Like many other running moms out there…. I often find myself struggling with balancing my family life and responsibilities (house/getting kids to and from sports practices/grocery shopping, etc.), and keeping up with my training. I even thought that by being home with my kids ( I left my job this past April), not having to work weekends anymore, life would suddenly become easier to manage. In many ways, I feel like I actually have less time and more pressure.
I worked either Saturday or Sunday, day or night (12 hour shifts) for the past 7 years. Sometimes I could do a Friday night, then a Sunday (day shift) and work every other weekend. This schedule helped a lot during the summer- a full weekend off of work was definitely a rare treat. I truly cherished my weekends I didn’t have to work….
This summer, I don’t have to do any 12 hours shifts on any weekend. I have been able to visit my Aunt (who I would usually only get to see once a year at Christmas), traveled to see college friends who I haven’t seen in years, and spend a lot more time with my husband and kids (as a family). However, there is a flip side- one that I didn’t realize would affect me so negatively.
Having more time at home is making me feel more overwhelmed. I look around my house and notice more of what needs to be decorated, painted, and cleaned. I have more opportunity to run, but, am struggling sticking to my training plan. Going to the gym with both kids (while school is out) is often a battle of motivation, determination, and patience. The child care center at my gym is often crowded, filled with many kids much younger than mine. It often takes 10 mins to check them in (during morning hours). They would much rather be at home, playing with their own toys, enjoying their own games. Nonetheless, they are too old for a jogging stroller (8 1/2 yrs. and 7 yrs.), and the only other alternative is to run at night (when I’m exhausted). On my previous post, I wrote about how much I enjoy evening runs.. Don’t get me wrong, I still do….But not when it’s 105 degrees and 90% humidity. Also, my neighbor hasn’t been able to run at night anymore.
I do realize that part of my issues with managing my new-found “free time” will be improved once my kids start back to school in late August. I won’t have to worry about keeping them occupied during the day while I get chores done around the house. I can get my runs done early in the day after I put them on the bus. I can actually go to the grocery store by myself, without hearing the two of them fight over who gets to stand on the end of the grocery cart, and why I am “too slow” at grocery shopping.
The 2012 Chicago Marathon is only 10 weeks from this Sunday. I know I want to do well, and run my best. However, to do that, I know I must get back to a more serious training mode. Over the past 4 weeks, I’ve done so much traveling, my mileage has really suffered. There wasn’t any opportunity to get my long runs in. My base still feels pretty good. Now I just need to work at endurance and staying mentally tough.
Do you get overwhelmed when you’re at home? How do you balance family life and running?