For too many young professionals, the average day goes something along these lines:
Wake up, thanks to the alarm. Hit snooze until they really have to get out of bed. Wake the kids up. Spend the next half hour shouting at them to get out of bed and come to breakfast. Brew the coffee. Smokers might light up the first of the day at this point. Make the kids’ breakfast. Make the kids’ packed lunches. Get the kids’ school uniforms ready. Make sure the kids’ schoolbags have everything they need for that day. Go and physically drag the kids out of bed and sit them down in front of their breakfast bowls. Realise there isn’t enough time to eat breakfast and rush to take a shower, get dressed and ready for work. Shout at the kids to get their school uniforms on. Prepare their toothbrushes so they can clean their teeth in the car. Beg the kids to get into the car, lock up and speed out of the driveway and up the road to the kids’ school, not noticing the flash of the speed camera which will result in a fine dropping through the letterbox later in the week. Drop the kids off at school. Drive to work and try to find somewhere to park. Grab a muesli bar and a coffee, realising that’s the only breakfast they’re going to get before turning on their computer to spend another eight hours chipping away at a backlog of work.
Racing out of work at 5pm as the sun goes down in the vain hope of having to spend the next hour in traffic. Spending the next hour in traffic. Picking up the kids from the childminder and apologising again for their raucous behaviour. Getting home to be face with the mess created at breakfast time. Clearing up the mess and microwaving the family dinner while shouting at the kids to stop shouting and do their homework. Serving up the evening meal to disinterested kids and a disappointed partner. Arguing with the partner and then sitting in front of the TV in silence, plates on knee, wishing the children would put themselves in bed. Finally throwing the plates in the sink and forcing the kids to clean their teeth, put on their pyjamas and get in bed. Staying with them until they are actually asleep and falling asleep themselves in the process. Dragging themselves into bed to try to get some sleep before repeating the whole thing tomorrow.
If this sounds like you, it’s time to make some changes. For all the effort and energy you expend every day, the benefits are negligible. Most of your time and energy is taken up chasing after children. Don’t give them everything on a plate. Instead, teach them how to get their own breakfasts and take care of their own uniforms. Let them discover the consequences of not doing so. In training your children to look after themselves you are being a much better parent and preparing them in a much better way than when you nanny and coddle them, turning them into spoiled little princes and princesses who are incapable of doing anything for themselves.
The second thing to need to look at are your energy levels. By eating processed microwave meals and slumping in front of the TV, it’s no wonder you are too exhausted to spend constructive time with your children and partner. Create balanced nutritional meals. Salads can be thrown together in minutes, as can casseroles which can be left in the slow cooker throughout the day.
Inactivity, coupled with a poor diet result in low energy levels. If you don’t have time to take up a sport or go to the gym, buy some home exercise equipment – all types have their strengths–and start working out for 20 minutes at home.
As you can see, huge changes in your lifestyle can be brought into effect, simply by changing your attitudes at home. Make sure everyone pulls their weight and pulls together. Make sure you all have a balanced diet and adequate exercise. Do these things together as a family. You’ll soon find that you have more than enough energy to take care of your household.