Sweat Out The Emotion & Get Some Clarity

Posted: March 17, 2011 at 6:41 pm

This week I have started trying something new with my workout schedule. I quickly learned how much I prefer running outdoors. Problem? I need someone to watch the kiddos for that to happen. Solution? Going in the afternoon. You may recall how much I hated afternoon workouts before because I felt I lost the entire evening. Luckily, I have found a way to make it work with running.

Now, I go to the gym in the morning for my weights workout, then go out for a quick 30 minute run in the afternoon. It works out quite nicely because I get to run outside and still have time for la familia in the afternoon. Win-win-win. I used this method on Tuesday to head to the gym for a quick full body weights workout in the morning:

Step Ups Legs 3x12
Barbell Bench Press Chest 3x10
Leg Extension Legs 3x12
Assisted Pull-Ups Back 3x10
Side Lateral Raises Shoulders 3x10
Dumbbell Hammer Curls Biceps 3x12

In-out-done in under 40 minutes, including a quick warm-up/cool-down on the elliptical. And I still felt great for my run that afternoon.

Today, I got my weights done in the morning again. This time, I resorted to an old favorite from the past year. Group Power! (<---my gym’s version of Bodypump) I normally like doing my own thing for weights, but it was nice to mix it up with the class.

After class, I came home craving a simple breakfast. Plain old cereal sounded perfect this morning. I nabbed some Cheerios and then spruced them up with chopped up Cinnamon Roasted Almonds and blueberries.

cereal1 cereal2

Who says you need to spend money on overpriced and oversugared fruit and nut cluster cereals? Fruit, nuts, and Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Breeze are all you need to make plain cereal taste special.

cinroastalmonds vanalmondbreeze

The rest of the day went along as normal (thank goodness!) and before I knew it, it was time to head out for my run. I especially looked forward to my run today. Why? Well, two reasons. A – fine company to come out with me.

3 17 run1

Even though they weren’t with me while I ran, I still loved having my family there because we could walk and just enjoy the outdoors together before and after my run. It ended up being a nice little afternoon.

And the second reason I looked forward to the run? I had some thinking to do. What better time to relieve some stress and sort through my thoughts than during a run?

thinkingtina happytina

The past couple of weeks have presented some motherhood challenges. Nothing major, but I have found myself questioning whether or not I’m a good mother on practically a daily basis. It all stems from Makenzie suddenly acting out a lot more and many times I feel like the one to blame. For not giving her enough attention. For not having enough patience. For not catering to her and doing whatever I can to make every day something exciting and fun for her.

Lately I get this feeling that Makenzie doesn’t feel the same devotion that she used to from me and I feel guilty. I feel like I constantly try to find ways to do more for my family and less for myself. Then I feel guilty when it reaches a point that I refuse to give up some parts of myself – like working out or writing this blog. I had to think all this through on my run today. Basically, I needed to sweat away the emotions to see the reality.


It’s okay to still have passions and care for myself because I DO balance them and keep my family first. I spend on average an hour a day working out, which is not going to make my family fall apart. And I include my family if at all possible. I save any and all blogging for naptime and, over the past couple of months, have really cut back on putting so much time and energy into the blog. 

I am a good mom. I work hard to balance my life, yet always put them first. It’s likely why some days I end up feeling so run down after living so fully for someone else. Actually, make that THREE someone elses. Makenzie is not acting out more because I don’t show I love her.She is acting out because now I have two children to love so fully and she is having to adjust. Sure, I have my rough days where I could have a bit more compassion, but she still knows I love her. This all will pass with time. Until then, I will get through it. With some outdoor runs to help along the way. 😉

mkisses mlove

Question of the Day – Where do you find the hardest time finding balance?

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72 Comments to “Sweat Out The Emotion & Get Some Clarity”
  1. Jess says:

    You are so right Tina, as usual, and on many fronts. 1 – running outside is awesome! 2 – it usually gives me my best thinking time to sort out whatever is bugging me. and 3 – you are amazing. as a mom. as a wife. as a friend. as a blogger. Don’t ever forget it or doubt it.

