Can I Have Two More Hours, PLEASE?!

Once I was given the green light to exercise at my six-week post-partum check-up, I was ready and rarin’ to go.

I would bring Maya to the gym and put her in the daycare there for 45-60 minutes while I busted my butt on the Precor. I went during her nap time so as not to disrupt her schedule too much, and all was well in the world. Maya napped, Mama got her sweat on. I assumed when I went back to work, I’d figure out what the best time is for me to work out and thought 5:30 AM (when the gym opens) sounded good.

Then I went back to work yesterday and realized that it was slightly delusional to think I’d be able to get up and to the gym at 5:30. Why? Not because I’m too tired or lazy, but because it takes from 5:30-7:30 to get out the door!!!

It comes down to this: I need a few more hours in my day … preferably of the early morning variety.

Even though I shower and pack bottles and breakfast and lunch the night before, I still need to wake, pump, feed her, get ready for work (hair, make-up, clothes), squeeze in some snuggle time, and get the peanut ready for the day.  Oh, and in the midst of all this, Rocco needs a belly rub too!

Getting out the door is no easy feat — don’t worry; I didn’t expect it would be! — and unfortunately there’s nothing in that list that can be avoided.

So the only feasible time to exercise is either after work (no way; not cutting into my precious 2-3 hours of bonding time with my family) or after we give her a bath and put her to bed around 8:30 … which means a late-night workout and no alone time with my husband. 😦 Most nights that he doesn’t have class he has to study so it’s not like we get a ton of time together as it is, and I definitely don’t want to cut more into that … so I’m thinking I might focus on after-work walks for fitness and aim to work out three to four times a week at the gym — which is FINE, I know, but not nearly as much as I’m accustomed to. Le sigh.

Kate of This Place is Now a Home also recently talked about the challenges of fitting in exercise with a new baby. Reading her post, I could totally relate. It’s hard … really hard! I’m so used to flying my own plane and now I have a mini co-pilot who runs the show (and I wouldn’t change it for anything!).

Obviously working out isn’t a top priority but I know myself and without exercise I’m an unhappy person. So I think I need to just reframe things, and see what works for me. Now that it’s lighter later and warming up, long family walks will be on the agenda and I’ll just go to the gym (or Shred) when I can. (A far cry from my crazy over-exercising days!)

Like Rachael Ray told Bethenny Frankel on Bethenny Ever After last week: “I stopped trying to find balance.” At first I balked hearing her say that, but then I realized the context of what she meant. She’s thrown her entire life into her career and, as a result, other areas of her life have been sacrificed. But instead of trying to “do it all” and seek an equilibrium, she’s doing what she does best … and she seems to do a damn good job at it!

This isn’t to say I will stop exercising or putting an emphasis on it but rather acknowledging that it just doesn’t fit into my life right now the way it did, and I’m willing to accept it.

Maya, you’ve done more for me than you’ll ever know, my dear, sweet peanut!!

How about you? Do you think it was easier to find time to exercise before having children?

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11 thoughts on “Can I Have Two More Hours, PLEASE?!

  1. Well done! Refocusing on what’s most important right now is KEY. You’ll get into a rhythmn in a few weeks and maybe it’ll make sense then, or maybe it won’t. It took me a long time to find other time in my schedule and now I have other priorities. I try to get it in when I can. Perfection is so overrated. 🙂

  2. You will find, too, that once Maya starts to crawl and walk, you will get plenty of exercise chasing after her. There are literally some weekend days that I don’t sit down at all from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. I rarely go to the gym anymore.

  3. I hate to say I’m happy to know that you’ve joined the club … for those of us trying to figure out how to do it all. 🙂

    You just do what you can; that’s it.

  4. Yeah, I hear this. For me, the thing that keeps suffering is my schoolwork, which is as necessary to me as the gym is to you (and as the gym used to be to me). And Nate goes to bed late – roughly 10pm – so I don’t really have any time to myself at night because by 11pm I’m ready for bed and there’s always something to do in that one hour (dishes, laundry, email). Truthfully, I’m burning out. Something does have to give. I know you’ll find balance – the secret is that it’s not all equivalent. It’s like portion control – just gotta find the right amount of it all. 🙂

    1. Oh that’s hard, Candice!! I do have to say, my mom was on me for weeks to get Maya to bed earlier and I didn’t understand why (we loved spending time with her even if she was asleep on our chests!) but now that I’m back at work, I totally see the value in it for her (sleep) and for us (time to do stuff!!). By 11 I’m zonked, too. I feel you! If Nate isn’t into going to bed earlier, you’re right … something has to give and it IS like portion control — finding the right amount of everything but it doesn’t have to be equal!

  5. This is such a great post! As you know, I couldn’t agree more. I also think that’s a really interesting concept that Rachael Ray brought up. No one out there is saying that “we” have to do it all and do it all perfectly. We’re the only ones expecting that of ourselves. We’d all probably be a lot happier if we readjusted our expectations and congratulated ourselves on what we ARE getting done, which, juggling a baby and a job, is already a LOT.

    Brava!

    1. Thanks, Kate! I’d been thinking about it and then was catching up on my Google Reader and saw your post and could TOTALLY relate!! You’re so right, too … it’s a self-inflicted wound; no one says we have to be perfect at everything. Brava to you, too! I remember reading your going-back-to-work posts when Maya was just born and thinking, “Sheez, that’s gonna be ME in 12 weeks!” Now it’s here …

  6. A wise woman I work with (she had 5 boys!!) is in incredible shape and I asked her what her secret is–complaining that I can not lose my baby weight. She told me “You will have the rest of your life to get in shape. Enjoy those babies while they are little!” She is right, of course, to an extent. It’s about feeling good enough to enjoy the babies..but I have stopped stressing so much and tried to remember that this is such a short time in our life!

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