Co-sleeping, breastfeeding, working moms: do you work out? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 32 Old 12-09-2010, 11:40 AM - Thread Starter
 
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My DD is almost 13 months.  She doesn’t take in a lot of milk while I’m gone out of the house so much of her milk intake is at night or when I get home in the evenings.  Sometimes she still wakes up 3-4 times at night.  She goes to bed at about 9 PM and wakes up at around 8 or 8:30 AM.  I am out of the house in the mornings at 7:30 AM. 

 

So, moms who are working full time, cosleeping, and breastfeeding: WHEN do you work out?  I got up this morning at 5:30 to squeeze in an early workout before getting ready for work and the day.  However, my DD has adjusted herself so that she takes in much of her milk before I get up in the morning so she woke up this morning in shock that I wasn’t there and my husband spent about 40 minutes putting her back to bed.  I feel so horribly about this.

 

By the time DD is sleeping, I’m so exhausted.  I just have the energy to finish the dishes, answer personal emails, and do other stuff that needs to be done in the house.  I couldn’t imagine working out at that time- I’m usually in bed by 11 PM, at the latest. 

 

I feel guilty working out when I get home because I feel that’s my time to focus on her.  Even if I’m not playing with her, I am still around for her to be held, carried, kissed, or smiled at.  I couldn’t really do that while working out.

 

So… WHEN do you find time to work out?  I NEED to get back into the workout groove but I’m either too exhausted or feel too guilty to do it.  Sigh.


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#2 of 32 Old 12-09-2010, 12:07 PM
 
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I don't.  I don't know when I would do it or find the energy. I used to run 1/2 marathons and up to 40 miles per week but I just can't do it right now.  I don't even see the light at the end of the tunnel because even when i am not nursing and co-sleeping, I don't want to give up time with the kids to work out.  I feel enough guilt as it is. Not very encouraging but that is my reality right now.

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#3 of 32 Old 12-09-2010, 02:12 PM
 
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I don't work out at all - but I would encourage ANY mother to make some time JUST for herself once a week and do it without guilt. Even 10 minutes a day is good. If  working out is your thing, than give yourself permission to do it, allow your child to bond with the daddy and let him find his way with the baby (they cry with momma sometimes, too) and don't feel bad.

 

Having said that, I know my schedule certainly wouldn't allow 40 minutes 3-4x a week for a workout. But I definitely could work in a few hours on the weekend or even 10 minutes daily. I would encourage you to think of the workout as "me-time" rather than workout time, so you can focus on what you ARE getting - time for yourself to do exactly what you want - rather than what you aren't getting - a good work out that gets your heart rate up, builds muscles, and allows for a proper stretch and cool down.

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#4 of 32 Old 12-09-2010, 02:14 PM
 
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PS. The first year is totally the worst. All available energy goes to childcare, work and running the household. After the first year you start to get a little time back to be yourself and after they turn 2 you really do get some time back to do the things that make you you. I remember feeling like there was no ME left in that first year.


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#5 of 32 Old 12-09-2010, 03:25 PM
 
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I belong to a gym with a childcare center. I come home from work, nurse the girls, feed the older one a snack or early supper, then shlep us all to the gym. Usually my baby falls asleep in the car, and the older one thinks the gym center is a giant playdate, so I can take an hour or so fairly guilt free. That being said, I only make it to the gym about once a week, but I figure it is better than nothing!

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#6 of 32 Old 12-10-2010, 11:10 AM
 
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I don't work out. I get off the subway a stop early and walk an extra half mile to work, IF I'm on time and there are no early meetings that day.

 

I used to swim at least once a week, and we've been taking kiddo to the pool, but of course we are playing in the baby pool, and I'm not swimming laps. BUT if I was going to work out, that's totally when I would do it ...

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#7 of 32 Old 12-10-2010, 11:13 PM
 
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I've found in my life as a mother there are just seasons when I get out of shape and can't find the time to exercise a lot.  But signing up for races has helped me get into the habit of running again...I am SLOW and out of shape, and don't train as much as I should, but it helps me get out there and exercise b/c I know I have to be ready for an "event" that I've paid for.  I run in the late afternoon or on weekends when dh can stay with the kids.


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#8 of 32 Old 12-11-2010, 06:02 AM
 
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It turns out that working out is really good for my sanity. I work out Tuesday and Thursday evenings, after work, and Sunday morning while DH does some "just DH and DD" activities. Yes. I feel guilty on those weeknights when I am eating into some of the only time that I get to spend with DD, but she gets to enjoy time with DH then. And I'm a much better fulltime working, cosleeping, breastfeeding mom to this 2 year old when I get some time in the gym.


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#9 of 32 Old 12-12-2010, 10:19 PM
 
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During lunch break. we are allowed to eat at our desk. so i'd go for a half hour to 45 min brisk walk during lunch time.

