How do you do it all? It’s the million-dollar question for all women out there trying to raise children, have careers (and sometimes that career is raising children), exercise (and possibly even compete in your sport), put healthy meals on the family table, keep their marriage afloat, get eight hours of sleep, and manage to have a little fun. Well, look no further. I have the answer. Are you sitting down? The answer is: you don’t! To tell the plain and simple truth, no one can do it all.
The reality of a life with children is that sacrifices have to be made, and priorities have to be reconfigured on a daily basis. Your expectations for yourself have to become very flexible. Acceptance of these life changes is really vital. If exercise is a priority for you, you have to squeeze it in wherever you can. Sometimes the only time to work out is 4 AM before everyone is awake, so that’s when the workout takes place—an early morning workout is better than no workout at all. Or if the only type of workout I can get is running with the kids in the jogger, then that’s what I do. I might not want to push a 100 pounds around southwest Florida in the heat, but that might be my only option. Sacrifices have to be made!
Contrary to popular belief, eating healthy can actually be less time-consuming then cooking not-so-healthy meals. One easy option: grill a couple pieces of chicken, and serve with steamed vegetables—a good-for-you dinner that’s easy to clean up. I always have a freezer stocked with organic, grass-fed meat, which I order online. I keep a fridge full of vegetables that can be consumed cooked or raw. Healthy eating also keeps my shopping list simple and trips to the grocery store quick. Meals might not always be creative, but they are healthy and clean. Yet another sacrifice!
Organization is essential and oftentimes underrated for our sanity and to insure maximum time efficiency. I am constant adding and subtracting from a to-do list, which I keep on my phone. More importantly, my husband and I have a shared electronic calendar where we put all of our commitments and appointments whether they are together or separate. This really helps us manage our time to get our workouts in since we can look ahead and plan accordingly.
I try not to get down when I don’t get in all my workouts for the week, or if we had carry out a few times throughout the week instead of home-cooked meals. That just creates negativity around things that don’t go “according to plan.” Instead, I remind my family and myself that we are consciously aware that we want to be as active and healthy as we can be. We are very lucky—we have our good times and our not so great ones. But above all, we have each other, and we’ll try again tomorrow.