I am on offense or defense?

When I went into this IronHead Dad gig, I went in with full intentions of putting a full court press on a whole bunch of stuff.  Here is a short list (not a complete list) of things I had in my head to work on:

1)  Having daily devotions with my kids

2)  Keeping my kids VERY active throughout the day (this one covers a lot of things that I could list separately)

3)  Organizing our ridiculously cluttery house (I know some of you would say that I have no idea but still…it is messy)

4)  Training for an Ironman

5)  Spending more time working on my Fitness and Triathlon Coaching business

6)  Helping at the church and volunteering

7)  Spending more time with my wife (although I don’t know how I thought that would happen with her still working the same schedule)

8)  Potty Training My Kids


Like I said, I am sure I missed something or several things that I had in my head that I was going to do….oh yeah…more time in my shop to organize that and work on woodworking or car projects (HA!).

So, let me break down how I think I have done with these things so far.  I will give myself a school grade on each of them.

1)  (F)  That’s right…an F.  I have not done near enough with sitting down and teaching my kids about the Bible.  I put it number 1 on the list because that is where it should be but it has hardly been on the list.  I know how to fix that.

2)  (A) or (A-).  Really, I have been doing pretty well here in my opinion.  I have something on the schedule for almost every day that gets them out of the house and keeps them active.  We go to Play Kitsap, we go the YMCA and swim or do kid’s classes, we go to the playground at the park, etc.  The only reason I don’t give myself an A+ is that the TV is still on a lot when we are home.  I need to figure out how to get them to play actively on their own without a movie on.

3)  (C).  I really thought I would get more done here.  It just doesn’t happen.  This is an area where the title of this post really comes into play.  Instead of feeling like I am making progress and I am taking the offensive and working through the clutter and the mess, I end up feeling like I am just barely able to keep it from getting worse…if that.  I start on cleaning something up and the kids mess something else up or it’s time for another meal and more dishes or whatever.  I know you Moms and experienced domestic engineers are just laughing right now but I am just telling you like it is…I didn’t necessarily think it would be easy…I wasn’t totally dillusional…just thought I would get more than this done.  I mean, I am IronHead Dad and all.

4)  (B).  Not too bad here.  Getting some solid training in.  In fact, the (B) might be a little harsh.  I might just be whining because I had a rough long run on Saturday.  Overall, the training is going well.  My swimming is almost as fast as it was at the end of last year and it is only the beginning of the season and my running is going well overall.  4 more weeks to Eugene Marathon with my Dad!

5)  (C).  I would say I spend a little more time working on it now than I did when I had a full time job but not as much as I thought I would.  I feel like I could be doing so much more, but then again I don’t know when or how…there is always some fire to put out.  I stay up late and do it just like I used to…

6)  (C).  I went to the church nursery the first week or second week I was home and did a few handyman projects and got some measurements for some others and haven’t been back since.  I finally made it to Lowe’s and picked up some materials for the jobs this week and should get back to it soon.  Maybe a C is too harsh but it is not what I envisioned.

7)  (D).  Not happening that much more.  We did get to go on a date to see Hunger Games the other night…that was fun.  Other than that…it is tough.

8)  (A-).  This is pretty close to done…they are very good about going potty now.  Hopefully all of my feelings of not getting enough done are partially just due to the potty training that has been going on for several weeks.  I know it has been much easier recently when not having to worry about them having accidents all the time.  They still do but it is maybe once per day if that so that is much easier.


Anyway, I just thought I would put some of my thoughts down about how this first month or so has been and give myself some grades.  Not bad overall, but I do sometimes feel like I am just barely holding it together and not making the house and everything look worse instead of actually making improvements like I wanted to.  I guess it is just a matter of where you decide to put your time because you can’t do it all….even if you are IronHead Dad.

Join the Conversation


  1. Ryan,
    Excellent entry – good to know that you are not perfect. You have your plate full, there is now doubt. The fact that you ranked yourself so low in the house clutter cracked me up. I don’t think it has anything to do with being a man . . . that is just how it is when there are other hobbies and interests involved! Sounds like you both are doing a fantastic job raising kids, keeping healthy and keeping a marriage working. I found that lists work for me . . . with every little detail written down . . . from “start on storyboard for website” to “take vitamin” and “workout.” Otherwise, I get too overwhelmed.

    Good luck with your new venture and keep us along for the ride!

    1. Thanks, Megan! I appreciate the support! I do have a google calendar going…I just don’t have everything on it. A task list might need to be there as well.

  2. I’m no help at all on the play thing, but could you put either just the sound or picture on and then shut it off partway through the playtime? Or, move the play area to your living room?

    I’m kind of OCD about clutter – maybe 1-2 days dedicated to getting that under control and then it’s just maintaining? And – do a big goodwill run along with it for things that haven’t been used in X months (years?).

    1. Hi Jenna, thanks for the comment. On the playing and keeping the TV off, the play area is currently the whole down stairs and they don’t even watch the movies when I put them on necessarily. It just sometimes helps keep them from getting bored and playing with things that aren’t toys. I think the answer is to just turn it off and let them play…they will find something to do…who knows what though.

      I really do need a couple of days dedicated to decluttering/cleaning. However, one issue is that I need Paula’s help because a lot of it needs her input. I could just do it but some of it really needs to be thrown away and I don’t want to do that without her because I wouldn’t want her throwing my stuff away (or rather giving it to goodwill…also a great option for most of it). Maybe we can get a weekend to do that…but with us both training for events, weekends are pretty busy with workouts, church, family, and shopping for the week (which I can probably do during the week now instead).

  3. Hey bro…

    Some thoughts on the clutter from someone who’s house is often worse than yours and sometimes better…

    1.) One room at a time. Don’t think of it as de-cluttering the house. De-clutter the living room. Don’t even think about another room until that room is EXACTLY the way you want it.

    2.) Do a thirty minute walk-thru of the room with Paula before you start. Ask tons of questions about items you’re not sure about and write it all down. Reality is…you’re probably not going to be able to do the job together, so get her input and then do the work later.

    3.) Come up with permanent solutions for each item…no temporary fixes. For instance…get a coat rack or stand…don’t move the coats to your closets because they will just end up back on the arm of that couch.

    4.) Make it a game and let the girls help. Remember when we used to turn cleaning up our room into a game when we were kids? It may take longer to do the work that way, but it combines playing with your kids and getting the work done. Win/Win.

    5.) Prioritize it higher than you would normally overall and get it done, because if you follow #3 then you will have less work to do in the future and you can move it back down the priority list.


    1. Hey Bro…sorry it took me a while to respond. These are all good ideas. I appreciate the input.

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