Routine is Key …..

As we all know, things are so much easier when we create a routine and stick to it. However, many of us are flying by the seat of our pants despite our best efforts to stay on schedule. Creating a schedule is an elementary idea. Super simple until you have to start squeezing every aspect of your life into those little boxes on a calendar. As you have probably already figured out ……. your family, job, workout routine, child chaffering services, cheerleading, refereeing, dog training, shopping, cleaning, cooking AND sleeping can’t all be squeezed into one little box. It’s a mess. The writing for one box is always encroaching on other boxes. Things are always falling out of MY boxes. In fact, sometimes things are hanging over the edge of the box and then slip out when I am least expecting it, like when I am trying to grab Michael something else that is attempting to JUMP from the box.


Regardless, the schedule is messy and tricky and a total PITA until we get it mastered. So let’s brainstorm a little bit and come up with a few things that can make our lives calendars a bit more manageable!
1) Meal Planning. I really think this is at the top of the list. We, as mom’s, spend a lot of time cooking. We want healthy options for ourselves and any of our little munchkins who will eat the good stuff too, but we are so busy in the afternoon/evenings getting our little angels where they need to go that we come home exhausted at 8pm (or later) and basically collapse. If a meal hasn’t already been planned or started, its pizza again! Yes, again, like we probably already had it once this week. And while nobody in my house complains about pizza, it’s just not a great option nutritionally, or financially, if it is constantly a Plan B. So think about what you want to feed your family BEFORE the week starts. Get together ingredients for a couple crockpot meals if you are gone a lot for after-school activities. Make larger meals so that you can have leftover night & just reheat everyone’s favorite meal of the week. Buy individually wrapped/packaged fish fillets that bake in about 15 minutes for when you are in a hurry but still want something healthy. Don’t be embarrassed about buying the bagged salad because tossing a side salad on the table EVEN WITH PIZZA is better than breadsticks something starchy! Cut the corners where you need to but focus on overall healthy meals that taste good, are quick to prep and make the family happy.


2) Get the run and/or workout out of the way BEFORE the day starts. I know we are all busy. And tired. And busy. Everyone wants to sleep as long as possible. But get out of bed and go do your workout early. This is really the only time for most of us. If it doesn’t happen before the day starts, it’s not going to happen at all because we are too focused on the family to take time back out for us. It’s too easy to decide to clean the house instead of go for a run. Or make a good dinner instead of heating up leftovers. I know. I’m right there with you. So get out of bed and go run or take yourself to the gym before the chaos ensues!

3) Give the kiddos chores. Sounds mean? Not at all, this is about life, responsibility, learning to help others. Divide & conquer the house cleaning, laundry and dishes! Don’t worry if things aren’t perfect and if the towels aren’t folded the way that you like, go read Runners World a book rather than refold those towels!!

4) Divide & Conquer! Don’t be afraid to ask your significant other for help. Some people still live in the dark ages where they think that the women need to do everything. And while your hubby may not be a rockstar house cleaner, laundry fairy or babysitter, LET THEM HELP! Send them to the store so that you can pick up the kids. Text them and ask them to put the laundry in the dryer and to “please” not dry your favorite running tights. LET THEM WATCH THE KIDS whether they like it or not while you run! This is super important ladies. The father of your children are FATHERS. They are partially responsible for your little angles. If you don’t let them help parent the kids, then they will be clueless and that’s on you. I know you are amazing moms. I know that you are superwomen and can do it all.  But sometimes just remember that you don’t have to do it all because you are part of a partnership. And if you are not part of a partnership, I can only hope that you have an amazing mother, BFF, sister or a network of women to help you because running a household while staying sane is not easy.

5) Be flexible and schedule in downtime! A schedule is only as good as the people using it. Realize that nothing is ever perfect. Nobody is perfect. Life isn’t perfect. And takeout pizza isn’t going to kill the family when you forget to turn on the crockpot before you leave for work if things go awry. Do your best to plan things out, use all your resources to balance the workload as much as possible but understand that shit things happen and be ready to roll with it when it arrives. That’s the secret to a busy schedule: flexibility. I also think its super important to have downtime. I try to keep Sunday’s open. No I don’t like Sunday birthday parties or movie dates or shopping trips. I want to stay home on Sunday and not do anything. I’ll probably be tackling my long run before the sun comes up but after that I’m showering, putting my jammies back on, making a big breakfast for the family and then hopefully finding my way to the recliner to watch movies or read. That’s it. I bust my butt all week in hopes for some downtime on Sunday.

Do you have any scheduling tips OR maybe the secret to end the chaos? If so, PLEASE tell us!!

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** Finding My Routine ** Amanda – TooTallFritz **

Stealing Time…..

