More than likely if you are reading this, you are searching for a way to make it work. You may even feel like you are never fully giving your all to any one facet of your to-do's.
Motherhood and fitness aren't usually two words that flow together like peanut butter and jelly (with the crust cut off of course). Two things seem completely unrelated but actually can help bolster each other. As a mom myself though it's easier said than done and fitness has taken on a whole new meaning after you become a snack butler, chauffeur, and collector of all lost things.
How do we do it all? Forgetting the Hallmark version of what "having it all" and "balance" actually looks like.
I'm a big believer in parenting the kid you HAVE, not the one you thought you would get. I work to apply the same thing to my day-to-day, my work, and my fitness. I don't have the same luxury of sleeping in for recovery, spending 2 uninterrupted hours working out, or even keeping my schedule as originally outlined. Let's dive into some of the troubleshooting techniques that I lean on to "make it work" Tim Gunn style
Use your warm-up and cool-down to involve the family: Hear me out, I know this isn't always ideal since we use so much of our workout time for our own mental break. With a clingy kid or a needy dog, it can get frustrating trying to break away. Sometimes the way to ease into the workout and barter vs fighting it. An extended warmup will pay off in warming up your muscles and can also get the kids, dogs, etc time to move their jitters out. Then looping back to drop them off to go out for your run will leave everyone feeling calmer and more focused. If the transition is hard still, the promise of coming back for the cool down can give them something to look forward to take the heat off. For the dog, you may not be able to actually have the conversation but after a few times, it will set in!
Reimagine Working Out at Home: I knew before I was a mom that working out at home seemed like the hardest thing in the world. (now it's trying to figure out which cup the kid wants and not triggering a meltdown) Being practical, getting to a yoga class or spin class isn't in the cards on a consistent basis so having to have other resources becomes a necessity. I try to reframe the "I can't go to XYZ" into "How can I optimize what I CAN do?"
Dedicating even a SMALL space in the house to even just storing your equipment can make it feel less scattered and more like a personal collection.
Create a tab on your computer or within a document that can be easily referenced with your preferred workouts so it cuts down on searching for what you want.
Have some kid-friendly activities/videos at the ready. Trying to keep them happy doesn't have to mean sticking them in front of the screen---get them involved! I have programmed kid-friendly workout resources that will break a sweat for both of you! Still want them to be more challenging? This is a great time to break out weights to turn up the heat. Also, never underestimate the power of some crayons, play-doh, or an interactive game to keep them engaged.
Put Your You Time on the Family Schedule: We have a communal whiteboard where all of our appointments, work schedules, and extra activities are accounted for. I've had to become more diligent in also including my wants/needs on there. Parents and people in general are constantly rushing around from one thing to another. We aren't super humans and none of us can remember it all. If I want to make my workouts a priority and have the best chance to get them done, they need to be accounted for. I know that I won't be able to do a double-digit long run on a jam-packed day when we are waking up at 6 a.m. and not getting home until 8 p.m. However, if I put it on the schedule for a day when my husband will be home to parent and we don't have other commitments, it's already a set expectation and everyone is aware. The random days/times living in my head aren't living rent-free ---I am putting my money where my mouth (or mind) is.
Since I pride myself on transparency, I admit I can be just as guilty of going down that mom-guilt tunnel. Will all of the tips above magically change it all? No, and I won't oversell that. It takes work, practice, and riding the bumps as they come (because they will). I work with all of my clients to make their workouts fit their lives---we aren't elites, working out isn't our job, and it's NOT the most important thing in the world----but to us, it feels like the most important thing and it's worth figuring out and fighting for OUR time.