Motivation has never been an issue for me regarding fitness. I am one of those people who loves to workout. For me, it’s not just about liking the way I look (although it is a bonus!). I love the way I feel after any workout. I am a stronger, less stressed, and happier version of myself. And because of that, I make time for fitness almost every day, which is not easy. As any mother knows, finding time for yourself can be challenging. Add working full-time to that mix, and my me-time is almost non-existent.
As soon as I had my six-week check-up after my daughter was born, I dove headfirst back into a fitness routine. I was excited and more motivated than ever to get back in shape. While many women find the first three months the most challenging time to workout, I found it the easiest. Yes, the workouts were HARD, but finding the time was not.
Those were the days when my baby was still actually little! She was 100% content sitting in her bouncy chair, watching her mama lunge, jump, push-up, etc. As I bounced around out of breath and sweating, my daughter would kick and laugh as if she were part of the “fun.”
Other days she would sleep peacefully as I’d speed walk around (and around, and around) our neighborhood. I would sneak in an ab routine or leg lifts as she rolled back and forth on her playmat during tummy time.
As the weeks rolled on and I got closer to my pre-pregnancy fitness level, I began to crave more intense workouts. My daughter was craving more as well. She became less and less content to sit and watch her mama move. She wanted to move too! I was also heading back to work, which meant less time with my baby, less flexibility to schedule workouts, and the dreaded task of choosing between me-time and mother-daughter time.
I’ve now been back at work for about six months and have managed to fall into a routine. I can’t say it’s been easy, even for a fitness fanatic like myself. It is a daily struggle to work out when all I want to do is spend that time with my daughter. But fitness is as important as any other part of life, and I hope that my healthy lifestyle will rub off on my daughter. The only way I can instill healthy habits in my daughter is to continue to practice them myself.
I have found a few tricks to help balance my workout time with family time during the past few months.
- My weekday workouts are shortened to 45 minutes three times during the week. I keep the longer workouts for the weekends and one day during the week. When I pick a day of rest, it is always a weekday, so I can go straight home and play with my daughter.
- I exercise immediately after work. If I’m working out at home, I give a quick hello to my daughter and go straight into it. If I plan a workout at the pool or gym, I take my gear with me, so I don’t lose time going home to change.
- Two words that have changed my life: Running Stroller. This is a big investment but one that is worth it. I now get to spend time with my daughter while I run! She loves experiencing the new sights and people along the way or sometimes a nap in the fresh air. I love running, and I am excited to share this passion with my daughter.
- At-home workout videos are amazing time savers. You save time on travel, and they are usually designed to get a total body workout within an hour.
- I remind myself daily that to be the best mother, I need to be my best self. I am my best self when I am healthy and fit.