When my firstborn was fresh out of the womb and I had been cleared to return to pre-delivery activities, the biggest challenge I faced was just doing it. I put on my workout gear, fed my babe, placed him in his swing and got my 30 minutes of exercise plus a shower completed just in time for his next feed. As he got older his needs changed and home workouts were not as easy to come by. Then you add two babies, under the age of two, and there was an entirely different dynamic to work with!
ASK FOR HELP
Health is a priority, not a luxury. Ask for help! I try to plan my workouts in when I know there will be extra hands around the house. This isn’t always possible, but I take full advantage when it is! On Sunday I check our family calendar and try to schedule at least two of my workouts when Marc will be home. This helps guarantee at least two days of exercise even if everything crumbles on the other days!
RISE AND SHINE
My most effective workouts happen while little eyes are resting. This works during naps too! Before my second boy was born, this time of day was golden. I could easily set myself up for an early workout and shower right before he woke up. Today, I don’t even consider this an option since I have a 12 week baby nursing through the night. I take advantage of naps, prepare everything beforehand, and jump right in as soon as I have both boys down. Some days one of them ends up joining me halfway through, but that’s part of the joy in this season of life for me. There won’t always be little hands on me!
MAKE IT A PARTY
Honestly, the little years are some of the most challenging years we will live through as mamas. Give yourself grace and have fun with it! Turn the music on loud, encourage your toddler to squat with you, and smile at the baby on his playmat while you stretch. The most important part is moving your body. Didn’t get to complete the entire set? That’s OKAY. You tried. You did it. You moved for 20 minutes. Your heart pumped. You sweat a little. Your muscles were engaged. That’s what counts!
What I want to stress to you is this: show your kiddos health is important! This may look different for every home. Maybe it’s not a home workout. For you it may be chasing your little one’s around the playground followed by a walk. For others, it may be joining a local sports league and playing soccer or basketball a couple nights a week. The important thing here is to move your body. You will feel stronger and capable of keeping up with your growing kids! You won’t regret it, trust me.
Ana M. Pierre