Saturday, June 15, 2013

How I'm fitting it in...this week!

From Friday's run fail!

As a (once, and trying to be currently) active Mum, I'm almost obliged to write a post about how I fit exercise in (with the subtext, or not-sub text, "if I can do it, you can TOO!").  I'd love to be writing a post about long runs with the stroller, leg aching naptime spin sessions and early morning swims, about weight loss and half marathon PRs, but as it turns out (and as I have written before) I can't do it.  Or, while I want to quite a bit, I don't want to "enough."

I have a few things which make "fitting it in" easier:
  • a no-longer-breastfeeding baby toddler
  • a super supportive spouse who works fairly normal hours
  • a part-time out-of-the-home job which presently is not particularly busy
  • a wind trainer
  • a headlamp
  • a set of Jillian Michaels DVDs
...and a few things that make "fitting it in" harder:
  •  a  toddler who's been in a bit of a Mummy phase since about 8 months (before that he was a bit more of an equal opportunity employer)
  • a part-time out-of-the-home job, which means I use up my "gran-sitting" allocation every week (!)
  • a part-time out-of-the-home job, which means I carry a hefty dose of Mama-guilt with me on my four non-work days (meaning I'm loathe to have much/any extra time away from him)
  • a toddler who is not not especially enthusiastic about naps, bedtime, staying asleep at night, or stroller time
  • a spouse who has his own fitness goals
  • the combination of baby-toddler and parenting philosophy which led to us becoming a co-sleeping family (on the upside, I get to sleep in for a bit if he sleeps in, on the downside, I can't get up without waking him).
So, with those things in mind, how did I fit some exercise in this week?

Monday: Rest.  My excuse: I had a doctor's appointment in the morning and errands to run at lunchtime.  Toby was sad and clingy when we got home, and I couldn't* go further than the kitchen while he was in the bath.  He wasn't keen on bed, and by the time he went to sleep (9pm) I didn't have the heart to exercise, knowing what chores I had ahead of me.
Tuesday: Run in the morning, about 25 minutes (should have been longer, I can't remember why I didn't get my A into G in time to leave earlier).  Sometimes I stroller this one, but this week Phil left for work a little later as he was travelling directly to Court in a nearby town.  30 Day Shred video in the first part of Toby's nap (I get 40 minutes to myself, but have learnt from experience that it's better for both of us if I sit near Toby for the rest of his nap- I can usually stretch that 40 out to 1:30 or so that way, and guarantee a happier baby for the afternoon).  Stroller walk to and from the park in the afternoon- not really "exercise" but it made for a more active than usual day.
Wednesday: 30 minute lunchtime run.
Thursday: 30 minute lunchtime run.
Friday: 20 minute fail "run" with Toby in the stroller- I gambled and lost on this one! I thought about doing another 30 DS during naptime, but decided the pile of laundry and dishes had to take precedence.
Saturday: 1:15 run while Phil took Toby to swimming (my "Mummy time" of the week)
Sunday: TBD, but the plan is for a 30 minute family run in the morning (we generally don't try for longer with the stroller), and maybe a family bike ride later (again, not really "exercise", but Toby loves it!)

Family trip to the Redwoods (aka Best Day Ever)

Looking back, it's been an OK week.  Most weeks look something like this- a couple of 30 minute lunchtime runs, my Saturday time is pretty sacrosanct, and we usually get out as a family at some point on Sundays.  But it doesn't take a lot to derail it either- a busy day at work, appointments on my non-work days, etc (that's not to say I couldn't work around those things, I just mean that the nice little "routine" falls down pretty easily). I could make better use of evening time- I need to stay close as T tends to wake overnight, but I could ride on the trainer [if I cleared out the backroom, which is currently full of clothes that Toby and I used to fit], or do strength work in the lounge, or kick Phil into the study and put a DVD on. 

*I do wonder often whether I should be a bit bolder about just doing it when Toby's being clingy.  Turns out I'm a sook, especially when you add in that big whack of working Mummy guilt, and just cannot brig myself to leave if he's screaming "Mamamama" with tears running down his face.  I just don't want it enough.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

On the awesomeness of having a toddler

So, having a toddler is awesome.* Even a toddler who doesn't sleep through the night, often refuses to go to bed until 9pm, and won't sleep longer than 40 minutes for his nap unless I sit with him (which I do- yay snuggles!)

And having had plenty of practice dealing with a busy, no-napping, stubborn and shouty baby, I've been fairly well-prepared for some of the several challenges that arise as a baby moves into the toddler-zone (carseat struggles, nap-resisting, active nappy and clothing changes and the like), and have knocked some of my toddler- mum paths for six.

That doesn't mean it's easy, cos boy is it exhausting, but OH, I am so much better** at it * than I was at having a baby.

What do I love about this age?

1- Burgeoning communication skills
Watching Toby learning to speak and sign is hilarious, delightful and such a privilege.  He is currently in one of those language explosion stages, with new words every day, and seems to have been finding more pride and satisfaction in picking up words over the last week or so.  He's more likely to use words to point something out to us, or request something, or just actually communicate rather than just naming things here and there.  I wish I could bottle the look on his face when we finally get it right. He practices improving his pronunciation ("boos...boods...boords, birds") and his hand movements, which I just adore.  His favourite words today are star, moon, bowl and egg, and he is loving animal noises.

2- Toddler dancing
Baby dancing is cute full-stop, but add walking, squats, and hip wiggles and I'm just dead.

3- Being able to DO stuff
Entertaining T was really tough for awhile (4-7ish months?).  He wasn't content to sit still, but couldn't do anything much else.  Wanted to be carried around so he could grab things we didn't want him grabbing, but didn't want to be worn in a baby carrier.   Was strongly opposed to lying on the mat with other babies, but also opposed to sitting on Mum's knee. Didn't want to sleep, but didn't much want to be awake either.  Things got easier and easier as he got older and more mobile and the sun came out, but now that he's been walking for a few months, things are really pretty good.  He can play on (some) playground equipment, enjoy visiting petting zoos, enjoy the bouncy castles at the indoor playground, dance and sing at Mainly Music, and go for walks.  At home he can hang out in the garden, do "art projects", set up messy play, "help" with chores, "bake", and really play "with" his toys.  This is not only good for the obvious reasons, but also because it makes this control freak Mum feel more in charge of our days.  If I'm feeling a bit afloat, I can de-funk by planning a fun activity for my next Toby-day.  I feel more like a "Mum" than just an exhausted and confused pile of exhausted hopelessness.

4- Affection
Sure, the constant "Mamamamamamamama" gets exhausting, but it's worth it for the sweet "Ma-ma"s, cuddles using his arms, open mouthed kisses, and the pitter patter of wee feet running towards me after a day at work.  I'm also loving seeing him bond with the other people in his life.  He loves telling me about his afternoons at Gran ("Gar") and Opa's ("Bou-pa") house, and looking at his far away relatives in his photobooks. His face lights up when the nanny arrives, and he gives her a big kiss and cuddle when he leaves.

There are more things I love, but that's enough gushing for now.  Please excuse the sunshine and roses post.  It's (definitely) not all like that, but it's nice to enjoy the bright side sometimes.

*so far...
**still not much good at it, but better at least!