Is It Possible to Be a Fit Working Mom?
My birthday is next week. It’s not a particularly momentous birthday but it does make me think back to last year. Liam was three months old and I was just starting back to work. Life had never been crazier. Between the sleepless nights, the guilt, the pumping and trying to get back into the swing of things at work, I was totally overwhelmed. Diet and exercise completely fell off the priority list and I was okay with that. I thought to myself, “I just need to get through this tough part and then I’ll have the time and energy to worry about taking better care of myself. Within a few months things will calm down and by my next birthday I’ll be back on track.” Needless to say, I find myself one year later no fitter or healthier than I was last year.
Finding the time to exercise seems to be a universal problem for working moms. NourishMom wrote a post about it a while back and every working mom I know seems to struggle with the issue on some level. This summer an article published about the rise of “fit moms” in the Wall Street Journal stated, not surprisingly, that these new fit moms tend not to have full-time jobs. Is it possible to be a working mom AND a fit mom? It’s so hard to carve out the time to commit to exercise but as someone who used to exercise regularly and knows the amazing health, stress relief, and general well-being benefits that come from exercise, is there a group of people who need them more than working moms?
Over the last year I’ve tried to get back into exercise. And by tried I mean I’ve talked about it (a lot), vowed to do something about it, said TOMORROW was the day…everything short of actually getting in a routine of regular exercise. Conversations with my husband about exercising started to sound like this commercial:
It’s so easy to come up with an excuse not to when you’re a working mom. The saddest part for me is that I was right about things settling down over the past year. Liam is sleeping through the night, he voluntarily finished breastfeeding a few weeks back and we haven’t hit any of the challenging developmental issues just yet like tantrums, potty training, etc. Life is certainly crazy and busy but when is it going to get easier? At some point, we plan to have another baby and life certainly won’t be easier while I’m pregnant again or while we have a new baby AND Liam to worry about and even once they’re a little older we’ll have to deal with the rubik’s cube that is scheduling school and afterschool sports, activities, homework, etc etc. If I wait for life to get easier, I’ll be waiting until Liam is off to college.
So I’ve decided to be put away the excuses and tomorrows and make a commitment to myself. For the month of November I’m committed to exercising for at least 30 minutes everyday (because you can’t say “tomorrow” when you commit to every day, right?). The idea is that a month is a short enough amount of time to stick to it and that after a month, I’ll hopefully be in shape and inspired enough to keep going. When I first made the decision to do this little personal challenge, I wasn’t going to blog about it. But after talking to some people about it, I decided the personal accountability of having put it out in the blogosphere might add extra motivation.
I’ll write a follow up after the month to let you know how things go. I’ll also try to tweet throughout the month about how things are going. If any fit or aspiring fit working moms have suggestions or advice for me on fitting exercise in everyday, please let me know. I’m adopting the hashtag #fitworkingmom and would love to have other moms join me in making the commitment to exercise.
I’ll leave you with this Nike ad which is my new fitness mantra. I really like this one too but my husband chastises me for the use of such language in front of our impressionable son, so I’ll stick with this one