As a mum of two young children, I can completely relate with you.
I found my barriers to exercise increased tremendously since becoming a mum. The lack of time to exercise becomes really real because our daily schedule now includes one (or more) other individual(s) who is/are completely dependent on us. When we do get a moment to ourselves, we think of the washing that needs to be done, the meals that need to be cooked and the house that need to be cleaned. Where in the world do we find the head space to think about exercise. And that is when many of us fall into the all-or-nothing mentality, “if I cannot have a proper weekly routine to exercise like I use to when I had no children, I will do nothing at all.”
Guilty, even though as an accredited exercise scientist I knew well the benefits of exercise for overall well-being.
So what can we do as mums to find time to exercise when we have a baby/young children?
It’s all about creativity and changing up our traditional idea of exercise. First of all, engage the support network around you, get husband/partner/mum to watch baby for 30 minutes and you can go for a power walk/run/total body circuit in that 30 minutes. It is not a luxury, it is a necessity for your physical and mental condition. Or if you are like me where support is limited, I would have my baby in a baby carrier or pram and we would go for a walk to park and do some body weight exercises.
Alternatively, there are many body weight exercises that can be done in your living room/playroom while your baby is exploring the toys. The thing again is a mental shift we need to do, not feeling like a “weirdo” just doing squats in the living room.
At some point when the baby and children become older, we can resume the usual ways of exercise that you enjoyed previously (heading to the gym etc) but in the meantime, while they are little, it’s about doing as much as we can, where and whenever we can.