• Denise A Olson

Working Out In Motherhood; Forget Finding Time-Make It

Updated: Jun 16, 2020

This morning was a pretty typical morning at our house. The baby was up around 5:30. I sprung out of bed as if I were late for something when I heard her on the monitor. Six months ago I’d have been the first one up-I’d have worked out, showered and started making breakfast by the time everyone else was waking up. But-as to be expected, the newborn days rock your “normal schedule.” Working late night and overnight pumping sessions have made my typical 4:45 wake-up unrealistic at this time…so, getting back to the morning…

I shot out of bed, quickly pulled on the leggings I’d left out the night before, put my contacts in, threw my hair in a top knot and went to get my sweet girl. I nursed her, we played and then I started what I refer to as “the breakfast train.” Eggs for everyone-cooked in different ways based on preference, and a variety of offerings for the 2 year old in hopes he'll eat one of them. As I finished getting everything plated and on the table, the baby was ready for her morning nap. By the time I got her down, Fitzy was waking up. I grabbed him-changed his diaper, dressed him, and brought him down. By this point, it’s 8 am and I wondered, “Where have the last two and a half hours gone?” After inhaling my own breakfast, and tidying up, I was coaxing Fitz into letting me brush his teeth. I ran my tongue over my own teeth, which confirmed the sad truth that yet again, I’d forgotten to brush. I’m 31 years old. Was I rushing so much I forgot to brush my teeth??? What has happened to me?

I’m sharing this story with you, because I know I’m not the only mom who finds herself asking this question. Taking care of little people and a family is a ton of work. Add work-the kind that helps to pay the bills-into the mix, and the days feel like they will never be long enough to fit everything in. It’s during these days that we forget about our own needs. Do you find yourself sacrificing your workout first? If your answer is yes-you’re part of the majority. SO many moms I work with tell me that they don’t have time to get their fitness in. I know how that feels. I also know-it’s a story we tell ourselves, and that we have time for what we make time for. So here are a few things you can do that will support you in making time for your workouts.

  1. Put it into the calendar. With the online Dumbbells & Diapers program-you receive 3 workouts each week. You can do these on any days that work for you! On Sunday-spend 5 minutes planning out your fitness. Can your partner watch the kids for 45 minutes 3 days a week? Is a babysitter an option? Is it reasonable to do it before everyone wakes up-or after bedtime? Put it into your calendar as if it were an appointment. Don’t waste time thinking about it each day, or hoping to get it in-something else will always come up!

  2. Set your fitness clothes out the night before. Do you remember jokes about moms in yoga pants all of the time? I have a new respect for them; they were ready to get their workout in at a moment’s notice! Remove any extra steps. Make it as easy as possible to follow through with your plan.

  3. Always opt for more than nothing. Maybe you can’t get an hour of fitness in-perhaps there won’t be time for all 5 rounds of the workouts, and maybe you’ve got to stop three times to get someone a snack, change a diaper and nurse a baby. Don’t focus on what you can’t do-focus on what you can. 20 minutes of movement is better than 0. You will ALWAYS feel better afterwards, trust me on this one.

These days there is a lot of talk about self care. I encourage you to look at your fitness routine as self care. Make time for your workouts (and for brushing those teeth😁.) If you’re not prioritizing them, no one else will either. YES you are a busy mom...but you are also YOU, and you deserve all of the benefits fitness offers.

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