Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Family Time

Sorry I didn't post yesterday. I sure wanted to, but in the morning my internet connection was really acting weird and couldn't get here. Then came the afternoon, and from that point on I was in constant motion until plopping into bed.

A lot of it was family time. Being my daughter's birthday, I did the Fun Mommy thing and brought treats in to her class. That meant driving to our nearest Dunkin' Donuts and picking up two dozen donuts. Mabel claims the icing on cupcakes upsets her stomach, so her request was donuts. Not sure what's better about the chocolate-iced, sprinkle covered balls of lard and sugar, but apparently her stomach has no problem with it. Believe it or not, I managed to keep myself from eating a few of the donuts myself, and I even turned away from the free samples of cookies on the counter.

After school was my nephew's junior high football game, so we headed off to that. Fortunately, the football boosters didn't sell any "food" (I'm not sure if nachos and processed cheese count as food) until the end of the 4th quarter, so I stuck with my bottle of water. Supper came after the game, and my husband cooked a meal he thought my daughter would like: baked rice, chicken and gravy. God bless him, he saved me some chicken breast sans the rice and gravy, and I ate that. And to further help me out, he served the California blend vegetables with cheese sauce on the side. So I managed to have a very healthy supper while everyone else could have their gravy and cheese.

After supper I had to sit down with my hubby and discuss an issue that's been increasingly getting to me. We live in a small town, and both his parents and my mother live in very close proximity. If you look out my bathroom window you can see my in-laws' backyard, and my mom is maybe a mile away. There are some positives to this. We are a close family, and it's nice that Mabel gets to spend a lot of time with her grandparents. The problem is, more and more the parental units drop by unannounced, sit themselves down and stay for extended visits. This is particularly a problem during the work week -- in last week's Monday through Friday, we had "drop-ins" four of the five days.

Issue number one is the disruption factor. We are an active family (with a very active child) with a busy schedule. It takes a lot of juggling to fit in Brownies, piano lessons, cheerleading and acrobatics with homework, practicing, family dinner time and bath time, and that's just my daughter's to-do list! When people start showing up it throws a wrench in our routine, and sometimes things like baths and practicing piano gets lost in the confusion.

While I have lots of things I need to get done, too, more important to me is a loss of privacy. I really need down time after a hectic day. If there's no time to decompress and recharge, it definitely affects me. And the more stress I keep pent up, the more I tend to eat in a poor attempt to release it. This situation isn't bad just for me, but it also affects my relationship with my husband. About two weeks ago I talked to him about my need to have more one-on-one time with him, because I feel like so much of our time is taken up by our work, families and day-to-day chores.

While the talk two weeks ago was nice and provided us with a nice date night last Friday, it didn't get to the issue of our frequent and unannounced guests. So last night's talk was more pointed about addressing the issue with the parents, and hopefully it will lead to some results.

This post was more family/relationship based than on weight loss, but it all ties in to it, doesn't it? If my life is in chaos or if I'm not comfortable in my environment, then it's hard for me to focus on eating healthy and working on losing weight. And today I feel so positive and empowered because I had the guts to express my feelings and concerns with my husband and he really listened to me. It makes me feel so much better when I'm not holding my emotions and problems inside, and I'm less likely to look for comfort in the leftover donuts sitting on my kitchen counter.


Vickie said...

This just came up on a radio call in show that I listen to every day.

Her answer was to pick twice a week (for this caller's circumstances) of planned together time.

The first time - dinner together where it is very special - invitation - guests treated like guests - very welcome.

The second time was an activity - kids game, picnic, walk/park, or whatever.

The idea being that instead of saying "you are too much - you are here too much - you stay too long - you drop in at bad times" YOU STEER the together time so that it becomes scheduled and then when it is together time - make it an event/make them feel very special.

Looking back - I had this as a child - my father's parents would just sort of descend. My mother did use this trick - Sunday breakfast after church (always), kids events, seasonal events, and usually one evening during the week.

Lori said...

I think Vickie has some good points on the practical side of getting some down time for you and your husband.

The fact that you are looking around and seeing how your environment helps or hinder your weight program is FABULOUS -- I mean, many people just go through life and think they have poor self control or something without seeing there are other factors.

As for time alone, I hope you get that. It's really good to have.