In motherhood, like in marathon training, consistency is important. Having an established schedule, fitting in all the pieces you need to fit in, and finding the craved balance between work and play and learning and rest.
Rest. More than any other aspect of my training, resting is what I struggle with the most. Only after I've done my intervals, pace work, cross-training in the pool and on the bike (tri season is approaching, afterall) and clocked my long run, will I allow myself to have a rest day. If I still have things unfinished, speed workouts un-run, hills un-climbed, then I feel like there's a little stress ball sitting on my shoulder and chiming in my ear all day, "You know you still need to...."
The same is true with my children and home life. There are meals to be prepared, minds to be schooled, parks to be played on, books to be read, laundry (mountains worth!) to be done, and dishes to be washed.
Last week, some horrible decisions were made in my home. The dog, after rolling in the mud (followed by the dead grass) decided to sit on my white couch. Thomas, armed with a sword and Hulk-hand, decided to thwack his sister with all his might. Anna decided she'd learned enough math to suffice for the rest of her adult-life and then decided to throw an all-out fit to let the world know of her decision. And Lily, sweet Lily, decided she would spend the morning sitting on the floor (next to the newly muddied couch) and scream....and scream....and scream.
It was in the midst of this noise and mess and chaos in the living room, that I declared a Rest day for the Watson clan. The little stress ball, attempting to protest, said, "But you still need to.....and they still need to...."
"No." I calmly (can you believe I stayed calm through all of this?)said. "Today, we will rest."
It was a lesson learned the hard way, but it was a lesson learned none-the-less.