I frequently find that I do not have enough hours in the day to get done what I want and what needs to be done.  Therefore, I am always stealing time from somewhere.  I steal time from the sleep column to run.  I steal time from work to run or swim.  I steal time from my commute by driving verses taking the train so that I can squeeze in a longer run.  I steal time from my family by requesting hubby to do the daycare pickup so that I can squeeze in a run, swim or bike……  Or I sneak out of the house in the early mornings on the weekends to put away some miles before the family is really awake and “active”.  There is never enough time but you make time, or steal it if you must, to squeeze in what is important to you.  Fitness is either important or it’s not. 

Wednesdays are my biggest “time” stealing days.  I not only leave work a few minutes early, but I also drive to steal time from my commute, plus hubby does daycare pick up and manages the kids for an hour after he gets home.  I love my Wednesday runs, they are my favorite part of the week.  It is not normal for me to get out for a group run during the week but I have made it a priority on Wednesday’s and the family has flexed to make it happen each and every week.  Thank you, Family!  I normally am able to squeeze in 10 miles on Wednesday nights and that really makes my week.  I don’t run daily, usually only 3 or 4 days a week, so when I get out I try to make it count.

It’s not easy, you have to make the effort to get in the things that matter to you.  How do you steal time from your life to get in those “extra” things to really make it count?

Happy Running,                                                                                                           Amanda – TooTallFritz

No Cheerleaders on the Homefront?

I am constantly reading blogs and/or facebook posts about how people are so lucky, and so in love with live, and how everyone at home is sooooo supportive of them and their endeavors.  Well, let’s get real for a minute.  I generally think the people posting over and over again that “Life is sooooo GOOD!” are lying wistful thinkers.  I immediately think they are trying to convince us, the reader, that their life is in fact as good as they would like it to be or possibly even more so, they are trying to convince themselves.  Please forgive me if your life really is “Soooooo Good!”.  Congratulations.  Really.  I am happy for you.    Cheers to all of your Sunshine & Rainbows!Life for the rest of us isn’t “always” sunny.  In fact, we sometimes (gasp) struggle.  We struggle with motivation, we struggle with our needs vs desires, we struggle with time management, we struggle with $$, we struggle maintaining sanity and not taking out our frustrations on others, we struggle with MAKING IT HAPPEN, we struggle with the fact that our hubby’s aren’t standing on the sidelines of every long run with the pom-poms.  Our lives are REAL and sometimes that means real complicated.  And messy. 

I’m okay with that.  I don’t expect you to be perfect and please, don’t expect it of me or others in your life.  Know that it’s okay if your life doesn’t look as good on paper as your neighbors.  Know that it’s okay if you have to struggle to MAKE IT HAPPEN.   The important thing is that you are out there making the effort and trying.  Yesterday may not have been the best but focus on making today better.  And know that each day you get  a fresh start to do things differently than you did yesterday. 

I encourage you to thank the Lord for the gifts you have been given.  I encourage you to acknowledge and accept that we are all different, have different lives and different circumstances.  I encourage you to Make It Happen FOR YOU, regardless of who is in your cheering section. 

Cheers,                                                                                                                               Amanda – TooTallFritz                                                                    

I Don’t Have Time……

Time…..that is the issue.  Each of us struggles with the time management issue on a daily basis.  What do you have time for in your life?  Or more importantly, let’s just be honest, what do you MAKE time for in your life?

No time for workouts?  No time for reading?  No time to take care of yourself?  No time to cook healthy for your family?  No time to blog?  No time to keep up on Facebook?  No time to clean your house?  No time to play with your kids?  No time to sit and smell the roses?  Well, what DID you have time to do today?

I think moderation is key but I must admit that I try to fit in as much as I can each and every day.  I don’t have time for everything, and I screw mess things up a lot, but I do what I can.  I feel as if each day I am living on borrowed time.  The clock is ticking.  Time is running out. 

Please forgive me if I sometimes seem distracted.  Please forgive me if I appear to be rushing.  Please forgive me if I am tired because I was working, or cuddling my baby, while you were sleeping.  Some days there are things I must do, things which may not be important to you but matter to me.  I strongly urge you to think for a minute and figure out what you must to do today?  What needs to be done tomorrow?  Please figure out what is really important.  I guarantee that if it is REALLY important, then you will make the time.  No more excuses.  No more “next year”.  Make It Happen.  For you.  For your family.  For your life.  There is always someone willing to help you get where you are going.  It’s okay to be unsure, or not fully understand the where/why/how, just know that somebody will be there to carry you when you need it.  Now make some time for yourself.  Get your shit together.  Get healthy, or stick to your current routine to stay healthy, so that you can be there to carry somebody else when they need you.  If you are bored and tired of what you are doing, stop bitching change it and make time to make a difference.

Amanda – TooTallFritz