When I was thirteen, I babysat a ton. Mostly for young kids, but occasionally for toddlers and for one summer, a newborn. The mom hired me to come to her house three mornings a week and watch her brand new baby for just an hour while she went to the gym. At thirteen, I didn't get it. I was thrilled to hold a tiny baby while he slept, but it seemed silly for her to pay me just so she could exercise.
Fast-forward 15 years and OH MAN, do I understand.
I did not think at all about how hard it would be to exercise once the baby arrived. First there was the necessary healing time which needed to be respected, of course. And then there was the lack of energy. And then there's the fact that you can't just leave the kiddo at home while you race around the neighborhood. And, of course, there are feeding and nap schedules to try to coordinate.
I really missed moving in the early weeks. I remember towards the end of my pregnancy having dreams about running and I was anxious to get get back to it. On Ellerie's six week birthday, after Paul got home from work, I went for my first run since December 31st. It was very slow and a bit jiggly. But it was a great run. I made a short one mile loop and felt my mind un-fog as my feet hit the pavement. It was a healthy reminder that I run not to fit into my jeans, but to have some time to myself and get my heart pumping fast.
Since that run, I have worked very hard to fit movement into our schedule. I say "our" because it's a family effort, for sure. Paul and I take turns getting in a quick run after he gets home from work. Typically, I am dressed and ready to go with a podcast queued when he walks in the door and then when I get home, he gets out. Ellerie is big enough now to be pushed in the stroller while one of us jogs behind so that will make things easier for sure.
We have made a point to get out running together a few times when we have family here to watch the baby and I cherish those mornings. We used to run a lot with each other and having some of our old "Elise & Paul" time is special and awesome. Plus, Paul's a great motivator. I run faster and for longer when he's by my side. We had planned on participating in a 10k last weekend, but sadly, it was canceled. Hopefully we can find another one soon.
I also found a yoga class that I love that's not too far from the house. Getting the hour of stretching and strengthening in is nice, but connecting briefly with other mamas and the fantastic teacher is wonderful. It's a baby friendly class, which means Ellerie lays on the floor in front of the mat and I can stop at any time to feed her, comfort her, etc. The practice is often disrupted, but it's still more involved than something I would be doing at home.
It's so worth it to me to get out of the house and commit to this each week - even when it means I alter Ellerie's nap "schedule" and have to drive around looking for street parking. Like nearly all exercise, I never regret going after class is over.
We're learning daily how to make things work as parents and people. Everything now takes more planning and sometimes more effort than it did before. But we're working on it and finding it gets easier as we settle into our groove.
The clothes I am wearing in this post were provided by Albion Fit. They offered to send me a few items in exchange for sharing here and I thought this would be a great fit (no pun intended). I have been wearing the breathe freely tank on my runs and I love it because unlike so many of my running shirts, it's loose and doesn't ride up. The lounge crops and illusion capris are both flattering and have become favorites for yoga classes or around the house wear. Albion Fit is generously offering $20 off any $50 or more purchase with code enjoyit20 through 11/9/13.
Other posts you might enjoy: