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Introducing Kara: And How She Fits in Workouts as a Working Mom

We told you last week that we have some new stuff up our sleeves, and Kara Kramer is one of the surprises we’ve been hiding up there. She is the hilarious mom of two behind It’s a Dog Lick Baby World, and we’re excited to add her voice to the Fit Bottomed mix because she’s doing the nearly impossible: Fitting in fitness while she works out of the home. She’ll be joining us most weeks, so stay tuned! Read on for her typical morning routine and just try not to laugh. 

Back in March, I went back to full time work after almost five years as a stay at home mom (SAHM) with my two daughters who are now 5 and 2 years old. During my SAHM years, fitness was a huge part of my life and it was easy to fit a ton of it in my day.


I ran ultra marathons and did lots of local races, many with my crazy dog (the inspiration of the title of my blog).



After back surgery in March 2013, I’ve scaled back on my running and I mostly do low impact activities. Low impact doesn’t have to mean low intensity, and I still get a sweaty workout done six days of the week. I have a home gym in my basement with weights, a treadmill, and a TRX system, and I also have a gym membership. Most weekdays I use my gym at home, so here is a look into my typical morning routine now that I’m working full time again:

5:04 a.m.: Alarm goes off. It’s 5:04 because 5 a.m. is some bullshit and 5:05 is just lazy. I don’t do snooze (never have, never will) and I usually spend about two minutes looking at the news on my phone to see if WWIII started overnight and then I get out of bed.

5:08 a.m.: I dress myself from my outfit I laid out in the bathroom the night before. I can hear the dog losing her shit in her crate, so I hurry.

5:10 a.m.: After the dog comes back inside from the yard, I usher her downstairs to my gym area. I don’t love having her underfoot, but she won’t behave (read: be quiet) if I don’t take her down with me. Sometimes she gets so stressed from watching me work out that she vomits, so it’s a good time for everyone.

5:12-6:13 a.m.: Morning workout. I have a circuit type workout given to me by my personal trainer, so I either do that or I do incline walking on the treadmill. Throughout the duration of my exercise, I keep my eye on the clock to stay on schedule. This actually helps me maintain intensity during my workout because I feel a sense of urgency.

6:14 a.m.: Come upstairs to say goodbye to my husband as he leaves for work. He likes to leave at 6:15 a.m. on the dot so I make sure I’m done working out by then in case the kids wake up early.

6:18 a.m.: Jump in the shower while listening to NPR to hear analysis on world affairs. The dog and cat both usually sit and watch me shower, and if I’m really lucky, my younger daughter is awake and watching me too. It’s never too soon for a 2-year-old to hear about refugee crises and economic problems in the EU, that’s my motto.

6:30 a.m.: Get dressed in work clothes (outfit picked out the night before) and hair and make-up. If I’m crunched for time, I’ll just dry my bangs and throw my hair up in a ponytail.

6:40 a.m.: Wake up the kids and get them dressed for the day. This is sometimes easy, sometimes a shit show. It’s easier in the summer because the 2-year-old goes to school in her bathing suit (her age group swims first at summer camp) and that cuts down on outfit arguments.

6:50 a.m.: Get the kids downstairs and run around like a headless chicken getting their shoes on, doing their hair, putting pre-packed lunches in their packs, and throwing some frozen waffles in the toaster. The kids eat breakfast in the car on the way to school, so I usher them to their seats with hot waffles wrapped up in a paper towel, which is totally a Pinterest Mom worthy breakfast. Sometimes I get really fancy and put chocolate milk in a sippy cup, but lately I’ve been relying more on juice boxes. It takes me at least two trips back inside to grab everything we all need for the day, but it’s easier once the kids are secure in their seats.

7:00 a.m.: Pulling out of the driveway! I always have that fleeting “I wonder what I forgot today” feeling and double-check that I at least have my work badge and figure I can wing anything else I need. I know the kids have everything because I pack stuff the night before, but for myself I’m not always so organized.

7:20 a.m.: Drop the kids off at before care.

7:23 a.m.: Arrive at work. Yes, I work that close to their school. Go ahead and be jealous.

7:30 a.m.: Eat breakfast in the peace and quiet of my office. Yes, I will wait over two hours to eat after waking up just for the experience of doing so peacefully.

The key for all of this working according to schedule is packing everything the night before. It’s a pain in the ass, but I have to do it at one point or another, so I might as well do it early so I can work out in the morning.

How do you fit in a workout during your work day? I’d love to work out at lunch, but I sweat so, so much (see first picture for proof!). —Kara

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