  2. Angela says:

    Great workout Tina! I’m the same – I usually like to do my own thing but once in a while I’ll do Body Pump to mix up my strength training routine. I have the hardest time finding balance when there’s something that’s taking a lot of my mental efforts (like work) – I want to focus on it until it’s done, but it often comes with the sacrifice of other things like not spending enough time with friends and family, or lack of sleep.

  3. Lee says:

    I can tell just by what you write that you are a great mother!

  4. It’s so hard for me to balance a full time job with full time blogging an church planting…it works but it’s stressful! Exercise us one of the best relievers for that though 🙂

  5. Kacy says:

    Running really is the best time to sort through stuff. I’m having a hard time finding the balance between staking my own claim and going for my dreams and being here for my family (parents, I have no chirrens haha) at the same time. Obviously I can’t do both and I know they want the best for me, but sometimes it’s hard.
    You are a GREAT mother. You radiate love for them and they are so blessed to have you.

  6. Sometimes I just feel like I am trying to do too much and accomplish too much in too short amount of time. But I don’t think anyone on earth really has everything “in balance” — it just doesn’t work that way. But you do the best you can and you put most of your effort/time into what is most important.

    My head always feels so clear after a run!

  7. What a great workout! So glad you were able to get out and run, and get rid of some stress relief. (and crazy thoughts that you’re not an AMAZING mother- those thoughts are CRAZY 🙂 ). I hope you have a great night, and a great weekend!

  8. Marie says:

    boo I wish i had been able to make it to that group power class, alas the boys dr appt’s come first. that penny is still in there somewhere! And its hard for everyone to adjust to a new person in the household especially the little ones, soon they will be laughing, fighting and playing together and you will become less important. So sad I know!

  9. Danica says:

    You’re a wonderful mother, and you’re setting such a great example for your children by taking good care of yourself, too!

  10. Rebecca says:

    One of the most important lessons my mom taught me was that it’s important to take care of yourself, both health-wise and mentally. Showing your children healthy habits is one of the greatest gifts you could ever bestow on them! Props to you for doing so!

    • Tina says:

      Thank you for this. That puts it in a great perspective that even when I’m doing things for myself I’m still teaching them and giving them what they need in the long run.

  11. Stephanie says:

    It’s a great thing you posted this today. My kids are gone this week and I miss them so much. While they’re gone I do a WHOLE lot of reflecting on my mothering abilities. My kids express love so great, they’re doing great in school, they are soooo happy and bright and fun. Yet I still question whether I’m doing enough. I question whether my new blog is taking over time I would have spent with them. I even cried in my son’s room the other day because way back behind some of his toys was a Christmas toy that hasn’t even been opened. I don’t know why that was so disturbing but it threw me for a loop. After some reflection I realized that there are so many positives that come from my blog and that I’m NOT taking away their mother. I’m giving them the best mother I can be by being the best person I can be. Focus on being there in the present but not beating yourself up. You’re a beautiful wonderful inspiring mommy. Don’t forget it. 🙂

  12. Lindsay says:

    What kind of double stroller is that? Is there really enough room for mackensie? My daughter will almost be 3 when I have my 2nd and am not sure what kind of double to get (besides a bob jogger obviously!)

    • Tina says:

      I wish I could tell you! My SIL gave it to us to use. It works well enough for us. The area for the older kid isn’t a very cozy seat though, but she doesn’t seem to mind. I’m hoping to find a double jogger at a consignment shop to use once he gets big enough. This works for the meantime though.

      And I am pretty sure its a Sit and Stand stroller. My SIL actually commented above (Marie) so you could reply to her comment and ask. 🙂

  13. Tina, I feel your pain. Having two does mean they have to share you, but really that is a life lesson. It’s hard now because M is trying to find out how far she can go. Don’t blame yourself or think you are not giving them both your all. She will get the hang of it. I have found that Max is better behaved if I include him on the things he can do with me, like prepping for dinner, or folding clothes (Max is weird, he likes folding clothes…I love this about him). Whatever you do, don’t think it is you. You are such a loving mom and you give them everything you can. Enjoy your family time tonight!

  14. Sarah says:

    Of course you’re a great mother. I felt the same when I had my second. I also had to tell myself that my son was just being 2. My other friends without a new baby were experiencing the same thing. It’s just harder to deal with when so many people need you. If you didn’t take time for yourself you would loose it. I know I would.

