Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Pace Yourself!

Photo by Mike Baird

Have you ever tried to do Level 2 of the Jillian Michaels' 30 Day Shred, clean half your house, make a healthy lunch and dinner pretty much from scratch, do three loads of laundry, and weed the bulk of your garden all in one day?

I don’t recommend it.

You, if you are like me, will find yourself on your couch at 7:00 on Friday night, unable and unwilling to move.

That’s why it’s important to learn to pace ourselves.

I think we all too often, and easily, think we are capable of doing more than we are capable of. We feel like, if we feel good, we might as well just keep on truckin’. But learning when to call it quits is a very valuable skill indeed.

For those of us with young children, training and correction eat up a big part of our day (can I get an amen?!). They really do. If we are also trying to make meals from scratch, garden, keep the house clean, and perhaps even homeschool, it’s no wonder we’re going to feel burnt out.

I don’t have anything against cooking, gardening, cleaning, or homeschooling—in fact, I’m all for them. I’m just trying to say we shouldn’t try to do them all in the same day. But if we do, we shouldn’t wonder why it feels so hard sometimes. Because it is hard sometimes.

A marathon runner learns the importance of pacing—not too fast in the beginning or one’s energy and endurance will be lost. Just a steady pace, with a pick-up toward the end. Likewise, on a day where we’re doing some bulk cooking, or cooking a lot of things from scratch, let that be the big thing for the day. Don’t try to bake bread in the morning and tortillas for lunch, and then put together a gourmet dinner, while also washing sheets, and towels, and curtains, and refereering kids all day. Whew! Pace yourself.

Even if you feel like you can handle it all, try to refrain yourself. At the end of the day, you’ll be glad you did, and you’ll have more endurance for dealing with all the “unexpecteds” that pop up in the course of a day as mom.

So, as much as possible, try to spread your tasks throughout the week: a little here and a little there. If you do have to have a big day for something, make that your one thing that day. Do very little else. And remember, a day of much discipline for children is a big thing. It will take most of your effort. I think we forget that, and we wonder why we end up crabby.

Pace yourself.

(linked to Works for Me Wednesday).


  1. It is hard sometimes. Thank you so very much for posting this reminder. I do so much better when I stick to trying to accomplish a reasonable amount. Too often, I try to be super mom.

  2. Great post, it's so true.

    I found you on WFMW :)

  3. So true! I think sometimes we think we need to get it all done in one day. I just read a post a couple days ago about "How To Eat An Elephant" and we do it piece by piece. You can't do it all at one time! Thank you for the reminder that I'm not invincible and Superwoman. LOL! :D

  4. What a great reminder...thank you!

  5. Amen!!! This is advice I cannot hear too often. I have a full-time job and constantly over-estimate how much I can get done in the hours that I am at home.

    One thing that has helped me is making a day-by-day to-do list for the week. I put even very small tasks on it (like using the weekly cleaner for my contacts) so that I can check them off and feel a sense of accomplishment! And when I am having a tantrum about WHY CAN'T I EVER GET ANYTHING DONE?!?! then I can look at my list and remind myself that I did too get some things done.