10 TIPS – Juggling kids, work, training and smiling
Mr Ironchick (he’ll hate that title) and I both compete in Ironman triathlons, parent two kids and work – this is the number one question we get asked. How do we juggle working, parenting, training and still smile (hmmmm, not all the time)? In short, I’m not 100% sure we do it successfully, but we give it a shot! Before we start – just check out that photo of me with my two kids. Notice I have a “grip” on my daughter’s dress – a sign of my constant “juggling act”!! 🙂
Firstly, we all JUGGLE. YOU might be juggling the same as me or maybe more! Everyone has a story, struggles, excuses, and reasons not to exercise; YET you do! So how do you do it? We have a few simple rules in our home………
- If we miss a session, it is GONE!
- Family first
- Support network
- One of us is the “priority”
- Wake up early!
- Working keeps life in perspective (and lets you travel to cool races)
- Lead by example
- Smile – it’s your hobbie and your choice!
- REST and RECOVER
- Just turn up & see what you’ve got
#1 If you miss a session, it is gone.
This one is simple. Too often we can get caught up in trying to fit everything in. Some days it works, other days is doesn’t. Obviously, we should aim to fit everything in and most days, however if for whatever reason it doesn’t work – STRESS less – Let it go – It’s gone.
#2 Family First
This is a no brainer. We are ironchicks, managing gurus! No matter what quantifies your “family”, they simply need your love and they should always be first priority. Sometimes they need us a lot, sometimes they don’t. Capitalize on the times when they don’t need you (that is why I run at 4am in the morning)!
#3 Support network
It’s ok to ask for help. If you have a goal set, look around at your support networks. No doubt if you explain what and why you are trying to achieve this goal they will happily help out. My Dad, Poppa, is great at this. One year after an Ironman he actually noted that he enjoys being a part of my journey too. Ask your support networks!!
#4 One of us is the priority
This is a funny one. Over a year, Mr Ironchick and I plan the year and events we wish to participate in. We pick which events are priorities to whom. This person then has priority leading up to the event. Basically, this person then gets pick of the crop for the sessions and the other one supports. It works wonderfully (as long as it is balanced out). ….. That’s a whole other blog J
#5 Wake up early
Waking up early is easier than you think. You’ve probably mastered it already! Getting up early and getting the “job” done means you are less likely to have family/work interruptions that stuff up your plans.
#6 Working keeps life in perspective
That says it all really. Work always keeps me grounded. I guess its just a matter of balancing the right amount of work! Lets face it, the money helps pay for the races and holidays too!!!
#7 Lead by example
An amazing Ironchick gave me some wonderful advice hen I first started back training when the kids were little…… she said, you can either tell your kids to follow their dreams, or you can lead by example. Since I heard that I have let go of any “mother’s guilt” associated with training. SO simple, SO true.
#8 Smile – it’s your hobbie, it’s your choice!
Remember we are doing this for fun. It is sometimes easy to lose yourself in an upcoming event/race (trust me, I’ve been there) that you are always cranky, stressed and probably hard to live with. Relax a little, smile! ENJOY yourself.
#9 Rest and Recover
If you are juggling loads of responsibilities, ensure you give yourself time to rest and recover. It’s crucial that you breathe every now and then and really slow down. Your body will thank you!
#10 Just turn up and see what you’ve got
This is one of my favourite mantras. Often when I’m driving to swimming training I’m yawning, wondering how I will get anything good out of my tired (old) body J But your body can surprise you. Sometimes when you are really STUFFED and you’ve “just turned up” you can bust out amazing things. Being an ironchick is so exciting – you constantly learn new things about your body and what you can do!
Relate to any of those? What do you have to juggle? What strategies do you have to help you juggle your responsibilities? Comment, share and inspire others 🙂