I Love Dolly Parton
American Idol: Top 3 Recap

Do I Take on Too Much?

Honestly, my assessment of myself is that I am kind of lazy and that I could be more productive in most aspects of my life. My house could be cleaner and more organized. I could be more proactive at work. I could be more proactive with my schoolwork. I could fit working out back into my routine. I could cook more meals at home. I could pluck my own eyebrows. (No I couldn't! I did it this morning because I had to cancel my wax last weekend and plucking hurts way more than waxing.) I could read more books instead of watching TV. I could keep on going with this list.

I feel like I could always do more but, even before getting pregnant with Kenna, I made a conscious effort not to overschedule myself, especially on weekends. I need alone time and I need relaxation time. If I don't have it, I get overstressed and then I start to get depressed. Because of all that, I never had an image of myself as a person who takes on too much but, recently, I have started to wonder if I am wrong about that.

Last year, I began an MBA program. I started out easy with one class that I'd already taken as an undergrad. Then I took off the next term because it was during the first trimester of my pregnancy and I knew I would be too tired. This term, I took only one class again because it would be ending when I would be only weeks away from giving birth and I didn't want to work myself too hard. Still, I feel like I could have handled two classes at a time.

On Facebook a few weeks ago, an old high school friend commented on one of my status updates about how amazed she was that I was taking a class while pregnant. Last week, a coworker who works from her home was in the office for a training. We talked about my MBA program because her employee wants to get his MBA. She, too, was amazed that I started an MBA program with a toddler and another baby on the way. Then, when she found out I also have a 100-mile commute, her eyes nearly popped out of her head. My response was typical. I said that you get used to it (the commute) and that the MBA program was only temporary; eventually I'll be done, plus it is only one night a week for class and I do most of my schoolwork at lunch time (or instead of watching American Idol).

I registered for two classes for the Fall, which actually start a week or so before my maternity leave ends. Today, I registered for one class for the Summer - it crams a full course into 2.5 weekends. My husband is ok with the Summer course even though it means he will be on his own with a newborn and a toddler every weekend in July because the weekend after the class ends, I am attending the BlogHer conference in Chicago.

I think maybe it is too much but the only reason I think that is because I have done nothing but gain weight for the past seven years - the same amount of time I have been married and the same amount of time that I have had a long commute. Clearly, my health is the one area that is getting the shaft. Also, I don't do anything with friends. And I tend to pay my bills late.

I work, go to school, blog, tweet, watch TV, spend time with family, and... well, that's about it.

I have made it my goal to fit working out back into my routine after I have this baby next month, but I am not sure yet how I am going to do it because I haven't identified any other areas where I expect to slow down. I could stop watching so much TV, I guess.

Obviously this is something I have been struggling with for awhile, so if you have some answers for me, I would appreciate them.

Comments

KtP

I started working out regularly when I realized that the bf was working full time, in school mostly full time, and still going for an hour+ bike ride each night.

Me? I was spending literal HOURS every day on the couch/computer, reading/watching TV. Once I took an honest look at how much time that was consuming, I found it easy to take an hour a day to work out (but I'm lucky my gym is good and literally 5 min away).

Also, I found I have no hobbies and I hated when people would ask what I was doing that night and I had nothing to tell them.

Having that commitment to myself has also made me a (tiny) bit more organized with the home life. The busier I am - even with a self-made promise - the less I let things slide on the homefront.

I'm glad you realize that to do more, something's gotta give, cuz not everyone realizes that and they try to do everything and then have a breakdown.

Karla Kay

It's hard to answer the question about whether you are taking on too much; I think only you can answer that question because it's so different for everyone. Some people are better at multi-tasking and some people deal better with stress than others. (I'm terrible dealing with stress so others can easily handle more than I can handle.) But as far as finding time to work out, let me ask you what kind of workouts do you enjoy or benefit most from? Because maybe you can exercise at home while watching TV or in the gym on machines that let you watch TV while you work out. That way you're not really sacrificing the TV time. I know it might be hard to go to the gym if you're watching the kids, but is exercise at home an option? Just something like doing jumping jacks or sit-ups during the commercials? I might not be the ideal person to give advice on this because I also struggle with weight and fitness. Sparkpeople has helped on the diet side, but it's time-consuming.

In any case, I admire that you're analyzing your life and openly asking for suggestions. For me it's always easier to be glib and make everything in to a joke, but the only times I've made big positive changes in my life are when I have gotten serious and asked for help. I think you do a tremendous amount of stuff (work, school, parenting, constantly amusing me with peeves) and I really don't know how parents stay sane in general. Good for you for having goals and wanting to make changes, but also give yourself credit for the incredible amount of time and energy you already spend as an employee, parent, wife, blogger, family member and friend. I am re-reading this and it sounds sooooo sappy, but I really do respect all that you do and I say good luck with the work-out plans after the birth. If there is anything I can do to support you, let me know.

Peeved Michelle

For weight loss purposes, I have done the best when I have a gym membership and I go to the gym three times a week. I hate the gym. I don't do as well when I try to work out at home on my own. I don't do as well if I am just taking a class like yoga or kickboxing, though that is what I enjoy most. I hate going for walks, but I do like riding my bike.

We were without TV for six months last year because we had so much going on that we weren't even watching it, so we just cut it out completely. I wish we hadn't gotten it back in January. It really is a waste of time. We did just fine watching a few shows online and letting the rest go. It should be easier to resist with all the shows ending for the summer.

If I am serious about losing weight, I guess I need to get a gym membership again. Even when I was halfassing it, right before I got married, and only going to the gym occasionally and only staying on my diet occasionally, at least I wasn't gaining weight. I was maintaining at a reasonably comfortable weight for me, even though I was still overweight.

The husband is starting to work out again, too. I guess we need to seriously look at our schedules and figure out how we can make this happen. The hardest part is that my job hours are flexible, but his aren't.

Karla Kay

Yeah, I also like classes (like yoga) the most. I hope the gym membership works out. Almost all the TV shows I love are ending for a few months so this is probably an ideal time if you're going to pull the plug on cable for a while. Good luck working out a gym schedule with your husband; I know the scheduling part is tedious and can be annoying, but it will be worth it. Three times a week is a good goal and also seems do-able. I know what you mean you when you say you hate the gym, but that you've done best when working out there three times a week. I also hate the gym and I hate portion-controlling my diet, but I keep making myself do it. Hopefully the result will be worth the sacrifice. Good luck!

leah

i know you wrote this a hundred years ago, or it probably feels like it since you've delivered baby #2.

i started going to al-anon almost four years ago when my dad got sick. one thing they try to pass on is to take care of yourself first. just like the airplane thing about the oxygen masks.

i know your situation is a little different but i believe it could benefit all moms.

i think women in general have a tendency to put themselves last when they have a partner and kids or just a partner. (this is true for me.) i'm only beginning to see results of making sure i get "me" time.

there is an saying "don't get too hungry/angry/lonely/tired or short for H.A.L.T. this is universal for us all.

leah

p.s. i'm amazed that you already know yourself so well that if you don't get "me" time you get wonky. not many people in the world have that insight. which is why you are such a rare an amazing lady. yeah, i said it.

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