February 23, 2012


If I have learned only one thing about being a mother, it's this:

Time does not stand still.

Whether it's the fact that my little munchkin - who just a few short months ago couldn't even focus her eyes on my face, but can now look me straight in the eyes, give me a smile, and then say "no no no" when I suggest that it's time for a nap - or whether it's dragging my fanny out of bed at 5am so I can get a workout in while everyone else is still asleep...time stands still for no one...not even this obsessive-compulsive-neurotic-list-maker and scheduler-extraordinaire.

These days I find myself living and breathing by a very detailed schedule. If you've known me any length of time, you know that I'm pretty organized...pretty on top of my to-do list. But now, in Mommy-land, if I don't get the laundry put in at exactly 6:35am, I know that no clothes will get washed that day. If I don't make Troy's lunch at precisely 7:15am, I know Troy will eat no lunch that day. If Brenna looks at me with those big brown eyes at 10:00am and says "no no no" I know that I won't be getting a whole lot done that morning. Living by my schedule has made my days manageable. And while I sometimes feel like I'm working on an assembly line - laundry, breakfast, change diapers, laundry, clean toilets, change diapers, lunch, etc - I really am very thankful every single day that I get to stay home with our little munchkin.

For the most part I feel like I've got our house under control (but please come to the front door if you come by for a visit because the carport looks like a yard sale gone horribly wrong), but the one thing I still struggle with is making time to exercise. It's the one thing I just can't figure out. Before becoming a mom, exercise was a breeze (and if I ever complained about making time for it, I really really really apologize now for that). I could run in the morning, at lunch, or in the evening. It didn't matter. I could just take off and no one would miss me. These days? Not so much. I leave the room for a second and Brenna starts with the crocodile tears. It's awesome - I never pee alone anymore!

So, I've been working (for a year now) to figure out the optimal time to exercise and still be a good mom and/or wife. And guess what? There is no optimal time. Every single second of my day is now devoted to something that's a little more important (clean diaper, anyone?)....okay, maybe "every single second" is an exaggeration, but you know what I mean. I can exercise at the butt-crack of dawn or late in the evening and here are my list of excuses for not doing each:

1. Early morning runs are scary by yourself.
2. Early morning CrossFit makes me sleepy later in the day.
3. Late evening runs are scary by yourself.
4. Late evening CrossFit doesn't exist (they close at 7pm).

That's it. A summary of my most frequent excuses for not exercising.

This whole thing is a no-win situation for Troy too. If I exercise at the butt-crack of dawn, I'm exhausted by 7 or 8pm. Troy works such wonky schedules, that he is sometimes just getting home about the time I'm fighting to keep my eyes open. If I exercise in the late evening, it means that he has to come home and tend to Brenna. Now, don't get me wrong, he loves that girl. But, I just don't think it's fair for him to work 12+ hours a day and then have to come home and be on task-patrol. I would rather him have that opportunity to just sit on the floor and play with her, read books to her, or take her outside to swing for a while. It's the least he deserves for being such a good Dad.

But, then if I just don't exercise at all? Well, I'm not the most pleasant person to be around and that doesn't bode well for Troy either.

So, this week I'm going to try something new - running and/or CrossFitting during the day. I know...novel idea, huh? Brenna goes to Mother's Morning Out twice a week and I've typically used that time to run errands or just get caught up. But, I think it's about time I started using those couple of hours to exercise. CrossFit is open AND running is fairly safe, so I really have no excuse not to do one or the other. Also, I have parent's who 1) are retired, 2) love their granddaughter and 3) live in a great neighborhood to run. While they don't know it yet, Brenna is going to be frequenting their house at least once a week so I can get a run in (that last part is a test to really see if my parent's read my blog at all). If all else fails, I'm going to give the whole "pushing the jog stroller" thing another that she weighs 25 pounds. Smart idea, huh?

It's weird. I look at someone like that lady who has 20 kids and I wonder, how in the world does she get anything (other then making babies) accomplished? And I look back at my pre-mommy life and wonder, why did I ever complain about not having enough time in the day? At this point, (you know, the one where it dawns on me that if we are going to have another kiddo, we might want to think about it now - while all that baby "crap" hasn't made it's way to the yard sale pile), I still fondly remember my pre-baby life, but am still very thankful for the chaos and craziness that we create by becoming parents. I'm really beginning to realize that it's all about order, balance, and a little flexibility. And honestly, as much of a struggle as I feel like life is sometimes, I wouldn't change a minute of it these days.

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