What do you ladies think of “me time”? I know there are certain degrees to this idea from the necessity (take a shower, do a workout) to the frivolous (girl’s night out weekly.) My husband *wants* me to work out, lose weight, be healthy, but I really just don’t have the time, or ability to set aside 3 or more times a week just to work out. How do I support my husband as a helpmeet, put my goals as a Mother to my 4 blessings first, but still find the time to meet weight loss and health goals? We did consider a treadmill at one point, but there is no room in our cramped home.
If exercise is important to you and your husband, I don’t think it counts as “me time.” This is not a case of wanting to pamper yourself; this is a matter of being a good steward of the body God has given you, one that bears His own image. You are also honoring your husband’s wishes, and in encouraging you he is working to protect you and your health. These are all good goals!
When it comes to making time for a workout, I know it’s hard, but sometimes you just have to do it. I don’t always find time for the things I ought to do, but I usually find time for the things I really want to do. That’s a harsh way to put it, and I hope you’ll understand that I’m saying it tongue in cheek, but it’s also true more often than I’d like to admit.
There are three actions that help me to fit something important into my schedule:
- As I said, just do it. Other things will get pushed later than I wanted or put off until another day, but that often happens due to circumstances outside my control anyway. At least in this case, it’s for a good reason.
- Take time to write it into my schedule. I’m terrible at following a schedule, but I know I’ll never hit the target if I don’t even know where to aim. A schedule shows me where I can plausibly fit a workout into my day, and gives me the freedom to do it without guilt even when I haven’t done everything else I should have done today.
- If I truly feel I can’t fit a workout into my day, I can talk to my husband about priorities. Together we can decide where I can and should spend less time so that I have time to exercise. Maybe I’m carrying a burden that isn’t important to my family, and I can free up some time by dropping another activity.
Another thing to consider is that exercise can include the kids, and it’s just as good for them as it is for you. This may slow you down and make it more difficult to stick with a routine, but it may be the best you can do. You do some great workouts using only your own bodyweight. Babies and toddlers love to be hoisted instead of weights for many exercises, and my little ones can do a mean push-up! When I had only little ones, I used to pile 3 in a double stroller, put the baby in a carrier, and take a walk. Now that was a workout!
There are lots of options that require no extra money or equipment, and some of them keep your kids occupied while you exercise.
How do you teach respect for personal property and others things? And how would you handle an older child who doesn’t show enough responsibility to play with age appropriate toys, but plays too rough and inappropriately with younger toys? We have a 7yo who we’ve been struggling with this for awhile…he is the oldest of four. He has scratched designs into his desk, his bunk bed and dresser with various objects, I found gum stuck in the back of the van where he sits, he used to have a car organizer in the van with activities to do but wouldn’t keep them picked up and put away so I removed it, just to mention a few things. His younger brothers are 3 and under so they play with toddler toys, which is what he usually ends up playing with too because he is soooo irresponsible with older kid toys like legos and marbles. He leaves them lying around when asked to pick them up and puts things in the wrong place when they are found later. I don’t think he is overprivileged and is hardly ever left unattended. Today I sat in the back of the van and found that he had colored with crayon on the back of the seat and wall!!!! He said “I didn’t think before I did it” We’ve talked numerous times about respecting other people’s property and taking care of the things that are yours….but honestly it seems like every word I say goes in one ear and out the other.
Have you ever heard the saying, “This is why we can’t have nice things”? Well, that learning curve during the childrearing years is the reason. Those people you birthed will be kids for a long time before they are adults, and the Bible says that foolishness is wrapped up in the heart of a child.
Seriously, teaching kids to respect property and take care of possessions is a long process, and most of the teachable moments come right after you discover another instance of wanton destruction. I don’t think the examples you give are out of the ordinary for a 7yo, especially for an oldest child. He doesn’t have the advantage of hearing you correct others for all the things that foolish little kids will do; he is the trailblazer, trying each new idea as it occurs to him. His younger siblings might learn a little faster just because they have witnessed the aftermath as he tried all the dumb ideas himself. Most of the problems you listed sound like immaturity, and it’s simply going to take time for your son to develop better judgment. I’ve heard it often happens a little later for boys than girls. In the meantime, God is building your patience.
You’re not alone in your frustration, waiting for your son to use the brain God gave him. Bill Cosby observed a similar phenomenon.
I could add a few stories if it makes you feel better. There’s the one about crayons in the back seat of the rental car…A child’s name scratched with a rock into the side of a mini-van…Helpful children knocking ice off Dad’s car with a hammer…unauthorized haircuts, clothing alterations, dangerous stunts that I have blocked from memory, etc. Not every child will try everything, but if you have a large family you can bet they’ll do a fair job of covering all the bases over time.
I’m not excusing foolish behavior in children; I’m only saying that we shouldn’t despair. We need to correct them gently but firmly, doing our best to differentiate between sin and immaturity. Sometimes they really do know better, and sometimes they really don’t – even though we think they should.