here’s what’s working and where I’m struggling with each:
I was lucky to the loose the baby weight quickly and pretty much effortlessly (thank you nursing and good genes!). But “baby weight” is funny as itz a number on the scale and I think the scale is stupid. Sure, my number has gone down, but I’m soft and squishy and I would like to regain some strength and level of fitness. Problem: TIME! Before, I was taking daily walks, but now with working, I’m only finding time on the weekends. Morning walks are out of the question due to time constraints, and in the evening, I would rather play with William than just walk. He goes to bed between 7:30 – 8:30, so evenings won’t work either (further explained in the sleep portion). I may try and sneak in a super quick workout in the morning or the afternoon, depending on how both are going. And by super quick, I mean like ten minutes. Literally.
You’re stopping our walk to take a picture of your watch? C’mon, Mom, let’s go! Move it!
I mean…. I’m eating, and that’s all that really counts, right? In terms of healthy eating, that’s another story. I’m doing really well with water; I’m drinking a ton as I’m often thirsty and staying hydrated is crucial for breastfeeding. I’m finding it very difficult to find time to cook healthy meals. I like the crockpot, but even that takes time to prepare! I know a common suggestion is to meal prep for a couple hours on the weekend to make life easier during the week. Honestly, I feel like I don’t even have a couple hours on the weekend. William naps for less than an hour at a time, so unless I have someone come over and watch him, I don’t know what to do. (And I don’t want anyone to watch him on the weekend since he gets watched all week.)
I’ve eaten a ton of sweets and those packaged convenience foods have become way too convenient. Breakfasts and snacks are good. I can prep overnight oats in two minutes or cook a couple eggs while I’m getting ready. Snacks are simple in terms of bars, yogurt, fruit, or nuts. Lunch has literally been cereal or a pb&j. And I’m not sure what I’ve been putting together for dinners, but Jonny and I have been eating, rest assured.
This is the one area where I feel like I have absolutely no control because of William. I do a good job of going to bed shortly after he does, but I can’t go to bed right when he does because I have to pump. Usually I pump at nine, bag the milk, clean the pump, and hit the hay. I can’t pump earlier otherwise I will explode at night. Funny enough, I haven’t been overly tired, and I’ve actually surprised myself with how not tired I am considering the lack of sleep and broken sleep I do get. But I know minimal sleep definitely affects how I eat and my cravings. The less I sleep, the more junk food I want. Not good.
We have continued to get together with friends, itz just on slightly different terms than before (read: no bars or drinks). We’ve made new friends with babies, and our old friends understand that we need to plan around the babe.
I feel good. There are times where I feel overwhelmed or totally bummed that I have to leave William during the week, but in general I feel good. And there’s nothing better for me than being a mom; I love every minute! I’m just working on that balance thing…
So the two areas I really want to improve on are fitness and healthy eating. How do I make that happen? Suggestions welcome!
How do you find balance during new life stages and changes?