Life Lessons

Balancing Act- work, kids, and marathon training

Let’s be real life is always a balancing act right? Kids, work, working out, volunteering, time for your spouse, the house, laundry, more laundry. As the years go on the balancing changes. For example, when the boys were young and I was a stay home mom- it was balancing finding time to shower and make dinner with feedings, diaper changes and nap schedules. Then they got a little bit older and it was balancing having two kids instead of one. Trying to make their schedules mesh. Then one starts school, one is home and you are doing all the mommy and me activities. You get the idea as years pass by we are just changing the things that are always at a delicate balance. I laugh because Covid has just made the balance like a see saw. Every time we think we are in a good place there’s some sort of monkey wrench thrown into the mix.

Last year for the first time in my years as a mother both of my children were in school full time for the very first time. I had this grand plan for a life of luxury. I would drop them off, have time during the day to train for my marathon, read, write. I laugh, because within moments of them both being in school I started subbing basically full time at school. Let’s be real, I’m not really the take it easy, have a lot of time on your hands kind of person, so this wasn’t a huge surprise. We figured out the balance and it worked out well. I was happy to be at school with the boys and they were happy to have me there. I learned a lot about myself and the fact that I was really ready to go back to work.

Fast forward to July of 2021. Back to work full time- for real. I was a host of emotions- worried that I couldn’t truly find the balance, worried that I couldn’t remain the mom that I wanted to be to the boys. We quickly got into our summer routine and realized…this will work! Not only would it work, it was really important for the boys to see me doing something beyond being their mom. I’m not for one moment saying being a mom isn’t enough. Quite honestly, if you are blessed to be a mom I consider it the number one and most important “job.” That said, it was healthy for them to see me working on projects and doing other things. Once I got settled I realized how much I needed this for me too. So I worked on getting acclimated. The boys enjoyed camp and we got into a routine- a balance so to speak.

Then the balance was thrown out of whack…my dad died. While he had been battling Alzheimer’s for years, this sudden decline and death seemingly came out of no where. Understandably so the balance that we were just holding onto got undone. It would have remained undone but for the fact that school was starting as was marathon training. Time to kick it into high gear when all I wanted to do was nothing at all.

I don’t think it’s a coincidence that marathon training began the week after my dad’s funeral. The reason I caught the marathon bug was to fundraise for the Alzheimer’s Association. He was my why for doing this big scary thing called running the NYC Marathon. The week following his funeral I couldn’t have been less motivated to lace up my shoes and run, but I’m a stickler for following the training plan. So in a good way it forced me to get my butt in gear, lace up my shoes and put one foot in front of the other.

Shortly thereafter would come the true test- back to school madness was about to begin. I think we can all agree that September is a crazy month. Everyone is getting back into routine and there are so many new things- new activities, back to school night, etc. etc. Throw into the mix that I had several programs for work in addition to the Jewish holidays along with the back to school madness/marathon training. Oh my goodness- it was a blur!! By the end of each day I am completely exhausted and falling asleep most days when the boys go to bed. But like always, we somehow found the balance and made it work. We still found the time for books and snuggles and movies. We found the time to discuss, highs, lows and buffalos each day. The boys found ways to help me get ready for events at work and we enjoyed more than one golf cart ride together. Was it easy? Heck no. Would I trade it for the world? Also no. Someone recently asked me how I was really doing regarding my dad. The truth is, there are good days and bad days. There are moments that set me off for no reason. I think the crazy schedule and being busy helped. He wouldn’t want me to be sad. He was always hustling and working hard. He’d be happy to know that I am too.

At the end of the day- I couldn’t be happier with my new job or the fact that I get to work where the boys go to school. I joined an amazingly supportive community, where family still comes first. I work hard, mom hard and run hard everyday. All while finding time to read for pleasure- my other guilty pleasure. We’ve found our balance…for now! Until something changes and we work to find the balance again!