This week’s check-in is coming in very late. Week 3 was a challenging one for me because as I tried to exercise more often, life got a little busier than usual – the elevators went down at the office, we had some additional early intervention appointments for my youngest, the hubby had an evening networking event, we celebrated my oldest daughter’s birthday. Plus, I took a short road trip to a winery with two of my favorite friends for a little pre-birthday celebration.
When I asked Megs for some blog post ideas at the beginning of 6FIT, she suggested writing something about juggling full-time work, healthy living, and family life. (Note: I did not say balance because that’s a loaded term.) Last week was a perfect week for this topic because I did everything I suggest doing here…yet I still found myself a little overwhelmed by Wednesday night and incredibly tired by the weekend. But here are some of the ways I try to manage my life on a weekly basis:
Outsourcing: I admit this comes from a place of some economic privilege but I outsource anything I can. As someone who grew up in a very low income neighborhood (78207 – look up the zip code), I hesitated to pay others to do what I thought I could so myself. However, two kids and one career later, I will spend some cash if it saves me valuable time. One such investment is a healthy meal delivery system. We sometimes use Foodery in Boston – the company provides “real food”/ready-made meals that the whole family tends to enjoy. I used to get annoyed at paying $24 for a from-scratch locally sourced King Ranch chicken casserole; then I tried making one and it took a big bag of groceries plus three hours on a Sunday afternoon. Nope.
Delivery: I save some time but mostly a lot of effort by not setting foot in a grocery store every week. I use Peapod which has the same prices I would pay at a regular store. “But I want to pick my own produce!” is often a rebuttal I hear when I tell people I do this. I don’t know. My people have long been associated with agricultural work. I’m cool with letting someone else pick it. And we live in Mass. It’s not like we’re gonna find the amazing stuff you can find in Cali or other parts of the country. I will supplement with trips to a big grocery store by my office or the local farmer’s market that often pops up down the street from us. Otherwise, click click click and my shopping is done at any hour of the day.
Apps: My life revolves around apps. Embarrassingly so. If we ever walk by a Starbucks, my six year old will say, “oh wait, did we pre-order our coffee?” (She does not drink coffee btw – don’t report me to child services.) I pre-order anything I can through an app.
Meal prep: No brainer. This is probably the best way to stay on track with healthy eating. I always boil eggs, cook steel cut oats, and bake egg muffins for the week. I am amazed by how well the DanceFIT gals do this! This is definitely an area of growth for me. I grew up with a grandma who would make all three meals every day fresh and from scratch so meal prepping and leftovers do not come naturally to me.
Team effort: My greatest achievement during Week 2 was teaching my just turned 6 year old to make breakfast so I could take Piloxing and her dad could sleep in. She nuked some frozen pancakes, chopped up some soft fruit, and served it with a yogurt pouch for herself and her little sister. Viola! Breakfast is done. Seriously, though, I cannot juggle everything myself so I rely on my family to do their part at home. My kids love to cook and help out so I put them to work. Even if they didn’t like it, I would still teach them how to do it.
Plan, plan, plan: One of the challenges I face during the work week are work meetings and the carb-n-sugar fest that is served at such meetings. Breakfast often means pastries and fruit. Lunch is sandwiches, chips, and cookies for dessert. So I regularly carry bananas, cheese sticks, yogurt, almond butter packs, hummus cups, and apples around with me. My bag looks like a preschooler lunch box but it means I can always round out a crappy work meal with some healthy options. p.s. If you can, change the menu! Our previous Deputy Director had some health issues and pretty much banned chips and cookies at every work meeting for a while.
Be prepared: I sleep in my workout clothes and I keep an extra set at work. I forgot my clothes once and did spin in a regular bra. Yuck! Now I keep a bag in my office with the essentials, including a yoga mat. Boston offers some great free outdoor classes every summer and I am more likely to go if I have everything I need at work.
Be sneaky: Despite the fact that I am currently negotiating with our landlord over our aging elevators, taking the stairs is a great option. I also try to walk outdoors every day for 15 minutes during the work day and use my Fitbit to make sure I am not sitting all day long. Maybe I won’t lose ten pounds and look like I did at 25, but my 80 year old self will thank me one day…right? Move! Move! Move!
Go with the flow: The biggest challenge I faced in transitioning to motherhood and full-time work was accepting good enough. In the past, I would pull a DanceFIT double header a couple of days a week to feel “accomplished.” Once I had kids it became difficult to get to and through just one class. I have finally accepted that a 14 minute workout is better than no work out. 2/3 of a class is better than no class.
Pick three: The most important thing I do every week is set up reasonable expectations. I have a lot of competing priorities in my life – my health, my marriage, motherhood, my career, my financial goals, my mental health, my friendships, my larger extended family. I started picking three every week that I could totally rock. I accept being okay on the rest and try not to feel guilty if I fail miserably at one of them. Last week was friends, work, and kids – everything else fell into place somehow.
Clearly, being a kick ass 6FIT Spokesperson and getting my blog to Megs on time was not one of my three last week but, oh well, there’s always next week.
Mom of 3, wife, business owner, ballet teacher and fitness instructor. Trying hard to raise healthy, happy and grateful children while running the studio of my dreams. Trying to stay FIT, flexible, stylish and take care of myself in the process!