I don’t think I am alone in this momming world when if asked what my greatest challenges have been since our baby came along, one of my top answers would absolutely be figuring out how to get a work out in with a baby. It has been a real struggle for me, because being active is a large part of our lifestyles, and it’s something I still haven’t figured out.
Before I had my kiddo, I was the Director of a spin studio here in Austin. I took spin 5-6 times per week along with a consistent yoga practice, a few runs sprinkled in, and the occasional weight lifting session with my husband. Oh, you sweet, innocent pre-mom self. You and all of the time on your hands. You go get that juice post work out, sit in the lounge reflecting on your handstand practice with your friends, and decide to take the next class. Hug the clock, woman, because this ship is sailing.
E brought so much sweetness into my life that I’ll never exchange for some tap backs, but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t long for that “me time” on a daily basis. As they say, there is a season for everything, and I know this season will pass, so in the meantime, here is what has worked for me when it comes to staying active with le bebe.
- Let go of expectations: In my mind, post baby, I was still going to get my normal workouts while my husband watched our little one, but when his work schedule didn’t allow for that (and I didn’t have resources for a nanny), I had to mentally accept that workouts pre-baby look much different than workouts post-baby.
- Get creative: After a small, not-dramatic-at-all meltdown, my husband encouraged me to incorporate workouts into my daily routine with our little one. For us, because we had almost daily doctor appointments, that meant loading her up in our running stroller and walking to and from the appointments, sometimes making for 10 miles round trip. I begrudgingly did it in the beginning, but ended up loving it, and I really saw a change in my body and mood. Make your workouts fun and different to keep your “me time” from falling into the mundane that can be those first few months. Strap on baby for a hike on your favorite trail, put baby in a bouncer out on the porch and do a small circuit, incorporate him/her into your yoga practice, bring your stroller to your kids music class and do a run around the neighborhood before the class begins. It takes dedication and extra work, but the endorphin kick is worth it for you and your family.
- Find inspiration: I spent my nighttime nursing hours combing through Instagram watching all of my friends perfect lives until I realized I needed to find people to follow who inspired me in the season of life I was in. I found moms who find creative and quick ways to get a small workout in here and there, and some of them have really helped me shift my mindset about myself and my work outs. Some of my favorites are @baby_fitgym and @noexcusemums.
- Get a community: If you ask me, making friends as a mom is about as easy as it comes. It looks a lot like this: “You have a child? What a coincidence! I have a child! Call me.” Put yourself out there to connect with that mom you always see at the park and see if she would be up for a weekly walk. Join a group like Stroller Strides or get connected with the Tribe group here. Find your people and stick to them like glue.
- Start somewhere and set goals from there: Once I was walking consistently, I really wanted to get back into running, but I was extremely intimidated by my fitness level and the running stroller. I decided to swallow my pride and start from 0 with the Couch to 5k program. Slowly, each day, I followed the plan and worked up to a 30 minute run by the end of the month. Within weeks from that, I was running PRs (as in lifetime PRs as in BYE PRE-BABY SELF) and felt super confident in my running ability. Envision where you want to be and just. start. moving. You have to start somewhere. Set the goal, take the steps to get there, and while you’re at it, enroll the above mentioned community in your goals for some accountability and support.
- Give yourself grace: Can we all agree that, after having a baby, we can all just give. it. a. minute? And when I say a minute, I mean even a year? Your body has done a lot and been through a lot and let’s all get okay with the idea that it’s going to take a second.