For the better part of my life as a mom, I have seen exercise as something to be fit in AROUND the child(ren). And my excuse for the first several years was that I didn’t have the time while he was sleeping, he wouldn’t stay occupied if I tried to do it while he was awake, etc. In fact, when we joined the Y last year, for the first time I was excited about working a regular workout routine into my mom life because I still considered myself to *need* childcare to get in a good sweat.
Fast forward to this year. I start incorporating “at home” workouts into my routine and (unsurprisingly) there are two little people in this house which has now become my at-home gym. Making it a priority to workout HERE has me planning to get up early and get in as much of a workout before they wake up as I can. Because (as far as I used to be concerned) as soon as they woke up, it was all over.
Not such the case.
This is me (to the right). Finishing up my early AM workout with both of my kids. I didn’t set my alarm that day because we didn’t have anywhere to be later that morning and I knew, bouncing back from a cold, I probably should take all the sleep my body needs without a 5:15am alarm interrupting it. When they were up, I literally paused to let Cassidy out of her room, retrieve the two iPads and run back downstairs to finish my last ten minutes. Reason #1 I workout in front of them (sometimes) is that I want them to know it’s important to me. Just like prayer time, cooking, showers, I want them to know that sometimes they have to wait and I have to do something for myself.
Then there’s this. This is more intentional on my part (see video below).
Sometimes I have a workout that isn’t super intense (like this active recovery day in the 21 Day Fix Extreme) and I know that they’d probably get a kick out of milling around while I do it. So instead of doing it before they’re up, I plan to do it later that day as we can fit it in. Reason #2 I workout in front of my kids (sometimes) is because I want them to see they can be a part of it, too. By making a point to exercise WITH them instead of while they sleep or even while they’re intentionally (on my part) glued to their iPads, I want them to know they can do these things too. They can lift weights. They can find their balance. They can have fun 🙂 My favorite part of this video was when Troy spontaneously came up and told me he loved me and wrapped himself around my arm (melt). Then he proceeded to ask me “are you making yourself stronger?” I’m so glad we’ve given him the word “stronger” instead of “skinnier” to use in that sentence. That’s a separate praise and post.
My second favorite part of this video was how calm they were. They’re so accustomed to me doing little things in front of them that they don’t go completely wild every time I push play. They kind of just mill around, and try some of the moves, and yea, they hang on me, and yea, sometimes I don’t get every second of the workout in or pay attention to exactly the right move I’m supposed to be doing, but I wouldn’t trade these kind of moments (on occasion) for anything.
I don’t write today’s post to make you feel bad for not finding the time to workout, if that’s you. I write it because I want to show you my kids and I got used to it, and yours totally can, too 🙂