I’ve slipped back into a pattern where I’m hardly spending any one-on-one time with the kids.
And I realize that it’s a little more difficult for me to do that with each kid on a regular basis than it may be for a family with one or two kids.
But it’s still possible.
I’m in kind of a time crunch right now.
There is never enough time in the day, but right now it’s worse than usual.
I’m writing the blog, running two e-courses, starting a new business — have you booked your wine tasting yet?, coaching the swim team, I’ve got Not Your Average Weekend in 4 weeks, my first speaking engagement at the Brookfield Library in less than two weeks and I haven’t even started working on what the hell I’m going to say for that, and now I’m training for the Boston Marathon (and I need to raise $5000 for Swim Across America in order to do that).
And then there are the kids.
So anyway, I feel like all I do lately is push the kids off on my mom and my dad or my husband or each other. Or the iPad.
Not right now has become my catch phrase.
Which pretty much means not right now, not later, and probably never.
I was cleaning out my office the other day and I came across Number 3’s baby book and a bunch of old pictures of the kids.
They were so little.
And a couple weeks ago at practice, a mom of one of the swimmers was there with her tiny little eight-week old baby.
That appreciate this stage now because time goes by so quickly cliché ran through my head.
I will never give birth to another baby.
I’m done with that phase.
And all the other phases are flying past me.
I’m letting them.
So I want to change that.
I run three e-courses.
The first one is called Not Your Average Fitness Course, Phase 1: Sweat and Glow.
Its goal is to get you to incorporate some kind of exercise into your daily routine.
The second e-course is called Not Your Average Fitness Course, Phase II: Nourish.
That one focuses on exercise and food.
On changing some eating habits or other habits so that you can really nourish your body.
And the third e-course is called Not Your Average Fitness Course, Phase III: Balance.
The goal of that one is to create balance in your life where you are able to incorporate exercise, nourishment, down time, and connection into every day.
This past week in Phase III we’ve been focusing on connecting with family members.
And kids, in particular.
And here I am again, advising other people how to maintain a little balance, but totally not doing it myself.
So I wanted to put it out there.
And share my plan with anyone who may be feeling like they are in the same situation with their kids.
I know I have 5 minutes in each day for each kid.
That’s only 35 minutes. Each day.
I can find time for that.
I’m just not making it.
Because I am making time for Scandal.
And clearly if I can do that, I can spare just 5 minutes a day for each kid.
I gave this assignment to the members of my Phase III course this week:
Sit down with one of your children.
Make a list of things you’d like to do with him/her and things he/she would like to do with you that would take about 5 minutes.
Then make another list.
This time of things you’d like to do with each other that would take an hour or less.
Finally, make a list of things you’d like to do together that would take half a day or a whole day.
They will repeat this with all their children.
And then my goal is for each person to do one of those 5 minute things with each kid each day, one of the one hour things every other week, and one of the whole/half days things every 3 months.
The key will be to schedule it in.
In all the phases of my e-courses I’m big on the participants getting workout buddies. On scheduling times each week to workout with them.
It helps to keep everyone accountable. It makes it much more difficult to blow off a workout if you’ve made plans to exercise with someone.
I’m going to do the same thing with my kids.
I’m going to sit down and schedule times each day with them.
Minutes with Mom.
Make appointments with them.
God knows they won’t let me forget, and they will hold me accountable more than any workout buddy will.
And then, in another four years when I clean out the office again and I find a bunch of pictures from 2015, I’ll still say, Wow, that went really fucking fast.
But at least I won’t look back on this time with regret.
There will be more Not Your Average Weekends.
There will be more e-courses and blogs and presentations at the library.
But there aren’t going to be any more childhoods.