Staying at Home with the Kids AND Staying Fit!
You would think that, free from the restraints of a nine to five job, keeping fit would become easier once you’d slipped into the stay-at-home mom role. Well, unfortunately that’s not often the case.
When our babies are small, it’s easy for one day to blur into another. Sometimes brushing your teeth seems like an accomplishment on par with running a marathon!
I guess my go-to phrase is always going to be organization. And I say this knowing that the older your kids get, the easier being organized becomes.
It really is the one and only key to freeing up some time for yourself. And to exercise, you really do need time for yourself.
Here are a few tips I’ve found are helpful:
Enlist the help of your spouse. But make it easy on them!
Yes, your significant other should bear some of the brunt for childcare. However, if they’re been out at work and fighting traffic for the last 10 hours, it’s unlikely that they’re going to be excited by the prospect of walking into chaos and getting a baby plonked into their arms.
So, once again, it’s organization. See how much easier it becomes if you’ve managed to keep your head above water for the day, the house is decent, baby fed and clean and you have at least a notion of what you’ll all be eating that night.
Then slipping out the door for a quick run, or down to the basement to bounce around to a workout video in isn’t too much of an ask. You might even get a little gym time in!
Use your baby’s sleep time for yourself, not for chores!
This is a tough one, but it is achievable I promise. Call it delayed gratification if you like. You push yourself to get everything done while your baby is awake, and then once they’re down for a nap it’s all about you. Not the laundry, not the dishes, not the floor.
This little bit of you time during the day is completely rejuvenating, and I’m not sure what I would have done without it when my children were young.
Have your exercise routine planned in advance, and if you need to set up, do this while your baby is awake. Each second is a gift!
You’ll be confined to indoors for this one, and you might need a baby monitor on if you plan to be exercising to loud music far from baby’s room. But what a difference a workout during the day makes to how you feel!
Exercise with your baby. Or at least while your baby’s awake!
You’ll probably find that if you can get your baby happily gurgling and kicking on the floor that you’re madly doing chores. But, if you’re even more organized than usual you could use the time for a quick exercise routine. Baby’s like to watch their mom’s bouncing and swinging around like crazy, and if you can make eye contact and chat every now and again you could really stretch this out.
There’s also the option of doing a mini-workout with your baby in a sling or carry pouch. This works best with squats or leg raises, but be creative.
And if the weather’s nice, it’s a no-brainer. Get yourselves out to enjoy the fresh air. With the right stroller you can jog, but even with a regular one a brisk walk is possible. Ditto a sling our pouch, or even a backpack.
Here’s a great video to illustrate just how easy it is:
Join a class!
This is a great way to socialize and get fit. Find a mom and baby exercise class and get going. You’re baby will love this, and will have an opportunity to interact with other babies. You get to keep fit and hang out with the moms!