The other day I took a break from homeschooling #7, #8, and #9 (John, C.C., and Sam) and went to a barre class at noon (#6 who is 14 was home). Although it’s been awhile since I was really unable to steal away, it still feels a little strange when I do. For so many years my only chance at exercise during the week was early in the morning or while the kids were napping (thank God for my lifecycle). It’s a question I’m often asked, “How did you fit it in when your kids were all young?”
It wasn’t easy. But then again, since I’ve always loved fitness, I know it wasn’t that hard. I’ve homeschooled my children and so my schedule is not that different from someone who works outside the home. It’s not like I could go out for a run in the middle of schooling when my kids were young. The dawn hours were often my only chance at fitting in a workout (and I do mean dawn…sometimes out the door at barely 5 am which meant an alarm that actually said 4 something). Yet exercise in the early morning hours also came at a cost. Too many of my kids weren’t great sleepers when they were infants and so morning always came with me longing for a few more hours of sleep…which of course I never got. I would tell myself that I would get a nap in the afternoon. This strikes me as comical now. Since having kids I can count on my fingers how many afternoon naps I’ve actually had. It’s like my body has a response control when I close my eyes in the middle of the day. Immediately I start thinking of all the things I should be doing and I literally couldn’t sleep if you paid me. Luckily I learned long ago (from another mom of a large crew) the value of just closing my eyes for 15 minutes everyday. It has been a blessing. Sleeping mid-day may be impossible, but “cat napping” works wonders.
Those early months after each baby I would forgo the early alarm wakeup and try to get out for a run when my husband got home in the evening. Either we would go together or I would go alone (or with one or two in tow in the baby jogger or on a bike). Ever since #1 was born 25 years ago, there has always been a baby jogger (or two) in my garage. We still have “Bob” (if you are a running mom you know this stands for a stroller, not a man) in our garage, which although #9 is now 5, I don’t see myself getting rid of anytime soon. [Read more…]