  15. In some ways I’m really missing my split up workouts. There’s something refreshing and energizing about doing 2 shorter workouts. You get 2 boosts of endorphins! I’m not a mother so I really don’t completely understand your feelings. From my perspective, I see you as a great mom. You give wholeheartedly to your children and husband and still maintain that sense of self through your workouts…the you time. Staying healthy and focused, balanced, makes you a better mom.

  16. I’m so glad running brings you clarity, it brings me clarity also. I’m glad you realize that you are a good mom and I’m proud that you still make time for yourself to workout and blog! 🙂

  17. Helen says:

    I understand what you are going through! We had a big adjustment when Kohl came along. I was just Noah for four years, add a baby and big adjustmens.

    I still have difficulty balancing out my workouts and gym time. Between my family and work it gets difficult at times.

    • Tina says:

      I can imagine how hard it would be with work thrown into the mix. You’re a supermom! And I bet it was even harder with him adjusting at 4 years old since he understood it a little more.

  18. I think it’s absolutely necessary for you to take that 1 hour every day and devote it to your workout. It shows your children that taking time for yourself and your health is important. You do it for you, AND for them. Good for you 🙂

  19. lindsay says:

    running outside connects me with God. a great time ti pray too! I think Makenzie sees that you take care of yourself and that makes you a great mom! Juggling 2 kids under the age of 3 is insane I am sure, but you’ve got the right balance and passion to go with it. Very lucky kiddos!

    • Tina says:

      Yep. Lots of prayer happening on runs. It is such a great time to do so! Usually when I say I’m thinking I really mean I’m praying…but its all just so natural to me now I view it as thinking and reflecting through my thoughts. He always is iinvolved in that. 😉

  20. I am sure you are being a wonderful mom, but I can understand doubting yourself in a situation like that.

  21. Julie says:

    Tina, You have to remind yourself that you all are still adjusting to to having the baby and that you are now outnumbered during the day. It is truly a balancing act all day. The best advice I’ve been given since I had my son (age 3.5 months) and I have my daughter (age 3) is to meet the toddler’s emotional needs and the baby’s physical ones as best you can. God will continue to multiply the grace and love you show toward your little ones and yourself. Makenzie is probably and mostly acting her age, but she also had a baby too. And one thing toddler don’t like is sharing, so sharing mommy can be hard too.

    • Tina says:

      That is a great way to put it – focus on the baby’s physical and the toddler’s emotional as much as possible. Love that. I love learning from other moms. The best place to get some perspective. 🙂

  22. Tina, thanks for sharing so openly. Just today I was feeling guilty that I was being a “bad” mom because my child wanted to go outside & play and I was too tired (hello 5 months pregnant). In the past, I used to use food to cope with heavy emotions, then I discovered outdoor running and FELL IN LOVE. I changed to enjoying my food in appropriate ways and would run off the emotion, too! But now that I’m pregnant, I can’t run anymore (high risk pregnancy) and I’m finding that I want to turn to food again, except I was also diagnosed w/gestational diabetes, so I can’t do that either. I don’t know WHAT to do with myself! haha! Anyway, just wanted to say, you’re not alone and I envy your ability to run these days. 😉

    • Tina says:

      It’s always good to hear that others can relate. I would have done the same as you did yesterday. We have to care for ourselves and you just reminded me to look at the bigger picture over a tough moment, day, or few weeks…or nine months. 😉

      When I was in your shoes for part of my pregnancy (unable to workout and didn’t want to cope with food) I of course always prayed and then got lost in a book or mindless TV show. LOL

  23. Yes! Outdoor running is the absolute best time to think. I also have a hard time balancing motherhood and all of its demands, being a wife and homemaker, and the things I do for myself (blog, exercise). It’s tough. Don’t be too hard on yourself! Two year olds act out on occasion no matter how much love and attention they get. It’s part of being 2. 🙂

  24. Heather says:

    OMG, this is always on my mind. And something I had to make a hard decision about recently (haven’t brought myself to blog about it yet!). But I truly believe that a happy mommy equals happy babies and you’re setting such a great example for them being active and healthy.
    You’re an inspiration!

