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When Do Working Moms Workout?

Written on July 9, 2012 at 8:30 am , by

As a working mom of a one year old (with another on the way!), I have discovered that “me time” is at a premium. I love my job as the Executive Director of a non-profit, but my workload isn’t exactly conducive for stealing away for a midday workout at the gym. My son “the Mini Athlete” is an early riser and that also means he goes to bed pretty early – between 7 and 8pm. Gone are the days of heading to the gym right after work – I want to soak up every moment with my little one before he’s asleep! So that leaves me with the obvious question…when do working moms workout?

I know I’m not alone in this. Thousands upon thousands of competitive runners, yogis and amateur triathletes also juggle the responsibilities of motherhood and a full-time job. Here is some of the best advice I have received:

1. Find Community

When I first went back to work nine weeks after having my son, I felt pretty alone as I navigated my new identity as a working mom. I quickly realized I couldn’t go at it alone. I found a wonderfully encouraging group of moms in the area where I lived at the time – the IRunMommies in St. Petersburg, Florida. In addition to meeting twice weekly to run – once on Tuesday evenings and again on Saturday mornings – the group actively participates in a Facebook group where you can always find another busy mom looking to squeeze in a run. I highly recommend finding a group like this – or if you don’t have one in your area, start one! Another great place to find community online is through Twitter or blogs. I cannot tell you the encouragement I have received from other moms in those places!

2. Establish a Schedule

As mothers, we crave a schedule. Sometimes it feels impossible. But establishing a schedule is one of the best things I did when trying to get back into shape after having a baby. My best friend and I scheduled our times to run every week. We would meet at 5:45am on Monday and Wednesday mornings for a few short miles, and would meet up with the IRunMommies on Saturday mornings for our long runs.

Yes, it felt early. But we knew that we could guarantee our husbands would be home to babysit at that time and so we had no reason (or excuse) to reschedule. Knowing that my best friend was waiting for me helped me drag myself out of bed on those days I really didn’t feel like running!

3. Know You’re Worth It

It’s easy to feel like you’re being pulled in a million different directions. The first thing we let go? The time we spend taking care of ourselves. Remember – you will be a better mom, a better employee and a better person if you take care of yourself first. It feels counter intuitive when there is laundry to be done, dishes to be washed and reports to be written. But you know what? There will always be more laundry, more dishes and more reports. There is only one YOU. Make yourself a priority.

What is your best advice for working moms trying to find time to workout? 

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7 Comments

  • http://twitter.com/amandamaryperry Amanda Perry

    It’s so not easy, but so worth it to find the time to make it happen. I force myself to get out of bed before my son is up and I have gotten so used to it that I actually love mornings now and cherish the time I have to myself!

  • http://www.foodfitnessandfamilyblog.com/ Madeline @FoodFitandFam

    Awesome post!  While I am a SAHM I still have to schedule my workouts within the family schedule to make it work.  The point is if you have the will you can find a way.  Awesome tips ;)

  • Carrascoblanca

    Keep in mind that you will probably not be working out seven days a week like you might have been before. Aim to schedule two to three times a week, and as you get more familiar with your family’s new schedule, you will be able to add an extra day or an extra 30 min little by little.

  • http://twitter.com/TessCobbett Tess cobbett

    I am learning this the hard way- but getting back on track

  • Bintabaudy

    This was very helpful. I new it would be hard, but as a semi new mom the transition has been difficult.

  • Pingback: Finding Time to Run | The Wannabe Athlete

  • Alyssa

    These are excellent tips! I always have a problem finding the time to work out. Personally, short, intense workouts are best for me. I specifically like Michael Blauner’s 12 minute routine. http://michaelblauner.com/