It's really hard to fit in "me" time once you have kids. Like, really hard. I was guilty of this before having kids - thinking things like "Oh, come on. How hard can it be to grab a coffee with your friends or go out once in awhile? They are just babies and kids, how hard can it really be?"
Um. Yeah. Silly pre-kiddo me thinking those crazy thoughts! It is really hard. And it's because it's not just the mere fact that you have kids. It is way bigger than that. It's your entire life that shifts and your priorities change to ensure these precious beings become the focus. And yes, the needs of myself and my husband take the back burner for a bit and our kids become the priority. It's not a bad thing. It's just the way it is for us. I'm finding it's the case for some other parents I know also. We don't intend for it to happen, but somehow it does. (As they have gotten older, I'd like to note we have gotten some of that time back, but are working on getting more!)
So, how do you get back on track? How do you sneak in those well-deserved and much needed "me" moments? And, if those "me" time moments include a focus on getting healthy, or exercise - like it is right now for me - how can it be accomplished while keeping all the other balls in the air from crashing down around you?
Well, it's not easy, but with some planning, it can be done.
During the day, it's hard to do. I've recently re-joined a gym here in town and they have babysitting while you work out. It's been wonderful - I get some "me" time while I work out. It's a double win for me. After that, it's back to taking care of the kids, squeezing in work here and there, cleaning, household tasks, feeding the kids, feeding the dog, feeding myself, activities with the kids, etc. etc. But, I look forward to that time now that it's become enjoyable and fun for me again.
However, if you don't have the luxury of joining a gym, what do you do to fit exercise in? After I had my first child, I relied on nap time and some great work out DVDs.
But then, one day, I made an awesome discovery that I'm not sure too many know about or don't realize they have access to. And, it's on your TV.
If you have cable and the "On-Demand" programming feature, there's a section under the free areas called Health and Wellness (note: names of these may vary depending on your cable provider). Under that section is something called Exercise TV and it has quite a few work out choices on there - ranging from 10 minute workouts to 45 minute ones. There's dance, cardio, strength, yoga and pilates. They feature some popular workout trainers too - including Jillian Michaels, Bob Harper and more!
Here's a few more tips:
- If you have an iPad, tablet or a lap top computer - you can find tons and tons (and tons) of free online workouts from Shape, Fitness Magazine, Prevention and even videos on YouTube and more.
- When it's warmer weather, grab some friends and a stroller (nothing fancy needed) and get out and hit the trails or your neighborhood for a walk.
- I know it sounds silly, but when you're folding laundry or washing dishes or doing any of the chores around the house - add in some squats or suck your belly into your spine and contract your abs for intervals of 30 seconds.
- Run up and down the stairs a few times
- When you put away the groceries, do a few bicep curls with your jarred goods or the milk jug
- If you're on the floor with your kids, play airplane with them (safely of course and if they are old enough) by laying down on the floor with your knees bent. Then, place the bottoms of your feet, grabbing their hands with yours and letting them fly through the air by you extending your legs in the air. You can even make them go up and down in a leg press motion. My kids love this and I work out my legs a bit!
How do you fit in exercise in your day? I would love to hear your tips and tricks, too!