Posted by Elizabeth Gorkowski
Are you a working military spouse just dreaming of work life balance? For just $9.99 a month this dream can be yours! Ahhh if only it was that easy. How is a working military spouse supposed to fit in all of the demands placed on them, work, eat, perhaps raise children, sleep and find precious minutes for themselves?
This morning my alarm went off at 5:30, I greeted the yet to be seen sun with a P90x workout, jumped in the shower, made lunches for the kids, dressed all three of them (ages 5, 3.5 and 1.5) for picture day at school and somehow arrived at school by 8am. I worked on rewriting necessary policies for M.O.M. FIT to continue its growth; attended a luncheon for Americans Working Around the Globe (I am almost positive I brushed my hair), sprinted to the park to run a M.O.M. FIT class and at 2:15 picked the kids up. We returned home for snacks and an awesome hour of tag, soccer, jump rope and sprints in the backyard. (Oh yes I said sprints, that way I can get my “speed” workouts in). We showered, ate dinner, dressed for bed and I high fived the babysitter on the way out to attend a coffee for RHHT. It was of course everyone’s lucky night that it was karaoke coffee and I love Bon Jovi. At 9:45 I hugged my friend Morgan and thanked her for watching the children, laid out their clothes for school, sat down to work on my white paper for MOM FIT and at midnight went to sleep. Perhaps outsiders who don’t know me might think this was a day of pure insanity but for me it is a perfect example of work life balance.
My balance did not arrive without a lot of planning, effort and the shocking realization that I simply can’t do it all. As a military spouse it becomes far too easy for our lives to be pushed to the back burner as we attempt to cram our own dreams and goals into a life that is already packed with moves, work, family obligations and no luxury of extended family support. Sometime during the fall of 2010 I realized I had too many extraneous factors pulling me in a hundred different directions and that the one item I had always cherished, working out daily sometimes twice a day was no longer a part of my life and it was making me a miserable person. Exercise is my drug of happiness, nothing makes me feel better then a workout and the benefits are numerous. I decided at that point to make a list of my top priorities and that they would be non negotiable 1)MY FAMILY 2) Fitness 3) M.O.M. FIT 4)Learning to say “let me check my calendar” and then had to actually make it happen!
I have a wonderful family but three girls under the age of 5 can easily steamroll out of control and my husband and I decided upon arrival in Germany (which was the 5th move for my 4.5 year old daughter) school and daycare options would be the best solution to set me on a path to being a better mother, spouse and owner of M.O.M. FIT . Their attendance allows me to put quality hours in on the continuous development of M.O.M FIT and more importantly provides them with quality mom/daughter time when they aren’t in school. I quickly realized I had too many friends where I was the primary giver using up a lot of my time and energy. I decided to cut ties with many so called friends and it was shockingly easy. I started adding fitness hours to my daily calendar, worked hard to build workouts that didn’t require me to go to the gym and slowly regained myself one step at a time. I also learned to add the magical phrase “let me check my calendar and get back to you” before saying yes to any requests.
Numerous volunteer requests always fall at the feet of military spouses with little acknowledgement of the outside job many spouses are already balancing as a military spouse and perhaps parent. Spouses are part of a culture where expectations exceed the normal standard and if you don’t make your time a priority no one will do it for you. I have now cut my volunteer time to only saying yes to INGEAR, Americans Working Around the Globe and coaching high school basketball. Nothing else provides me with the sense of fulfillment and satisfaction like those organizations, which allows me to justify taking time and energy away from my family.
For years coaching basketball was my life and passion but 5 moves in 4.5 years quickly put a 12 year career to a screeching halt. I was fortunate enough to take advantage of the MYCAA benefit offered to spouses and obtain my personal trainer certification and begin the development of M.O.M. FIT. Our mission at M.O.M. FIT is to improve the wellness, overall health and fitness levels of military spouses through a supportive team environment. Daily we make in home visits for individual workouts, meet at parks across Germany for boot camps and stroller fitness, teach families how to meal plan, educate them on nutrition, teach goal setting and most importantly build the TEAM concept so spouses always have a support system in their lives.
Today was a balanced work life day for me; there are days work garners more hours, the family receives less attention and vice versa. Take a moment and share with us the way you find balance in your day, you just might help another spouse achieve their pursuit of balance. There is no perfect in the pursuit of work life balance and I have come to the realization that as long as the good days far outweigh the bad days then my balance is successful.
Liz Gorkowski , a military spouse with 15 years in the fitness industry has mentored Olympic, professional, collegiate, All Army Team and military spouse athletes. Liz is an ACE certified Personal Trainer and Group Fitness Instructor and former college basketball coach. She is the owner of the Fit Group which is home to M.O.M. FIT where WE ARE CHANGING LIVES ONE WORKOUT AT A TIME! Like the Fit Group today on Facebook at The FIT Group or visit our website at www.the-fit-group.com. If you would like a M.O.M. FIT chapter on your post please send all requests to firstname.lastname@example.org