I had a question recently about how I fit in running and training for races as a working mom. I can honestly say it isn’t easy and, unfortunately, I have to sacrifice a little something in all aspects of my life to fit in everything. But, I feel like it is important enough for my well being that it’s something I need and want to fit in to my daily life.
I took about a billion pictures of Kenna yesterday, so bear with me as you get to see some of the good ones in this post…
I don’t do a lot of “day in the life” posts because my days are pretty much the same every. single. day. They look a little something like this:
4:15 AM – Wake up
4:30 AM – Gym for CrossFit
5 AM – Shower and get ready
6 AM – Wake MacKenna up and get her ready
6:15 AM – Breakfast for MacKenna while getting my stuff ready to go
6:30 AM – Leave for work (thankfully, Matt takes her to the sitter)
7 AM – Arrive at work
7:30 AM – First bell rings
10:48 AM – Lunch
11:09 AM – Lunch ends (a big fat 21 minutes)
2:35 PM – Dismissal
3:15 PM – Leave to go home
4 PM – Run
5 PM – Pick up MacKenna
6 PM – Dinner
6:30 PM – Bath time
7:30 PM – MacKenna’s bedtime
7:35 PM – Clean up, make breakfast + lunch for tomorrow, laundry
8 PM – Sit on the couch, eat dessert, work, blog
10 PM – Get ready for bed
11 PM – Sleep
This would be an easy day to get a run in since I have no after school commitments. But, there are meetings that come up after school, I run open gym for volleyball 1 to 2 days a week, and I go to the chiropractor 2 days a week. Those days I either have to push back my run time or skip it all together. And with Matt being in the middle of his track season, it’s even harder to fit everything in.
I’ve gotten really, really good at managing my time. I know about how long it takes me to get pretty much anything done and I can squeeze every little thing in to the amount of time I am give. But, that doesn’t mean it doesn’t take some sacrifice to fit everything in.
The first thing that I sacrifice is sleep. I luckily can function off of about 6 hours of sleep. During the fall, when volleyball season is in full swing, I get down to about 5 hours of sleep since I have to push my workouts to the morning before work (usually around 4 AM). Lately, I’ve started cutting myself down to 5 1/2 hours so I can lift in the morning instead of after school and spend a little bit more time with MacKenna after work in the afternoon and evening. And I’m hoping, now that it’s starting to get warmer, that I can start running with the jogging stroller more often. I figure that I can always make up for lack of sleep on the weekends.
The next thing to go is my training. Like I said, there are several days a week where I have to skip my run because I have after school commitments. Things come up and sometimes I just can’t help it. Using a training plan helped me a lot when training for the half, but, I’ve also had to cut back a bit on my training. Most of my runs during the week are 5 miles or less – something I can do in under 45 minutes. As much as I would love to really ramp up my mileage in order to become more competitive, I’m not willing to sacrifice that much time with my family for it. Maybe someday, but definitely not right now.
And unfortunately, I have to sacrifice some of my time with MacKenna in order to run. And that’s where the Mommy Guilt really comes in strong. I’ve heard someone recently say that once her kids are in school (5+ years old) she’ll start working out again because she wants to spend her time now with them. At first, when I heard that, I felt really guilty. “Oh man, she totally has a point. I’m missing out on some really important times in MacKenna’s life,” I thought to myself.
But, the thought of not working out, not having that time to myself, that time to unwind, relax, and clear my head would really start to cause some issues. There are days where I come home from work after an exceptionally hard day and the only way I can get over being frustrated, mad, or upset is with a run. If I didn’t run, I’m afraid that MacKenna would take the brunt of that anger and frustration. I wouldn’t be able to just focus on her – the truly important thing.
Maybe getting in so little time with her makes me a bad mom. But, in those few hours that I get with her every night, I focus all my energy on her. I savor each and every moment I get with her. I don’t worry about house work or work work or any thing else but spending time with her. And I think that makes me a better mom. A mom that cares not only about her daughter, but about herself. I don’t want MacKenna to grow up with a mom who is resentful and depressed and angry. She doesn’t deserve that, and I don’t deserve that.
Is it the ideal situation? Oh heck no! I’m pretty sure EVERYONE knows that I would much rather spend every single day at home with her (and thankfully, a month from today, I’ll be able to do that for almost 3 months). But, this it what works for me right now. It’s not easy, it’s certainly not always fun, but it’s the best situation for our home, for my sanity, and for our time.
Whether you’re a stay-at-home mom or a working mom, how do you fit working out into a busy schedule?