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It’s a battle getting out the door.
“I don’t want to go” Brianna says because I just shut off the TV. Addison says “shoes, shoes, shoes” and runs to grab them because she’s excited. About the same time the dog realizes he hears the word “walk” and starts whining excitedly like a tea kettle that’s boiling and starts stepping all over everyone. “Come on Brianna, you gotta go potty before we go” I say trying to rally her, “the sun is finally shining and it’s warm out (40 degrees but anything is better than this winter!) “I’m not going!” she says. “Yes, you are, it’ll be fun, we’ll look for more rocks.” That usually helps spark her interest a little. Mostly, it’s not about the fact that Brianna hates walks, she just doesn’t like it when I suggest something that’s interrupting what she deems more important or more fun at that moment. I’ve totally relaxed my TV rules a little bit since she gave up her nap, so she had ample “down time” after school. Potty, shoes, jackets, a leash for the dog and 20 minutes later, we’re finally good to go! Not so fast, “Mom, it’s soo bright out” Brianna says. Damn it. Forgot the sunglasses and everyone’s already outside. I tell them not to move an inch and run inside and grab them before the tears start flowing. We get a few steps, about to round the corner, I think we’re in the clear and Addison decides she’s not going to walk anywhere. Her favorite word is “No!” right now. At a year and a half, she’s full of new words and has started stringing them together and I’m so proud of her. But wow, she is one stubborn girl. She just stares at the road and I’m forced to give her a second. What choice do I have? I’ve got her hand in mine, the dog on a leash and Brianna getting a little too far ahead for my comfort! Deep breath, deep breath, deep breath! I entice her by telling her we need to go look for the doggy she loves to talk to around the block! Phew, first crisis averted. There’s puddle jumping, and rock hunting (for their rock garden in the backyard) and now the dog needs to do his business. Tricky. I try to focus on the birds chirping, but we’re moving at a snails pace and trying to keep up with Brianna. I don’t blame her, she’s excited now that she’s out and about and forgot all about the TV I shut off.
It takes us a long time, and we don’t get very far, but it’s important to me that my children get fresh air and exercise, even if at this point it seems like more trouble than it’s worth.
The next day, I penciled in a walk, alone. I had a few minutes after I got my work done and before I picked up Brianna from preschool. I heard the birds chirping, let my mind wander and took a lot of deep breaths. Fresh air and sunshine is like free therapy to me! I feel better after only 20 minutes! I know how challenging it can be to carve out some time for yourself, but when you get the opportunity, seize it! There’s always a “to-do” list, but there isn’t always sunshine or an opportunity to get some “me time”. Do it when you can, as often as you can. It’s easy to put yourself on the back burner when you have kids, but when mama is happy, isn’t everyone else happier?!