As anyone with a child knows, balancing your life with a child involved is not an easy task. What makes it even harder is that every few months they grow and change and their different needs throw even the best laid schedule out of wack. Add in the change of seasons, new classes, and the normal changes of life; and most parents find themselves adjusting and readjusting things all the time. Normally, a tweak here and a twist there does the job, but right now I'm looking at a full scale overhaul of how I/we do things. It's a bit overwhelming and I'm having trouble getting it all into focus.
First, there is the job. It sucks up a significant portion of my time. It's also not very flexible. I can change my shift time, but they are pretty adamant about that 40 hours a week thing.
Then there is family. We all have different needs. Michael needs one on one time, Andy needs one on one time, we need full on family time, and after the job, there isn't much time left over for all of that. Plus, I need me time so that I can be completely there for the family time. However, me time often takes the backseat, which makes me cranky and unpleasant to be around, which defeats the purpose of giving up the me time to begin with.
Next comes in the whole people need to eat thing. Can I just say that I hate walking in the door after a long day of work and instead of playing with Michael or chatting with Andy, I have to make dinner. Recently, Michael has been making it even harder by physically grabbing me and trying to drag me into the living room to sit down with him. I've also been getting very frustrated with the small number of meals that I can prepare in under 30 minutes that are healthy, not loaded with fat and calories, and don't have onions in them. Oh yeah, and there's the problem of forgetting to get crock pot meals ready the night before, or pulling meat from the freezer so that it has time to thaw for dinner. So far, the only solution I can find is fast food, but if I do that, we'll all gain about 500 pounds. (I have a Quarter Pounder problem.) I'm willing to pay cash for convenience, but not with the health of my family.
Oh, and then there is the exercise problem. Not only do I enjoy exercising (seriously, I have no idea when that happened, but it did) but I also have the slight problem of grandfathers dropping dead from heart problems that I need to keep in mind. Both sides of my family have a history of heart disease, high blood pressure and type II diabetes. I'm well aware that I have a lot of control over many of the factors that contribute to those problems, and staying active is one way to delay or prevent problems that other family members have encountered. 45 - 50 minutes a day doesn't seem like much in exchange for hopefully holding a grandchild in my arms one day.
But, it's never really 45-50 minutes. If I'm going to keep working on running, I'll need to get a gym membership. That means extra time traveling and dealing with gym stuff. I could keep using the bike at home, but I started running because the bike wasn't providing everything I was looking for in a workout.
And then there are all those other little things. You know, cleaning the house, spending time with friends, keeping up with Netflix and TiVo. And don't even get me started on all the books I want to read and crafts I want to do.
So far, I've identified the problem, but I'm having trouble figuring out what I need to do to realign everything to work as best as possible. Right now, it's all just swirling around in my head, but no solid ideas are taking hold. It's a bit frustrating.
I guess it's time to sit down and make a list.