  25. Brenda says:

    I feel you on so many levels. I found it easier to workout at first when I had my second but then when she became more mobile and more interactive with her environment I needed to change it all. It quickly went from am workouts to pm workouts and by that time I am done with the day. I also had tons of guilt because I felt I needed to be doing more with them. I had days where I had to break up my workouts thru out the day too and then I felt guilty because things weren’t done on my schedule for the house, meals, husband…. It’s always gonna change and I have learned to just go with it and sweat out my emotions .

    • Tina says:

      Things really are ever changing with kids, aren’t they? You get into one groove and then they throw you a curve ball to have to figure it all out again. LOL

  26. You are a fantastic mother! I truly believe everything you said – about Mackenzie acting out because of Braedon. It takes a long time for little ones to adjust to new situations like that! You need your time so you can really fully devote yourself to the kids when you’re with them. It’s perfectly healthy!

  27. Lauren says:

    Running is one of the best ways to clear my mind! After a few minutes, the thoughts start flowing and just don’t stop. I do some of my best thinking during my runs. I always find that I am able to focus better the rest of my day too. Glad you are able to get some clarity from running!

  28. jobo says:

    aww! such a cute pic with you and MacKenzie! I personally love what I see between you and your daughter. You seem like you were born for motherhood and are a great mom. Never forget that. And PS, re: Body Pump. I went this morning too, while in Cali, and I usually go to Group Power (just funny cuz I was telling someone at home that I went to Body Pump aka Group Power, just funny that you did the same but opposite. if that makes sense!)

  29. Dorry says:

    Glad you’ve found a running/workout routine that works for you. My sister’s husband is out of town, so I went to hang with my niece so she could run! I know it’s tricky to schedule when you have kiddos.

  30. Michelle says:

    The adjustment period for the 2nd kid is SO CHALLENGING! Braeden was almost 3 and I thought I was going to pull my hair out. Seeing them together now has made it so worth it. This too will definitely pass — and you are an AWESOME mom 🙂

    PS – So happy you are enjoying running! It really clears the head, doesn’t it?

    • Tina says:

      Love hearing when others have gone through it all and have a light at the end of the tunnel to share. 🙂 Thank you!

      And yes. Running = awesome!

  31. missy miller says:

    You’re a good Mommy.
    Obviously to us…glad you were able to work out the second guessing.

  32. Ela says:

    Oh, your wisdom is stunning. I’m so glad you got to run that through yourself! It for sure is a difficult adjustment to get a new baby brother and suddenly not be the center of the universe. But it’s an important lesson that everyone learns at some point. It sounds like it’s challenging for you and for her, but that you are approaching the situation with so much love, including for yourself.

    I find it hard to balance computer time with everything else, especially as much of my work is computer-reliant. And I find it hard to balance wanting to spend time with my extremely physically active and extremely spontaneous husband with my needs for less physical activity and more structure.

  33. I haten that even you have this issues. I mean, you have accomplish so much by now either it s about fitness or family.

    Aren t you the one who told us not to beat ourself up? The kid is still trying to find her own balance having a new brother…That s it! Sweating and beeing alone always helps dealing with our emotions. Another way is gardening.

    I m not going to tell you how good you are at handling things cause then it will pissed me off. You know everything is to know, right?

    • Tina says:

      I hope I’m not taking this comment the wrong way, but I wanted to share with this post that we ALL have struggles and rough days. I know the messages I share and fully believe them…but it doesn’t mean I don’t also struggle with those same things at times and have to remember to take my own advice. I promise I recognize the good things and accomplishments that have happened. Things aren’t perfect though and I have to sort through some of the rough spots by writing them ,as well as sweating them, out.

  34. Allie says:

    You are an awesome mom and I really mean it 🙂 I am glad you found a work out schedule that works for you and you still love running 🙂

  35. I agree. You need to have a balance. I found that 2 years ago and haven’t looked back. I too work out for about an hr then I am all the kids.

    You are a great mom of 2 cute kiddos!

  36. I don’t know you “off” the blog, but just from reading your posts, I can tell that you are a great mom. I have a hard time balancing between me time and family time. I have to work, so when I come home all I want to do is spend time with my husband and baby, but I think there comes a point where I also need some downtime for myself. That’s where the guilt comes in. This mom stuff is hard work!

