I knew having a baby would mean that our lives would become much busier. However, being a planner and someone who has a constant mental check list running through her head, there are still a certain number of tasks I want and NEED to get done for my own mental stability and well-being. One of those things is exercise. Working in health care I know how important it is to stay healthy, so fitting in some type of physical activity is always on my mental checklist. Did I mention I like to check things off my list? Makes me feel productive. I like to feel productive.
Our typical day starts at 5 AM when Shelby awakens and we see her giggling and starting to roll around in her crib on the monitor. At that point we divide and conquer - one of us will go get her up and change her diaper while the other heats her bottle and grabs some coffee. We watch the morning news in our bedroom while she enjoys her bottle and one of us has some coffee. After that we have some happy time with our daughter as she coos and tells us in her baby language many important things.
After some coffee she goes in her exersaucer in our bathroom and Brett and I get ready for work. She plays and tells us more important things in baby talk and at a certain point gets tired and needs a nap. She is then transferred to her bouncy chair with blankie and pacifier for a quick power nap. Here is my chance for some productivity!
At this point my husband has left for work and this is my opportunity to pack up her bag for school with bottles and cereal, pack my lunch, pack my workout bag, put my cell phone in my purse so I don’t forget it, and then put all these things in the car while she is snoozing. No one mentioned how many bags would come with having a baby! Once all of these items are loaded I wake up Shelby and we are off to school, a.k.a. daycare.
I typically drop her off around 7:20 a.m. so I can be on the road headed to work by 7:30 a..m. I arrive at work around 8:15 a.m. and make the walk in from the parking garage and am at my desk by 8:30 a.m.
Fitting in exercise has been the biggest challenge since coming back to work. We have a very small window since I pick her up from school around 5:15-5:30 p.m. and she goes to bed at 8 p.m. During that time we have to fit in some play time, some swing time, a bath, PJs and her evening bottle before bed. You notice I didn’t mention dinner for us anywhere in there - haven’t worked that in so if you are at the Pollard house you are on your own! Logically, I should take the opportunity to go for a nice walk after she goes to bed at 8 p.m. right? Honestly, there are nights I am in bed shortly after her!
Yesterday we tried something new to fit in some activity. Since it is triple-digit heat right now we decided to meet at our local recreation center before we even went home. I changed into my workout clothes before I left work, picked up Shelby and we met Daddy. I strapped on the baby carrier and walked on the indoor track while he lifted weights. Shelby had a blast and I got a great 40-minute walk with an additional 15 pounds to carry. I hope to keep this up two-three days a week.
Any tips on other ways to work in activity from moms out there?
Makala Pollard is a Sr. Marketing Specialist at Texas Health Arlington Memorial Hospital, Stepmom to two boys, and New Mom to five-month-old Shelby.