It was just one of those mornings where the kids got ready really well, hubby was going into work late so he could look after our 4 year old, and I did not have to be anywhere in the morning. I decided to make the most of it, by playing netball with my girls before school.
My 8 & 10 year old started netball for the first time this year, and they are loving it.
Their first game in the rain
When we got to school this morning, our daugthers’ friends joined in, and we had enough to play some netball against each other.
It felt good to run around again, thinking strategically, pushing my body to intercept or to create space to get the ball.
Then it hit….
The body that I had neglected for months by not exercising, started to slow down. My arms started moving more than my feet (imagine a stationary windmill! ha!) I started walking more, and to breath heavier.
“How the heck do they keep this pace up the whole game?!” I thought to myself.
As I walked home, I started thinking about what just happened, and how it relates to life.
We do not do anyone any favours, when we push ourselves by being an energiser bunny, being everything to everyone, and then inevitably burning out.
Unfortunately, we often don’t register that things are “too much”, until we burn out…and by then, the effects on us and our family are obvious.
So what do we do?
One way is to learn from the times we burn out. In this netball situation, I would learn that, if I wanted to play a full 15-20mins I would have to play the game differently and pace myself to “my level” of fitness so I could last the whole time.
In our life, we need to ask ourselves, what is too much? What is my limit?
Our limits constantly change.
- Going from no children to one child, one child to two children etc etc etc…..
- the family dynamics: babies, preschool age, primary age, teenagers
- being sleep deprived
- having a super active child
- work, study or church commitments
- etc etc etc!!
All of this means we need to take a look at our expectations – just because we were able to do it all before, does not necessarily mean we can do it all now. We need to listen to the rhythm of our life.
Everyone’s life is different. We need to slow down to our own “level”, not someone elses.
We are no use to our families or anyone else when we burn out.
Another thing that I learned from my netball experience is that if I want to play with high intensity longer, I would need to get my fitness level up. Just doing a little bit towards my fitness and often, would make a huge difference.
Doing a little and often, gives us the advantage in life too. If we plan ahead, and chip away at the things we need to do, we will avoid having to exert huge amounts of effort in one go, and burning ourselves out. This relates to our home (laundry, decluttering etc), our family (small acts often: eg dinners together, reading with them, dates with children) and our other commitments (working on assignments, projects, returning emails way before deadlines!)
And finally, a lesson that all sports people know, and will testify to:
A runner would not run 7 days a week, a body builder would not lift weights every day. If you ask anyone who is heavily committed to their sport, they will tell you how important the concept of rest is in avoiding injury.
So, indulge yourself ladies. Do not feel guilty about YOU time! In fact, it is ESSENTIAL to being a well-balanced and fully functioning mother.