Friday, 17 February 2012

Five - Can I really plan to do this with a 13 month-old, a job, a husband, a house, cats, a garden, ... ?

Being a mum is incredibly busy. I underestimated this. And, being a mum who works is even harder. Therefore, how can a working mum squeeze any time into her hectic schedule for herself? Especially to ride a bike?

I have to try. For my own sanity!

At the end of the day, I am usually whacked. I don't even know why, sometimes. And, ironically, I am more whacked after a day with Willow than a day at work - and, I work with teenagers, trying to get them GCSEs and A-Levels in English, which is whacking in itself.

Once Willow is in bed, I could easily fill these hours with housework, meal-planning or work - perhaps, I should do. But I can just as easily fill these hours with nothing. It's because of my being tired from the day, that I need to be organised. I so want to be fit and healthy again; and, I so want to feel good riding my bike again, but I won't go out on my bike unless I plan for it. A plan takes away the thinking and the thinking is where my struggles lie - I can so easily talk myself onto my sofa.

Anyway, if I look at this objectively, this training lark doesn’t actually ask for much.

I have worked out what I can do: an hour after 7pm on a Monday, Wednesday and Thursday. Tuesdays are difficult, because I have to plan and mark and prep for work at some point! And Fridays, I am not training then! No way! I can do two hours on a Saturday and/or a Sunday. Not quite the quota of an elite cyclist but more than enough for a working mum. And, ironically, it still exceeds the governmental guidelines of 30 minutes every day, by a little bit – where on earth do they get those figures? Not from working mums, clearly. Nor, mums to newborns, definitely!

That is 7 hours, out of 7 x 24 hours (yes, I teach English, my brain won’t calculate that.) That isn’t that much. I can train after Willow has gone to bed and still be sat down for 9pm.

I can do this.

My difficulty comes with my disorganisation. I'm a free-spirit, but governed by lists. That translates as being so disorganised that I need a step-by-step plan for my day. If I don't write down my tasks, I even forget to put on my washing! Can you believe that once upon a time, I lived by colour-coding anality? Everything I needed to do was done yesterday. I actually approached motherhood this way, initially; taking advice from Gina Ford, only to find out that Willow hadn't read anything by her so didn't really play her role properly. Motherhood demands flexibility and lots of it.

But, being a mum demands organisation too - regularity is good for Willow and me. If I want to be my fit self again and if I want her to brought up in a household that respects activity, I need to give it respect and plan riding my bike into my life, again. It is important that I make this a regular and consistent thing for my mind and my body: I have to get used to regular exercise, again. I have to give myself, regular me-time, again.

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