Jan
5

Rule #4: The Needs of the Many Outweigh the Needs of the MOM.

You Mean Kids DON'T Raise Themselves?

Well it's 2013 and most resolutions won't survive into next week, let alone next year. But contrary to popular believe, it's not because our champagne-fuelled hopes for the New Year are too lofty.  You see, there's an insidious and uncontrollable foe, lurking unseen in the shadows just waiting to thwart our best-made plans.   It's a sinister and formidable resolution-foiling force of nature called Mommy Guilt.

It gnaws at your heart, lays siege to your ambitions, and relegates your dreams to the bottom of the priority pile; for the hours in the day are inevitably too few, and the demands on your time are inescapably too great. 
 
Now if this were purely a time management or prioritization problem the answer would be straightforward.  Fill your days with the things that matter most, and deliberately let the rest slip by the wayside.  But things are never that simple, are they?  And I don't know about you, but the evaluation criteria I inevitably use to weigh my needs against those of my children are horrifically skewed. 
 
Rationally, I know all the self-help rhetoric.  I know that I'm allowed to take time for myself.  I know that when a Mom takes care of herself she can better take care of her family.  I know that parents who succeed in their own interests are setting good examples for their children to follow.   And I know that it's okay to have a life outside of being a dedicated employee and a doting mom.
 
But the reality is, when push comes to shove I have a hard time justifying “me time” when the floor needs vacuuming, the driveway needs shoveling, the kids want attention, and my boss needs that report that was due last week.
 
A year ago I had two teensy-weensy, vague, little resolutions for 2012: #1, start writing my book, and #2, get into better shape. Sadly the goals for 2011 looked remarkably similar to this list, as did the ones for 2010, so I desperately needed a new approach if 2012 was going to have any hope in hell. 
 
I called in the big guns: I put my money where my mouth is. 
 
I enrolled in a novel writing course.  It wasn't that I felt that I needed the instruction - though I certainly DID learn a great deal - what I was really paying for was a taskmaster to hold my feet to the fire with hard, cold, externally-imposed deadlines
 
Then there was the problem of finding actual time to write to meet those newly-acquired fabulous and fast-approaching deadlines.  So I bought my kids memberships at a huge indoor playground.  Each week, the kids run around like monkeys while I curl up in their comfy parent room with my laptop, my fluffy slippers and my earplugs... and churn out chapters.
 
For resolution number two I used another one-two punch of power purchases:  I bought a husky (code name: an expensive excuse to get off my ass and go for a run) and my sister convinced me to register for a 5km (3+mile) Obstacle Course Race. 
 
Net Results of 2012:
Turns out my youngest daughter is a pro at push-ups and burpees.  My eldest daughter loves mud as much as I do and ran the junior version of an obstacle course race.  My husband is a whiz at cleaning.  The dog runs like the wind.  My sister and I are officially addicted to not-sitting-on-our-asses.  The writing course was a resounding success.  And the book is well on its way with enough momentum that I can self-impose my deadlines from here on out.

As for the floor... well, it still needs vacuuming more often then not but you know, sometimes things do have to fall off the plate.  :)
 
Mommy Guilt can be a powerful obstacle but it can be overcome.  I needed to commit to my resolutions with dollars and cents (that I wouldn't want to waste) before those resolutions could compete for a spot on the "to do" list, because the only thing that can trump Mommy Guilt in my world... is Money Guilt.

Ask YOUR Doctor If Getting Off Your Ass Is Right For You!

Links of Interest Related to this Blog Entry:

  • The Long Ridge Writers Group (http://longridgewritersgroup.com) is a distance-learning based institution that offers basic and advanced courses in writing.  The course I took in 2012 was "Shape, Write and Sell Your Novel" and I highly recommend  it.
     
  • Cosmic Adventures (http://www.cosmicadventures.ca) is an indoor playground facility in Ottawa, Canada.  I find it a bit pricey, but worth it.  Their "cone of silence" room for parents is fantastic, the food is healthy and they offer free wifi.
     
  • Mudd Sweat and Tears (http://www.muddsweatandtears.com) is a great canadian company offering 5K, 10K and "monster sized" obstacle course race.  My sister is one of their resident bloggers and I highly recommend checking out her entries.  Here's one of her first ones: My Love Affair With Mud Running.
     
  • Mud Hero (http://www.mudhero.com) is another great canadian obstacle course racing company.  Kel and I found their races to be very well organized with an inviting and friendly atmosphere.
     
  • Spartan (http://www.spartanrace.com) offers several obstacle course race distances - here is a YouTube video that is a fun summary of all their races.  For beginners I think their Sprints (5K) are doable and fun, but the mentality of these races tends to be a bit more competitive than the other two mentioned above.  Spartan also offers races for kids which I think is awesome.
     
  • We got our pup by a private sale on our local kijiji site. Other great ways to find a dog would be through your local branch of the Humane Society or an animal rescue organisation. 

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two Responses to "Rule #4: The Needs of the Many Outweigh the Needs of the MOM."

  1. Yvette
    Yvette on 10-01-’13 15:49

    Ahhhhh the Mommy guilt. Everyone who’s given birth knows it well. So glad you’ve found the balance and so proud of you for making 2012 the beginning of the next chapter in your life (pardon the pun!)

  2. Ivor
    Ivor on 15-02-’13 05:30

    I am glad to be one of many visitors on this outstanding internet site (:, appreciate it for putting up.

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