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Abs by Spring!

This is the battle cry my children chanted last night after roughly 45 minutes of alternating between our treadmill and their adolescent calisthenics. I laughed while I made lunches and imagined a nightly family yoga routine (night #1, check.)


They have committed to a three night per week exercise regime, to which they will hold each other accountable. They also performed a truly stirring rendition of "We Don't Talk About Bruno." But, I digress.


Afterwards, of course, I explained to them that the working out was great but while we're talking "abs by spring," we should be talking about a healthy, balanced lifestyle in general. Plenty of exercise and running around but also family game night. Plenty of fruits and vegetables and lean proteins but I also still expect Fifi to make our ice cream sundaes and TVNinja to make us popcorn on movie nights. Needless to say, they were relieved that I included leftover peanut butter chocolate cake in their lunches for Monday (from McKinney Cakes in Montgomery, AL... a family tradition and the best ever...).



Then...we got to Monday. Let's just say I realized around 3 pm that my pants were on inside out (true story) and that was not even close to my most stressful piece of the day.


Balance. As women, and especially as a working mom, or even working spouse, that word is SO loaded. And when I say "loaded," I don't mean like the fun mashed potato bar kind where there is butter and bacon and cheese.


No, I mean, "loaded," as in a pack mule. As in HEAVY. Balance looks like feeling like you are killing the damn game then you make a mistake and everything becomes a second-guessing game.


Am I actually a failure?

I've done this for ten years...Why do I feel so inadequate?

Is this where everyone realizes I don't belong here?

What made me think I could actually DO all of this?



Balance looks like having to have real conversations with your spouse about priorities. Like, missing all but one of your daughter's volleyball matches because her last one was the only one that didn't require you to leave work early. It looks like getting up at 3 am for a 7:30 flight so you can get back home that same night, all to not miss tucking the kids in or a7:30 hospital time the next day. It looks like missing appointments, like scans, or follow ups, because that way you feel like you can "save up" your time out of the office for chemo days or, God forbid, unexpected ER visits. But then you get down to the last pill and have to scramble to get a prescription called in. Or you're so damn tired that you cannot organize your thoughts into a healthy supper menu.


Am I actually a failure?

Does my husband know that I'm thinking of him, even if I couldn't call him all day?

Do my children feel secure in my love for them?

What made me think I could actually DO all of this?


And today? Balance looked like feeling like a misunderstood failure at work, hitting the treadmill to sweat/cry it out, eating takeout brought home by my sweet husband, and now writing all of this out so I can try, and probably fail, to sleep again for the fourth night in a row.


Tomorrow? Hopefully balance looks like energy, clear communication, mutual understandings, and fewer tears (because the chance of tears is never none). Hell, I may even cook supper.

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