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Days 17: Parenting is hard

This week was rough. Little kid was sick, and I struggled with staying home with him.

Parenting is hard.

I began writing this post yesterday, but I struggled with how much I wanted to write about the ups and downs of parenting. This blog is supposed to be about my step challenge, not the feelings of guilt I live with because I’m not the mom I’d hoped to be. But, the thing is, they are connected, aren’t they? Whether or not I am able to hit 15,000 steps each day for a year has everything to do with how I live my day-to-day life and the choices I make. And my family has a significant impact on those choices.

I love my children with all my heart – I’d give my life for them. They make me smile, bring me joy, and fill my days with love – I don’t know how to live without them, but truthfully, I don’t always like them. I don’t always have fun with them. I don’t always want to spend every waking moment interacting with them. Sometimes, I just need a little time to myself.

Now, I know taking time for myself is ok and I know it makes me a much better parent. The quality of our time together is significantly better when I’ve had some alone time. Without it, I’m less patient, more distracted, and much more tired and stressed. Living as a martyr mom isn’t good for the kids, my husband, or myself, but that doesn’t make me feel any less guilty about needing that time.

I read somewhere that the days are long, but the years are short. Difficult weeks like these seem endless when they’re happening, but then you wake up one morning and your babies are all grown, and you find yourself mourning for all of the time you missed out on with them. I don’t know if I’ll ever manage to get rid of my mommy guilt. I can’t change the past, but I can do my best to do better in the future. Today is a new day, and with it come new opportunities to make memories, work towards goals, and walk a lot of steps. I’m ready for it.

Happy Sunday!

Current step total: 633

Current step goal streak: 4 days 
Previous step goal streak: 1 day 
Longest step goal streak: 6 days

 

 

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Day 11: Hello Monday!

It’s Monday.

I used to hate Mondays. I mean, I’ve always liked the idea of a new week and a fresh start, but since they’ve usually coincided with the first day of my work week, I’ve kinda sorta dreaded them. Now that I work from home, I actually really enjoy Mondays. I don’t schedule any work – instead I take the day to get organized for the work week, run errands, and do things around the house, like clean and meal plan.

Unfortunately, Mondays have been a tad off since we returned from vacation. The big kid is on summer break, and I’ve cut back on my workload to spend more time with her and the little kid. I’ve been trying to continue to make the most of my Mondays, but it’s been hard. I’ve been struggling a lot to get back into my routine, and without my routine, I just feel… chaotic? All over the place?

The reminders I set yesterday seemed to help a bit with ensuring I stayed on top of my step count. Although I missed a couple when they went off, I did see a few of them – and something is better than nothing. Although I didn’t hit my step goal until later in the evening, I was close to 15,000 steps several hours earlier than usual. I’m pretty sure I have the reminders to thank for that, especially considering the eventful day we had yesterday. Little kid developed a fever and the big kid got tossed off her pony during her riding lesson. She’s fine – she brushed herself off and fortunately walked away from it with nothing more than a small bruise, but it was scary, to say the least.

I understand I’ll be limited in what I can do today with a sick kid at home, but there’s still a lot I can do. For example, I can set some goals for the week. I haven’t been very consistent with logging my meals, and I doubt my eating habits have changed at all, but my weight’s dipped again a couple of pounds since Friday. I’m sure it’s just water weight, but I’m going to try to do better at logging all of my meals this week, just to see how much I’m eating on average each day.

I also really need to work on getting my sleep schedule back on track. My ADHD makes it difficult for me to fall asleep. If I don’t manage it, I can be up all night just staring at the ceiling and setting myself up for failure the next day. If I don’t get enough sleep, I can’t get up on time in the morning, which throws off my morning routine and entire day. Also, if I manage to get up on time and try to function on little sleep, my medication becomes basically ineffective, and I spend the day walking around in a fog, eating everything in sight, and getting little to nothing done.

I didn’t get nearly enough sleep last night and skipped my morning routine, but I’m going to do my best to fight the fog and turn my day around. Hopefully, little kid will feel better soon and I’ll be able to take him on a short run with the jogging stroller while the big kid rides her bike. He woke up pretty happy and energetic, so it seems like my chances are pretty good.

