13 Jan 2010, Jersey City, New Jersey, USA --- Pregnant Hispanic woman lifting dumbells --- Image by © JGI/Jamie Grill/Blend Images/Corbis

I’ve never been the most athletic, the most fit, or the most motivated. I have, however, tried to work on fitness most of my life. In high school I played tennis a lot, went to the gym a few times a week. College came around and my focus shifted mostly to beer, but I still managed to workout a few times a week. Before I found out I was pregnant I was going to the gym 4-5 times a week and felt pretty good about it. One of my first pregnancy symptoms was major dizziness, which started at the gym. I found myself working out less, and my crippling five months of morning sickness made it nearly impossible to work out. Towards the end of my pregnancy I was still going, but mostly walking my large cankles around tracks and doing slow cardio on Arc machines and ellipticals.

After having Lucas I really was anxious to get back to the gym. I got the okay, and started back up. But in all honesty, I had no energy. Lucas didn’t sleep much, I was working, running a business, and trying to keep up with all of the other household chores.

My YMCA membership has been severely neglected.

And working out at home? Not happening. It’s not that I don’t try, but I get about a solid three minutes of exercise in before Lucas is hungry, in to something he shouldn’t be, or needs a diaper changed.

I love being his mom. It’s the most rewarding thing I’ve done in my entire life. I would give up all of my gym trips for the rest of eternity for him.

Now that there is very little “me” time, including going to the gym, I’m sitting here now thinking “how do I get fit again?”

Dropping the lbs. and being fit are two different things, my friends. I dropped all those baby lbs within weeks of having Lucas. Now the muscles I used to have? They’re mostly gone, and that can only be cured by some good weight training.

I am the person totally skeeved out by the thought of child care at the gym. I’m sure they’re all very capable individuals, but with my little guy not being able to talk yet and verbalize what his needs are, I’m just uncomfortable. That, and I’m a total germ-a-phobe with trying to keep him healthy. Because let’s face it, as a working mom I don’t have the time to take days off. I decided that around a year old I’ll hopefully be willing to take him there for an hour or two…

My husband and I have tried to set up schedules so that both of us can get to the gym. They’ve mostly failed, because life happens. 

So my game plan: keep trying. Keep trying, and try not to beat myself up on the days that I don’t workout. Because being a parent is HARD and 24/7. Those tiny humans always come first. As much as I want to go do some major sweating on the Arc trainer while watching HGTV, it’s vastly less important to have nice triceps than it is to spend time with my guy.

So for now, my 3 minute workouts will have to cut it. The nights I get to the gym? Great. The nights I don’t? Fine. I’ll snuggle my sweet boy and know that soon enough he’ll be able to work out alongside me.

Some things that I’ve found to be successful:baby-plank

  1. Go on a walk/jog with your baby. Most little ones are totally thrilled to be outside in the stroller.
  2. Do some baby-wearing while you workout. We do squats, lunges, Zumba, etc. Chances are good that your little one will fall asleep from all of the movement.
  3. Find some exercises that can incorporate baby. Planks, arm raises, sit-ups. There are plenty of YouTube videos with instructions on how to work out with your baby.
  4. Make chasing your baby into a workout for you. Do some leg raises while you’re crawling around chasing that speedster around.

Good luck, mommas! Take care of yourselves and those little ones!