 

i actually quite enjoyed that.

 

otherwise i wouldnt have managed. i would have felt guilty about taking away from dd's time.

 

while i was pumping - forget it. 


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#10 of 32 Old 12-13-2010, 06:25 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you all so much for the replies, suggestions, and sharing what you do.  I'm thinking of maybe doing video workouts when I get home from work, while my husband is home so that my DD sees me and can play with me around.  I can do this 2 days during the middle of the week and can take advantage of her naps during weekends and work out then.  Sigh.  I really like the idea of getting off the subway stop earlier and just walking the rest of the way.  It's winter now and freezing, but oh well.  I would do lunch break except that I don't know if I can motivate myself to do it during that time of the day.  I'm usually so hungry that I can't focus on anything except food past 11 AM. 

 

Do moms ever stop feeling guilty?  I do thin of exercise as "me time" but then I feel like I don't deserve it and that I'm damaging my daughter forever for being so selfish.  Ha!

 


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#11 of 32 Old 12-13-2010, 10:46 AM
 
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Piling on to this thread, but I'm in a similar boat and I just don't work out.  It saddens me, because I used to go to the gym 4-5 days a week and really enjoyed not only my time at the gym but also the way I felt long afterwards.  I have a 3yo and a 1yo - the 1yo co-sleeps and has a similar waking up pattern to what you describe.  I already wake up at 5:30am and barely have time to get out the door as it is, and by the time I get home around 6pm, I want to spend all my time with the kids until they're finally in bed by 8:30pm, then I have about an hour to clean up and do whatever I need to before my son wakes up again.  Sometimes he'll sleep for up to 3 hours, but I never really know.  I'm totally exhausted by the time I get in bed.  I just don't see working out fitting in right now, but I'm hoping it will again sometime.  In the meantime, lots of walking whenever I can and outside activities on the weekends.  I feel really out of shape though :(

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#12 of 32 Old 12-14-2010, 05:52 AM
 
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I do like a PP and take DS to the gym with me, it has a child care center. He seems to enjoy it. I think it is like $10 a month for child care and it is unlimited. not a bad deal.  Otherwise I would not work out at all!

 

If our neighborhood was more walk-able, I would do that.

 

Another working mom and I with kids about the same age get together after work and stroll around a park. This way I get adult/mommy coversation time + excersise + boys can play on the playground when we are done.


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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ellien C View Post

PS. The first year is totally the worst. All available energy goes to childcare, work and running the household. After the first year you start to get a little time back to be yourself and after they turn 2 you really do get some time back to do the things that make you you. I remember feeling like there was no ME left in that first year.


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What has worked for me is commuting to work by bicycle. It's brilliant because I must get to work and biking takes the same amount of time (or less) than riding the bus. I invested in a good commuter bike + gear so that I can carry lots of stuff with me (change of clothes, food, etc). Now that it's winter & there's snow on the ground, I'm riding the bus again, so I'm not getting enough exercise. BLAH. And yeah, if I can't combine exercise with some other required task in my life, it generally doesn't happen. I try to do a little yoga/stretching each morning. I get to a dance jam once a week. But I only get nice sweaty work-outs when I commute by bike.


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#14 of 32 Old 12-14-2010, 12:40 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Path2Felicity View Post

So, moms who are working full time, cosleeping, and breastfeeding: WHEN do you work out?  I got up this morning at 5:30 to squeeze in an early workout before getting ready for work and the day.  However, my DD has adjusted herself so that she takes in much of her milk before I get up in the morning so she woke up this morning in shock that I wasn’t there and my husband spent about 40 minutes putting her back to bed.  I feel so horribly about this.


I have just given up on working out unless I can do it with DS because of exactly this ^^ problem. DS is such an inconsistent sleeper but when he wakes up in the morning he definitely wants mama (still at 20 months).

 

We've gone through spurts... I take advantage of the periods during which he likes going for a jog with me (13 mos was one of those periods) & I just talk with him the whole time so I feel like we're getting some quality time together. Otherwise, I bike to school/work when I can. And we go on a lot of walks (though usually slow toddler walks that don't feel much like exercise...).

 

It's actually quite depressing me these days because I hardly get any time to myself (for exercise or otherwise) and I feel I would be so much healthier if I could get into a routine, but I think it's just the nature of the moment. I hope it'll pass.

 

BUT if you can find some time for yourself (evenings or weekends) DO NOT feel guilty taking it! Exercise for 30 minutes, get back to your DD (sweat & all), and shower once she goes to sleep. Good luck!


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#15 of 32 Old 12-16-2010, 12:39 PM
 
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no. :bag.

 

The only thing I managed to do sometimes, was to take a walk with ds in the morning before I left for work. I do have memories of doing jane fonda/denise austin with my mom when I was a bit older, so maybe that's an option?