Have a happy Monday!

Current step total: 2,707

Current step goal streak: 1 day 
Previous step goal streak: 1 day 
Longest step goal streak: 6 days 

 

 

Day 10: Obstacles

As with any goal in life, we’ll likely have to face obstacles in order to accomplish them. They could be real-world obstacles like money, time, or qualifications – or they could be mental, like a lack of motivation or knowledge. They could also be emotional, like fear, insecurity, or a lack of support. The best way to increase our chances of overcoming these obstacles is to name them and plan for them.

In this challenge, I’ve already faced two obstacles that have managed to almost derail my progress a few times and successfully led me to failure once; and we’re only midway through week 2. I obviously failed to plan for them ahead of time.

My obstacles:

  1. Losing sight of my goal and forgetting about my steps.
  2. Waiting until the last minute to get my steps in (usually because of obstacle #1 above).

So the question is: how do I work around these to avoid failing again?

These are actually pretty challenging for me because of the whole ADHD thing. I know I have to do better about remembering to take my medication, but medication doesn’t fix everything, so I need to come up with other solutions. The obvious course of action is to set reminders in my phone to go off periodically and remind me to check my current step total and walk. I can also set a daily 6:00 pm deadline for hitting my step goal, to hopefully avoid any future after-dinner distractions. The problem is, I have a tendency to ignore reminders on my phone. But, since I can’t really think of any other options at the moment, I’ll have to go with the reminders and see what happens. Here we go!

Current step count: 868

Current step goal streak: 0 days 
Previous step goal streak: 1 day
Longest step goal streak: 6 days

 

Day 2: What was I thinking?

My decision to start this challenge yesterday was not very well thought out. It was around 4:00 pm when I published my post and I had barely cleared 4,000 steps by that time. So yeah, there I was, sitting in front of my computer with only a few hours to go and almost 11,000 steps left to take.

The easiest thing to do to quickly rack up some steps would have been to go for a run, but with my husband working late, I was on my own with the kiddos. Granted, I could have put the little one in the jogging stroller and let the bigger one ride her bike; but the jogging stroller has this almost magic ability to put the little one to sleep and at 4:00 pm, there was no way I was going to let him take a nap – there’d be hell to pay at bedtime. I decided to take them to the park instead, and while they played, I walked laps around the jungle gym. Unfortunately, that only added about 2,000 steps to my total. I seriously considered throwing in the towel at that point, but failing on day 1? I just wasn’t ready to give up yet.

Back at home, I did everything I could to keep moving. I took extra trips upstairs to put things away, paced around my living room, and took the dog for an extra long walk. By the time the kids were fed, bathed, and in bed, I had somehow cleared 11,000 steps. With 4,000 steps to go and less than three hours until midnight, I did the only thing I could think of: I walked laps around my living room for almost a full hour. Ridiculous? Yes; but effective. I hit my goal of 15,000 steps! Woo hoo!

Today I figured I’d start with some “before” stats to track any progress I might make over the next 365 days. I love tracking stats. My desk and computer are littered with half-used charts and spreadsheets I’ve created over the years to chart my progress. During our most recent move, I managed to locate and consolidate a bunch of old stats on a master spreadsheet of sorts. I have measurements dating all the way back to 2011! It’s fascinating to see how they’ve changed, and not-changed, over the years.

As I weighed myself and took my measurements this morning, I thought about which stats to share on this blog and how often to update them. Weight alone doesn’t tell the whole picture, but I’m not courageous enough to share any “before” photos. I also haven’t really given much thought to any goals I may have or any other changes I might make, other than hitting that magic number of 15,000 every day. So, these stats are really just a fun experiment at the moment – numbers to watch and see if they change at all as a result of this new challenge. I decided on sharing the stats further below and updating them weekly on Monday mornings.

And with that, I’m off to eat some breakfast and get some steps in. Happy Saturday!

"Before" Stats
Height: 60 inches 
Weight: 131.2 lbs 
Measurements (in inches):
Bicep 10.75
Chest 35
Waist 31
Hips 37
Thigh 22
Calf 14

 

 

 

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