When I think back to my pre-baby, 5am, multiple workouts a day, self and talking to fitness clients and mothers about making time for fitness….I want to throat punch my old self. I have said it once and I will say it again, before I had a baby I had no idea. Motherhood and exercise is no easy feat- the struggle is real.
I can tell you right now, if I didn’t have an established fitness lifestyle before my babe arrived finding the motivation to incorporate fitness into life with an infant or toddler would not be a priority.
Once I adjusted to my new and constant state of exhaustion I was able to incorporate walks into my routine, and slowly I incorporated home workouts. I am very thankful for my amazing supportive partner, in-laws and step daughter who helped to watch the babe so I could hit the gym for an hour. For me, the real struggle presented itself when I returned to work and things got CRAZY!!
A typical weekday in Pre-baby:
5-530: Up and ready for the gym
5:45-7am Working out or running, sometimes both
7-7:45am: Getting ready for work usually at the gym
7:45-8am: Drive to work
4-6pm: Personal training or teaching depending on the day
6-8: Dinner, bath time, homework and catch up with kids
8-8:30: Kids bedtime
8-9pm: Cleaning kitchen, laundry, lunches, blogging and computer work
A typical weekday in our house now:
5-530: Adults up to start getting ready for work
6-6:30 Baby and kids wake up
630-7: Infant eats breakfast, with lots of supervision
7-730: Daycare drop-off, drive to work
4-4:30: Daycare pickup
5-645: Dinner, bath time and precious playtime, homework and catch up with kids
7-730: Babies bedtime
730 Onward: Cleaning kitchen, laundry, lunches, blogging and computer work, exercises
With two step-kids and an infant 7, 9, and 16 years apart to fit working out into my already crammed schedule is laughable. I am literally dealing with diapers and dating, gradual entry into daycare and gradual entry into college. I know I am not alone, for most of us, the pulls on our time are endless; from scheduling and running children to after-school activities and doctors’ appointments, to being involved in school work and functions, preparing healthy meals, grocery shopping, and keeping up with the home and finances. Doing all of this while holding down a full-time job is relentless.
Motherhood is full of beauty and adventure, but it also comes with challenges. Finding time for yourself let alone fitness is no easy feat. A lot of moms can feel like balancing motherhood and fitness is unachievable and I am not going to disagree with that. For some people it may be. Here are a few things that have helped me.
Find a Time That Works for You
As a working mom I squeeze my workout in on my lunch break. Now that my little one is sleeping through the night regularly I am also able to sneak out after he’s in bed for an evening run or gym session.
Lower you’re Expectations
No I am not going to get to work out as often, as regulatory, or as intensely as I did pre-baby and that’s ok. I am not setting unrealistic fitness goals, now is not the time for this, now is the time to enjoy my children and my family while trying my best to maintain a healthy active lifestyle.
Think beyond the treadmill and try taking a new class. Aerobics classes like Indoor cycling, TRX, kickboxing and yoga are great workouts, plus the group setting creates a sense of comradery. If organized fitness isn’t your thing, focus on incorporating an active lifestyle. Walks, hikes, or bike rides, are fun active things you can do as a family. It doesn’t have to feel like working out. Just chasing your little around is a workout in itself.
Stick to it
Balancing motherhood and fitness takes time and dedication. Staying committed to your fitness routine and surrounding yourself with other like-minded moms is a great way to help yourself stick to it. It’s OK to take some time for yourself and make your health a priority. If you are dedicated to taking care of your body, it will take care of you.
All moms work regardless of whether we work outside the home or not and we all struggle to make time for ourselves whether that is for exercises or another form of self-care.
don’t sweat it.