  37. Oh, Tina, you are so wise and honest and I love it. From what you’ve said, it sounds like you’re doing the RIGHT thing – keeping a smidge of time for yourself to work out and blog and do the things that make you happy. That’s part of being an awesome mom – which you totally are!

  38. Mellissa says:

    I need balance at work, it is crazy stressful and I have a hard time leaving work at work.

  39. Mandie says:

    Tina – This post was wonderful and really hits home. I too am a mother to 2, but mine children are spread out a little bit more. SO there needs are differnet and I feel at times that I put my 6 year olds sons needs to the back, to take care of my 1 1/2 year olds needs. I have struggled with a balance for almost 2 years now. And some days are so much harder then others. So thank you, some times I feel like it is me.

    You are a great mother and writer!! Never doubt yourself!! Keep doing what you are doing.

    • Tina says:

      Thank you so much, Mandie! It does always help to hear we are not alone doesn’t it? I bet you do an excellent job yourself. 🙂

  40. LauraJayne says:

    I have a horribly hard time creating balance between work, school, gym, and my personal life. It might have something to do with my comfort zone, but it is always my personal life (i.e. dating) that suffers. I’m learning that I have to have a well-balanced life, or it makes my work and school focus meaningless!

  41. It is so tough to not feel guilty at times….but I think balance is definitely key! Since I work 40 hours of the week and my kids seriously are at daycare more than they are at home, its tough for me to want to make time for myself. That is why it is really working out that I run during my lunch breaks at work. Even though its super stressful to get dressed and run and get dressed and back to work on time, its worth it so I don’t take any time away from the family.

  42. You’re an awesome Mommy! And it’s easy to see M think the world of you 😀 She adores her Mommy! Just remember, taking time for yourself and working out, is sending a positive message to your little girl for when she gets older. It’s important to take care of yourself, or you’ll get to a point where you can’t take care of others.

  43. Mandy says:

    I totally hear you. I struggle daily with the balance between work and family. But .. I can tell you first hand that you are a GREAT Mom. I have seen it with my own eyes and B and M are both very luck to have you and Peter as their parents 😉 xoxo

    • Tina says:

      Love you! And miss you too. Hate when we get in these spots where we keep missing each other online for a chat.

  44. Kristen says:

    In my experience working with elementary children, we see a lot of kids starting acting out a lot more when a new sibling is born. Most of it has to do with less attention than what they are normally getting – I feel that it has nothing to do with parenting! You are a great mom, and I hope and pray that I can be even half the mom you are! Don’t worry… she will start adjusting and I’m sure she will be just the sweet little angel you love!

    I love splitting up my workouts! I do it for time reasons (I refuse to get up earlier than 4:45 AM) so I have to do my weights in the morning and run in the afternoon. Plus, it’s a double dose of endorphins for your day!

  45. I don’t have any kids of my own yet, but you inspire me because of all that you do for your kids and the how you manage to balance. You are a good mommy…and it’s great that you take time for yourself whether it be to run, blog or whatever because that will make you a better Mom. I give all those Mommy’s out there that are able to balance it all and still find time to go for a run or hit the gym. I so hope I can do that when I have babies!

  46. Precious. And I’m glad you got some clarity because you’re an AMAZING mom.. all that you do? It’s seriously amazing.
    Runs are the BEST for relieving stress!!

  47. Julie says:

    cute kissy face picture!!

  48. Jen says:

    You are an amazing mother!!!
    I love those last 2 pictures 🙂 Adorable!

  49. Jenn (GH) says:

    As I was reading this I was going to say don’t worry she’s just adjusting but then you said, “She is acting out because now I have two children to love so fully and she is having to adjust.” Yes, you are right. When I had my second one over 8 years ago (oh my goodness time flies) my oldest one was acting out all the time. At one point he grabbed my cheeks and screamed at my face (he was 2.5 at the time) because he was so frustrated by the new baby. It was really hard but over time we all adjusted and now are one happy (well most of the time 😉 ) family.

  50. As the others have said, I think it’s a natural reaction for her and also a part of her growing up. I think it’s great she’s getting to learn early than later on (in school or something) about sharing and deference to others. I think you’re being a good mom — she needs to learn this lesson; it doesn’t mean you love her any less.

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