Over the years I've come to realize that it takes a lot to be a mom. It takes a lot to have a big family. It takes a lot to homeschool. It takes a lot to be a good Catholic in the world we live in today. I've also realized that I can't do any of it well if I'm not at the top of my game.
All those times of being pregnant or sleep deprived with a baby, all the times I've been sick or recuperating from a surgery; those are tough times and they make it almost impossible to do anything but survive. Fortunately, those times have been temporary. Most days my biggest hurdle is getting enough sleep.
One important thing that has helped me, besides getting to bed earlier, is getting some exercise. I know I've mentioned it before, but this past year we've all really been focusing on getting in shape - getting myself and those kids off the couch and into some real physical workouts.
There have been some ups and downs, and not just in my weight, but I'd say that overall we have all seen improvements in the way we look and feel. I definitely have more energy and my body doesn't have as many aches and pains. I struggle with sciatica and I've noticed that when I exercise, as long as I don't overdo it, my leg doesn't hurt as much.
Currently we all are involved in this exercise program. My DH gets up first and does his workout. I think he's crazy, but he gets up before 5:00 so he can get it done. Then, around 6:00 am, three of the kids get up (their own choice!) and do the workout. Myself and two of the other kids usually work out in the afternoon and the two littlest ones just got a fun hip hoppy type exercise video that they've started doing.
I have to say that it has made a difference in how we all feel. In addition, we have something in common to complain about at dinner! How fun is that? Not only are we all feeling better and getting into shape, but we're building family unity at the same time :)
I pray that we can keep going the way we've been going. Usually when big things like this happen (and this is BIG, believe me!), it usually is a piece of a the bigger puzzle. Maybe we'll have to flee someday and it will help that we're in shape...I know, crazy. Anyhow, I'm thankful that we've gotten as far as we have.