What Exercise Looks Really Looks Like When You Have Two Kids

IMG_3151I like to think of myself as an athletic person. But in all honesty, I haven’t exercised regularly for the past three years.

First, I was pregnant with Arthur and navigating body changes, school, work, and the new responsibilities of marriage. Then, Arthur was born and I wanted to exercise, but was discouraged by my jiggly, loose, postpartum body–too discouraged, unfortunately, to be successful. While pregnant with Lucy, I was a committed walker and dabbled in yoga occasionally. I’ve never completely given up on exercise, but I felt like I hadn’t hit my groove yet.

Well, at least until this past week. Until now, I thought the problem was that I wasn’t planning well enough. I wasn’t getting up early enough or committing hard enough. But I had an epiphany.
Two days ago, I had planned to wake up early and run before Devon left for school. But that night had been horrendous. (teething! toddler beds! potty training!). There was no way I was going to wake up at 6:30am to exercise. No. Way. So Devon left for school and our day began. But I still wanted to run.

So, when it turned out that Arthur wasn’t going to take a nap, I loaded him and Lucy in our jogger/bike trailer (Thanks Stacey!) and we left. I ran for about a mile and then let Arthur out to walk and explore, then I put him back in and jogged some more. And I loved every minute of it. I didn’t feel like I was forcing myself to go. I wasn’t inconveniencing anyone. I didn’t feel guilt or shame at being out-of-shape  Mostly it was just joy. and babies.

What I learned is that like everything else in the life of a parent, exercise is most successful when it is flexible. By not setting time limits or giving myself ultimatums, I can be flexible enough to find something that works for me and my kids, no matter how the day (or night) has gone. I am hopeful that I can keep exercise a priority, no matter what form it takes.

What do you do for exercise? How have you had to be flexible? Flexibility is still something I struggle with as a parent/human being. 


2 Replies to “What Exercise Looks Really Looks Like When You Have Two Kids”

  1. My son is eight months old, and even before he was born I struggled with body confidence. I now do yoga DVDs at home, but he will start fussing in the middle of it and I lose my groove. We go on walks together but we only make it about two miles and he has had enough of his stroller. Still trying to find the best way that will work for us.

    1. Good for you for trying so hard! I hope you can find something that he and you like, and if not, a gym with really good daycare? or a helpful spouse or friend? Good luck!

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