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#16 of 32 Old 12-17-2010, 08:31 PM
 
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Last winter/spring, I joined a gym close to home and was working out 2-3 days a week.  I would go to the gym after I put DS to bed around 7.  When his bedtime moved to around 8, it got harder.  Then my gym closed and then I got pg, so I haven't worked out since then.  It's so hard to find time.  I should start taking some walks, but I don't really feel motivated.  The only time I feel I can work out is after DS goes to bed, but I prefer to relax with DH and watch TV.  I guess I could go during lunch, but I hate the whole showering thing afterwards.


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#17 of 32 Old 12-20-2010, 01:30 PM
 
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We have a stationary bike in the basement, so that helps a lot, I would never work out if I had to go to the gym, the logistics just don't work for me right now smile.gif Even so, just this last month I really started working out again (my daughter is 13 months), before that I didn't have the energy or time to do it. Now, I did make a point to park further away and try to walk with my DD outside when the weather was good, but not that true cardio working out though until recently. And it wasn't a guilt thing with me, though I can understand that, but I do think letting go of the guilt will help. Working out improves your health so much, it benefits your child too!

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#18 of 32 Old 12-23-2010, 07:52 AM
 
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Jogging with my littlest in a stroller (and big sister biking alongside) was my major workout without needing childcare. Or biking together with the trailer.  My work schedule has varied a lot over the years, so my timing keeps changing, In my regular day job I did runs on my lunch hour, too.

 

Now we go once or twice a week to "family funcamp" which is a bootcamp held at our school gym in the evenings from 6-7. The kids roam around the gym and play (it's totally insane) while the adults get a pretty tough workout. Some evenings I have a clingy toddler and end of getting an extra workout doing some of it with her in arms. I love it, and the kids beg to go and play.


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#19 of 32 Old 01-03-2011, 01:50 PM
 
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Work out? what's that?  On the weekend I get up very early and go for a walk.   I try and do mini work outs in the morning before my girls wake up.   Since I am pumping I can't use my lunch hour for a walk.   It's a bit of a bummer but as others have said, I think it will get easier. 

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#20 of 32 Old 01-03-2011, 02:02 PM
 
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Not working out here, either.  And I used to 5 days a week and was cut and trim!  Two kids and 10 lbs later, I'm still trying to get back to the gym. And yes, I am thankful it's only 10 lbs more.  We joined a gym last summer with a kids' club.  Then separation anxiety hit (for our 1.5 year old).  Or was it head lice (with our 5 year old)?  Either way, both severely derailed our attendance since we think our daughter got head lice there (they have totally different hair textures and he's very unlikely to ever get it, so one could get it and not the other - his AA like mine and hers pretty straight like dh's family).  Her hair is waist length, so, I'm not excited to go back.  Plus, now it's winter and we seem to keep passing the colds around.  Dd's derailed her for 2 weeks and gret into an upper respiratory infection!  Anyway, she's interested in dancing salsa (my other go-to work out back in the day) and I just found a studio that offers a kid's class at the same time as a zumba class.  I kind of hate to do it since zumba is offered at the gym and therefore included in what I'm already spending there, but it just might be the only way.  Dh and I will get back to the gym at some point, though.


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#21 of 32 Old 01-04-2011, 07:37 AM
 
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I have been thinking about this a LOT. This thread makes me realize that I NEED to get my bootie to the gym! I used to do awesome walks/bike rides with the kids and felt much better. But, now that my 2.5 year old will NOT get in the bike trailer/stroller, that is much harder. I have been contemplating joining the Y in town. It has a really nice childcare facility and there are so many things that they offer that will be awesome when my DS turns 3 in May.

 

I am going to join today! You ladies have motivated me. I DESERVE THIS!!!!! joy.gif


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#22 of 32 Old 01-05-2011, 10:19 AM
 
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I work out but for the first year (actually year and a half) I didnt.

 

I gained a lot of weight and felt awful... I am starting to get myself back again but it has been after around 6 months of constantly trying to make time and find time. Some weeks are better than others but it is never easy.

 

Thankfully now I can leave both with their dad and call it a day. They are old enough that they can verbalize what they need and their father takes good care of them. 


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#23 of 32 Old 01-06-2011, 11:12 AM - Thread Starter
 
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So this is what I’ve done to incorporate exercising.  DD is now almost 14 months old and I am trying to help her figure out other ways to soothe herself when she gets up besides me nursing her.  My DH helps a lot with this.  We aren’t completely night weaning, but she knows that if I’m not there, my DH will help soothe her and she quickly settles. 

