Exercise. A love-hate relationship for so many. Before kids, I loved working out. I loved the way I felt. I loved thinking about when I would work out to de-stress from the day. It was a release for me. I definitely still love to work out (especially a good run on the treadmill!). However, it comes with a different set of baggage. So, here are Mrs. Z’s five reasons as to why exercise is so very different after having kids.
- When the kids are asleep.
There are two schools of thought on where to fit in exercise after having kids. You can either get up before the kids do or you can wait until they go to sleep for the night. Personally, getting up before my kids is ridiculous! My little one gets up at 5 a.m. these days. Do you really think I am going to get up at 4 a.m. to workout and then shower?! Yeah, that’s out.
Yes, I can definitely workout after the kids go to sleep. Most night they are both in bed before 8 p.m. However, there are then the nightly chores, setting up all items for the next day, etc. It is then 9 p.m. Do I really feel like lacing up a pair of sneakers, stretching, workout, and then shower? I won’t be done until 10 p.m.
So, when do you say I will fit exercise in? Number five on this list will sum it up for you.
- Do it during nap time.
Many moms have tried (successfully ) to fit in exercise during nap time. This is actually really simple with one child. I always did this when my oldest was still an only child and it worked out great. Then came number two and, well, that went the way of all good things. When my little one naps, my big guy is still awake. So, a few times I decided to give it a try. I gave my big guy activities to complete, Legos to build with, coloring books and crayons, even TV. (Yes, I do use TV. I give so much credit to mommas out there who don’t use TV. How do you do it?! And we don’t even watch a lot!) Even with all of those distractions, my big guy was constantly asking me questions, or wanted me to sit with him, or wanted a snack, or had to use the bathroom. So, I gave up. Maybe this will work out better when he is in school full time.
- I just want me time
This next one is purely selfish. When it comes down to it, I just want me time. I want to write. I want to read. I want to have an adult conversation for a few minutes a day so that my brain doesn’t feel idle. I love my kids with all of my heart and give them my everything. All. Day. Long. By the time 8 p.m. rolls around I want to sit in front of the TV and binge watch my reality garbage shows. Or even pick up a great documentary on Nat Geo (anyone catch Brain Games? Awesome show!). Exercise is definitely part of me time but sometimes I need to chill out.
- Getting into the zone
Exercise requires getting into “the zone”. You know that place you go to so you can really concentrate on the burn. I use to listen to my feet hitting the treadmill. My mind was blank and all I heard were the pounding of my feet and the beating of my heart. I felt good. I felt healthy.
Then came kids and responsibility. Now, all I can think of is the long list of chores that await me. Or if I am doing enough to enrich my children’s lives. Or if I am steering them down the right path. After about twenty minutes I give up and the workout is over.
- Exercise comes in different forms. All hope is not lost!
This last one came to me the other day as I was obsessing about not working out as much post-kids. Exercise comes in different forms. Yes, running, weight lifting, using a workout video, going to the gym are probably the best workouts. However, when you have very little kids it is very hard to fit that in. You can, though, get exercise throughout your day with the little ones. When you take them to the park, run with them. Have races in the backyard. If it is a rainy day and you are stuck in the house, have a dance party (they are super fun!). Picking up a 25 pound toddler is definitely weight lifting in my book. And trust me, you are going to pick them up hundreds of times in one day.
Let me end this by saying one thing: I love my kids and would never change anything. Being a parent is awesome. However, it is sometimes hard to find time for yourself. As the kids get older, I am assuming finding time to workout will be easier. If you are in the same stage of life with kids as I am, don’t fret. You are doing the best you can. I figure getting in a good run two days a week is better than nothing. The rest of the time, I am running after my kids, which is 100% a workout in its self. And you are making memories at the same time. That is definitely a big win in my book.
Let us know how you find time to workout after having kids. Comment below!!
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