Tuesday, October 12, 2010

A Better Me

Life has been super hectic around here lately.  The last couple of months our evenings have seen a big change.

 It used to be that we would sit down to dinner at the kitchen table every night around 6 and eat together as a family.  Not so anymore.  On Monday and Thursdays Joey has football.  On Tuesday evenings the boys have swim lessons.  On Wednesday Todd has work meetings every week.  That means that every day of the week we are scrambling around dinner time and not really enjoying.  It also means that our family does not have the same amount of down time that we used to.  It seems like every day the minute Joey gets home from school we are working to finish homework and ram food down everyone's throats before we head out the door.  I miss my family dinners.

I also noticed that since this hectic schedule started I had been a lot less patient with my family.  Everything bugged me.  Every little thing set me off.  It seems I was always in a mood. 

Enter running. 

Since I started running again last week I have been a much happier me.  Much more patient with my family.  I enjoy the kids so much more.  I am much more capable of handling little problems.  I don't have such a problem with my temper either.  I don't know why I ever forgot this, but running is the best stress reliever.  Once I've taken my run I feel much clearer.  Much more level headed. 

I'm sure the boys are happy I started running again too.  I honestly can't remember loosing my temper and yelling since I started running again.  How's that for an endorsement?  If that doesn't keep me running I don't know what will. 

I guess it is true, though I never really believed it before.  Taking time out to take care of yourself really does make you a better mom.  Lesson learned.


Mom24 said...

Great job Kat. I've got to work on this one. I hate that our schedule is so crammed right now. It makes me feel stressed and irritated also. I'm glad you found your answer.

Karen Deborah said...

Agreed but DON"T let dinner together be taken away by busy stuff. It is the number ONE thing that keeps families together. It is vital to your families health and relationships. Take it back. Whatever is interfering with that time is probably a lot more expendable. We all need down time kids included. Dinner time is also time when we disconnect from all the demands (turn the phones off) and TALK. That's when kids have time to share about their day. It's not just about eating. Listen to your own gut about how you feel without it. Running helps you but what about the kids? Do they really need all that stuff or do they need mom, dad and each other?

start cookin mama.

Kat said...

Karen- The kids don't really have a lot of stuff. Joey is only in football and Boy Scouts and the boys all have swimming lessons (that is a MUST in my mind). That is really it. But then school has meetings every once in a while. And Todd has meetings too. Such is life.
I always said that I will not overschedule my kids, and I don't think I do. But I do want to give them opportunities to try things they are interested in. Football season is only a month and a half (only two weeks left) and then we will have a lot more time. I don't think the boys feel stressed at all because it is stuff that they enjoy doing. And mom and dad are right there with them while they are doing their activities too. Not too concerned about that.
We'll get our dinners back. I'm not too worried about that. And in the meantime we have breakfast and lunch that we have together. ;)

Emily said...

I feel the same way! Glad you're running again.

Dawn said...

So true. It's important to take care of yourself. As kids get older, schedules just get busier. I felt better when I quit comparing my life as it is today, to what it was when my kids were younger. Different seasons.

Elaine A. said...

Hope it works for me too! Training for my first 10K in mid November and I just bought new shoes today.

Glad to hear it's helped you with your stress. We have a hectic schedule a couple of nights a week too, so I hear ya on that!

imbeingheldhostage said...

Dang it. I'm going to have to start running, aren't I? I'm SO glad you have something that brings you peace like running.

I am SO sad to hear that your dinner time is being sucked away from you. It's something we struggle with too and people who aren't being pulled four different directions don't get it. How do you tell one child that football is out, or another that those important swim lessons have to go? You can't. You just have to adjust. On some days, we are sitting down not long after they've come in from school, and others we're eating out of a picnic basket on a football pitch somewhere. It's tough Kat, I'm crossing my fingers that you find the balance.

painted maypole said...

WE have way more activity this year as well, at least for The May Queen, and it's hard.

It used to just be ME running around, but that was usually after dinner, and felt less stressful for the family.

Tammy said...

Running is a huge stress reliever for me...I am so thankful I have time for that. Our dinner hour has changed for sure...last night we ate as a family at 7 because of all of the things we had going on. Glad you rediscovered running! I know I would be a grump without it!

Kat said...

Jeri (imbeingheldhostage)- I knew you'd get it. Even if each child only has one activity that is still a lot of running around. And of course I'm going to let my kids join in activities they are interested in. And then there are school meetings, and things that I think are necessary (swimming lessons),etc. It just adds up. And that is life. It's fine. I want my kids to be able to try new things and find out what they like, what their interests are.

Soon Joey's football season will end (two more games!) and we'll have two more nights back a week. I'm excited about that. :) Until then it isn't as bad as it sounds, just busy. ;)

Krystyn said...

I know what you mean! Just yesterday, I had a late meeting and hubby left work late. Which meant I wasn't even home until 5:30 and dinner wouldn't be ready. My fuse was short.

I need my dinner time with the family, too. It really helps!

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

Funny how adding to the mix of activity created better balance for everyone! Yay for you!

Dani said...

I am the exact same way when I do not take time for myself. One thing that I have never given up is running.... if I did I would probably be angry and unbelievably crabby everyday. Anyway, great job! and keep running!

Karen Deborah said...

You'll figure it out just right you a great mom!

Carol said...

Kat...I'm so glad you started running again, too. Moms need stress-relievers that they can both count on AND enjoy. Good for you!!

Words To Live By

Be grateful for each new day.
A new day that you have never lived before.
Twenty-four new, fresh, unexplored hours to use usefully and profitably.
We can squander, neglect, or use them.
Life will be richer or poorer by the way we use today.
Finish every day and be done with it.
You have done what you could;
some blunders and absurdities crept in;
forget them as soon as you can.
Tomorrow is a new day.
You shall begin it well and serenely and with too high a spirit to be
encumbered with your old nonsense.

-Ralph Waldo Emerson