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Dancing, Whirling, Guilting

October 17, 2010

At the rink, during one the kids' two hockey practices yesterday. Love hats when I'm short on time.

I’m happy to report that I’m over my cold!  Well, pretty close, anyway.  I was barely-functioning sick for a whole week, so clearly my immune system was on hiatus for a little while.  Once I got some rest, my body started recovering.  I basically slept and/or laid on the couch and rested for 5 days straight.  Unfortunately, I had to miss 2 days of school, which means that now I’m catching up on what I missed, but what can you do, right?

Went for a run Friday night.  I have to say the running itself wasn’t great.  I have obviously been time crunched this fall and haven’t been working out as much as I usually do, so my aerobic capacity is suffering.  Since I was going out for just a short run, I tried pushing the pace a little, and found myself with side stitches.  Oops!  Guess my diaphragm is out of practice, too.  Despite the lackluster speed and distance, I really felt like I had a great run.  The weather was quite cool (7 degrees Celcius), it was windy, and it was dark out, but I finished my run smiling.  My knee didn’t bother me, but my hip felt a little achy, so the 23 minutes I put in was probably enough for my still-recovering IT band.

This week, I’ve got a couple more exams and a ton of lab work to do.  I’m planning to go to spin class Tuesday morning at 6am, but haven’t figured out what I else I want to fit in this week.  It’s a difficult dance, this whirl of parenting, full-time dental school, and fitness.  Fitness is important to me, but I have to say that right now, school is my priority.  My family is also important, obviously, but they’ll survive the next year and half of my limited presence just fine.  I spend as much time with them as I can manage, but it’s still a heavy burden for my husband to bear.  With my schedule this year, he’s largely responsible for grocery shopping, laundry, getting the kids to and from school and hockey, organizing childcare for nights we’re both busy, etc., etc.

And of course there’s the “mom guilt” to handle.  Shouldn’t my kids be my highest priority, before school and fitness?  I guess that’s the line we’re all fed these days – that we should be supermoms who always put our kids first.  I’m okay with the choice I’ve made to be in school full-time, because I know that in the long-run, I’m doing what’s best for our family and I’m setting an example for my kids with respect to pursuing their dreams.  It’s still a difficult pill to swallow, though, when you’re trying to get an assignment done or cramming for an important exam and your kids are asking you to tuck them in, read them a story, colour with them…

So, what’s my point?  I guess I feel like I’m really struggling right now.  I am completely overwhelmed with school – my twenty-something, mostly childless classmates are, too, for the record – and I feel like I’m dropping the ball at home and with my fitness.  I am not Superwoman, though.  My body and mind are feeling the stress, which was clearly demonstrated by the way that cold totally knocked me out for a whole week.  I guess I just need to do what I can, and try not to feel guilty about the rest, because feeling guilty doesn’t help anyone.

Back to my workouts: I think I’ll aim for 2 strength sessions (1 Thursday night, 1 Saturday morning) and 2 cardio sessions (spin Tuesday morning, running Friday after school).  Much as I’d like to do more, I think I’d better make sure my schedule is manageable.

Thanks for all of the kind comments re: getting better!  Hopefully someone out there was reminded to take a little bit better care of herself.

Have you had a great workout lately that left you smiling once you were done?

 

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8 Comments leave one →
  1. October 17, 2010 2:11 pm

    Last week I had a run where I was just blazing – I tried to slow my pace but my body was “on,” so I just rolled with it. It was exhilarating because I know the amount of outdoor running I have left to do is extremely limited for the season!

  2. October 17, 2010 4:41 pm

    that’s such a cute picture of you! and i know what you mean, i’m obsessed with my toque. (too easy when the hair is a disaster zone.) unforunately we’re going into spring/summer now so i’ll have to get a lighter cap, or start doing my hair. sigh…choices…

    good luck with your exams! glad to hear you’ve beaten the cold, enjoy the rest of your weekend :)

  3. October 17, 2010 8:29 pm

    The balancing is always difficult. I was pregnant during my final year of law school and actually had my son during exams week so had to take exams 2 days late. Then my last semester, I had a little one to deal with and was working at a firm part time. My little guy was 6 months old when I graduated with my doctorate in law. I don’t miss those days!

    You will get through all of this and land on your feet! And you won’t regret the journey. Just remember to take pleasure in the small things – one goodnight poem or a special snacktime with mom :)

  4. October 17, 2010 10:19 pm

    Glad to hear that you are feeling better!

    Whenever you feel mom’s guilt, know that taking time for yourself is one of the healthiest and best things you can do for your children. You are a great mom, and you are doing a fabulous job! Don’t forget that!

  5. October 18, 2010 11:18 am

    You are amazing – keep it up!! I know that feeling of trying to juggle it all (and try not to feel guilty) and I don’t even do as much as you do. Glad to hear you’re feeling better! Hope your exams this week go well. Have a great week!

  6. Karen permalink
    October 28, 2010 1:39 pm

    Just stumbled on your site via Mary Eggers’. Keep it up! I’ve been right where you are. I went to medical school when my kids were 3 and 5, and it was really tough to balance school, housework, working out, and husbands and kids! You have to carve out time, decide on priorities, and don’t feel guilty when something gets squeezed out- just try to make sure it’s not always the same thing (unless it’s housework :)). I’m on the other end now, and while I still have a crazy life, I love what I do and there’s financial security for the family. And my kids are teenagers now, so I’m around much more for them now that they really need me to be! Keep being healthy and happy and remember that balance implies movement, not standing still.

    • October 31, 2010 11:08 am

      Thanks, Karen! It’s comforting to know that other moms have been in a similar situation. And I love your balance quote re: movement. That’s a great way to look at it!

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