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As I wrote in my previous post, finding the time to exercise as a working mom has been incredibly challenging. To motivate myself to get moving, I signed up for a 5k run with the idea that having a goal would get me off the couch. Surprisingly, it’s worked. Since my initial post, I’ve made the time to run three mornings a week: I’m up at 6 a.m. so that I can be at our local park—which has a ½ mile track—by 6:30 a.m. and back home by 7:30 a.m. to get ready for work.
Before I had kids, I would hear stories about working women who got up at 5 a.m. to work out and I would think, “Well, that’s just crazy.” I have never been a morning person (and this is something that everyone who knows me, knows about me). I want to be one of those people who leaps out of bed in the morning and gets a million things done by 8 a.m., but that’s just not me. Or so I thought.
I have been up before 7 a.m. (and sometimes awake by 4:30 a.m.) every morning since my son was born. This new schedule was an incredible shock to my system after years of not getting up before 8 a.m., and something that I thought I would never get used to. I just assumed that I would feel slightly nauseous and extremely tired until the day my son started sleeping in. But amazingly enough, my body seems to have finally adjusted to its new hours of operation. Granted, I’m in bed by 10 p.m. most nights and I’m still not bounding out of bed, but when my alarm goes off at 6 a.m., I’m basically up.
Before you have kids, you hear over and over, “Your life is going to totally change.” And, of course, as a mom-to-be you know on some level that your life will change. But, it’s impossible to understand just how different it can be until you become a parent. If you had told me three years ago that I would be getting up at 6 a.m. to run I would have thought that was the craziest thing I’d ever heard. And, if you told me that I would actually like getting up at 6 a.m., I would have thought that you were crazy.
The truth is, I do like getting up early to exercise. In fact—and this is the biggest surprise—I look forward to it. Working out gives me some much needed time alone; I’m (finally!) moving my body; and, I must admit, I’m proud of myself for making, and sticking to, a commitment to exercise. Plus, by the time I get to work I already feel accomplished. As a working mom, that’s one change I didn’t expect, but I’m going to run with it.
Have you been able to successfully fit exercise into your life as a working mom?