Before I was a mom, I was always saying I was busy. I never seemed to have time to work out or get to the gym, but I always seemed to have time for lunch dates and happy hours…funny how that works. I made so many excuses, and the truth of the matter is that I actually did have time back then – I just never made it a priority.
Now that I’m a parent, I have a whole new level of busy. Having a child adds so many more responsibilities to your plate, and it’s even harder to find time for yourself, especially when they’re young. As Abbie has gotten older, it’s gotten a little easier to manage things.
As you guys know, I’ve been really working at making my health and fitness a priority in my life. It definitely is a challenge, but there are two things that have helped me immensely.
The first is pretty simple – PLAY. Abbie loves being outside and would probably spend every minute out there if I let her. She’s been known to hand us our shoes to get us to take her outside…and we’ve had to hide hers so she doesn’t clamor to go outside when it’s pouring rain! She especially loves the playground, but she’s warming up to the pool and even loves just walking with us. Sometimes she just wants to run around in the big grassy area near our home. Every time I take her out, I make the effort to really play with her rather than just supervise. I chase her around the grass and the playground. I throw the ball back and forth. I push her on the swing, and help her learn to kick in the pool. It so important to me that she be active. I hated exercise of every kind as a kid, and I think that’s why it took me so long to get my butt in gear. I never want her to have any of those issues.
The second thing? Utilizing alone time. This is a huge one for me, and one of those instances that being a working mom is actually a huge help. See, since I’m at work all day, I get a one hour lunch break all to myself. It’s pretty easy to eat lunch at my desk while I’m working, so rather than use my lunch break to eat, I use it to be active. Most days I hit the gym downstairs, but on days like yesterday when there’s gorgeous weather, I’ll take a walk outside. If it’s a day I need to run errands, I’ll power walk through stores or try to walk as much as possible during the errands. I find that every bit helps, and that little bit of exercise invigorates me for the rest of the day. Now, I realize this isn’t easy for everyone – you don’t all get an hour to yourselves during the day…but what about at night? Abbie is usually in bed by 8:10 at the latest, so now that it stays light outside for longer, that’s a great time to get outside and be active.
I’m sure there are TONS more ideas out there, and I’d love to hear yours! How do you prioritize and fit in fitness? Non-parents, I’d love your ideas too!