The Two-Kid Workout Juggle

workout-juggle-585When I had my first child, I jumped at the chance to get back to working out. I walked outside every day until I was able to get that 6-week clearance from the doctor. As soon as I received that, I was in the gym and Evan was in the nursery. I would work out, and if Evan needed me someone would get me. I’d nurse him, drop him back off, and go finish the workout. I had a goal — my first half marathon — and I was determined. I used it as a way to keep me focused and committed, allowing me to reach my post-baby goals but also keeping me from allowing those excuses to pop into my mind.

My old gym took babies at 6 weeks; my new gym takes them at 12. That has taken some adjustment. I was spoiled — I dropped and went. I focused on ME for an hour a day. Now, I put Sadie next to two machine choices I have to fit her car seat carrier, so it’s the treadmill or stair climber. Often, Sadie wakes up needing me — a feeding, some movement or just a little acknowledgment. I jump off the machine, being sure not to let her disturb any other members’ workouts, and give her what she needs. Once she is calm and giving me all the cues that she will be good for a little bit, I hop back on, determined to finish. I bring my Moby wrap in with me every trip just in case the carrier isn’t making Sadie happy. So when she’s not happy, I go from a focused run to a brisk walk while baby wearing.

I had a set schedule before Sadie, one that completely worked with Evan’s schedule. I never interfered with his nap or his lunch, or with any playdates. It was him and me, and we could both could get what we needed each day. Now, what works for Evan doesn’t always work for Sadie, so it takes a bit more work to strike that balance.

The weather is geting nicer, but I can’t walk outside every day with the kids like I did with Evan. He has outgrown most strollers so investing in a double seems silly. So I adjust. I walk outside with friends while Evan is at camp. I go straight to the gym from drop off, giving me a little bit of time to work around Sadie. Now that we are coming up to her 12 weeks, I’m looking up different options for fitness classes. Instead of committing to one, I’m noting different times available should I need to be more flexible. With two kids, I’m realizing that everyday workouts may not be possible. Lowering my expectations and viewing it as more of a treat helps me remain motivated and less aggravated when things don’t go as planned. It is more of a balancing act with two, but managing time as best I can is what will help me stay successful. I hope!

Ever done the hop on/off the treadmill to tend to a baby? It’s like extra cardio, right? —Jennifer 


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