 

So, I get up at about 5:00 so I am at the gym by 5:15 and do a workout until 6:15.  Then, I go home and lay down next to DD… nurse her… and then by 7:00 I get up and shower and get ready for the day.  I take the train but get off a little early so that I walk more.  I am in the office by 8:30.  I stay in the office until 4:00 and I walk the long way again and go home.  I pick up DD at about 4:50 from her homecare situation.  When DD goes to bed, I quickly finish up things I need to get done and then join her.

 

This routine is making me feel healthier and better.  I don’t know whether I can continue to keep this up, but it’s making me happy for now.  And, on nights I am really tired, I skip the workout in the morning.  So, I really end up going about 3-4 days a week, and I never go on weekends.


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#24 of 32 Old 01-10-2011, 06:35 PM
 
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I really struggled with this as a working mom, for all the same issues - I couldn't take breaks at work because I was already doing pumping breaks, I couldn't go in the mornings as my DH leaves early for work, and I couldn't stand taking more time after work away from my DS to go work out when he was only awake for three or so hours, and then I was so exhausted by then I couldn't even think about working out.  I really struggled to find ways to work out with my DS, but nothing just seemed to work.  Finally I found the solution, and I absolutely LOVE it.  I swapped my desk at work for a treadmill desk.  So I stand and walk all day long at a slow pace so I can still work on computer, talk on phone, etc. ... I just do it all day long.  Google treadmill desks and there is a ton of stuff out there.  It was the perfect answer for me - I didn't have to take away any time to do it.

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#25 of 32 Old 01-12-2011, 10:18 AM
 
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I posted earlier about not working out, but I just ordered a yoga DVD for kids - thinking maybe that counts as a little exercise anyway and then it's a group activity so I don't miss kid time because of exercising. 

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#26 of 32 Old 01-12-2011, 02:00 PM
 
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I have NO idea how I would have time to work out. I don't even have time to shave my legs... :S But I do agree with finding SOME self time. Mine is ever second night I have a hot bath with all the lights out and some candles and oils in my bath. I read in there for an hour or so. :) This is my special time and it keeps me sane.

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#27 of 32 Old 01-24-2011, 12:46 PM
 
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I don't work out but recently have tried squeezing in something physical.  I have a 11 week old and a 21 mth old so it gets pretty tough.  My DH gets to work out quite though, which I get jealous of.  He'll go after work or in between his two jobs.  I can't take my DC with me to work out cuz they have to be at least 6 mths old.  Saturday I had my DH watch the kids in the morning so I could go to the gym, but after running for 20 minutes I had to come back home cuz my BF son needed me.  If it was warm out I would at least go walking outside after dinner with the kids, but its too freaking cold here in Chicago right now.


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#28 of 32 Old 01-25-2011, 05:28 PM
 
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i only work out a couple of times a week.  my husband supports me and helps me with LO, so I can do this.  i find that short workout videos, like jillian michaels videos, are effective and not time consuming.

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#29 of 32 Old 02-01-2011, 05:58 PM
 
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I only work half-time but I work-out on my break. I go to a gym nearby where the trainer gave me 3 really fast circuit routines- 20-30 mins. These are full-body routines and I only go 1-2x per week and it has made a noticeable difference in my body composition. Even if you can't work-out at work I would recommend getting an efficient routine from a trainer and then attempting only twice a week. It makes a huge difference in how I feel  Also, evenings I am also dead on my feet but if I force myself to the gym I perk up right away.

 

Also a huge key in getting on a routine of regular exercise is to congratulate yourself on every single minute you spend exercising. Even if you don't think it is enough or you haven't done it for weeks. If I miss a month I make sure I give myself major kudos for the first couple times I get going again and I don't beat up on myself for not going regularly.

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#30 of 32 Old 12-09-2011, 04:05 PM
 
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Ha, I feel your pain!  I am on a swim team (not competitive, mostly for camaraderie/to have someone else plan my workout) and used to go to 5:30am practice 3x a week like clockwork, swim one weekend day, and bike/hike/run/etc the other days.  This morning I roused myself for 5:30am practice but I consider it a win when I can make it 1-2x a week...our 6mo wakes every 2 hours throughout the night, on a good night, and it's really hard to get up early these days.  Plus, because we have a nanny share that we can only barely afford, we are splitting our work time to minimize the hours away from baby/paying for child care.  So I tend to take a running break 1x a week at work (I have a pretty relaxed office) and go for a walk during one particular weekly Wednesday conference call (yay cell phones!).  Exercise is a mental health issue for me just as much as a physical health issue, thankfully my husband feels the same way and we work really hard to make it possible for one another to get in a swim, bike ride, or run - and a Saturday afternoon hike is often the best way for us to have a grown-up conversation of any substantial length!  But I also try to be easy on myself if I just can't get up, it's all a balance...and I'm considering joining a gym near the office next year to be able to duck out for a quick workout during lunch and shower afterwards!  Good luck and hang in there =)

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