This week my hubby is away on a business trip… again. You see, he travels rather frequently for 2-3 weeks at a time, leaving me to parent our 3 wonderful daughters on my own. His first business trip was when our youngest daughter was 14 mos old (she’s now 6). I remember that trip clearly – I was exhausted, short on patience and felt trapped – unable to do my workout. I was CRANKY!!! I just couldn’t figure out how to fit it in, and it made me completely miserable. Since then, I’ve had quite a few of his trips away (including 18 mos in which he alternated 2 weeks in Ireland, then 2 weeks home) to “figure things out”.
From my experience, here are some tips for staying fit and active while solo parenting:
- PLAN your workouts. This really goes for everyone, not just those who are solo parenting. I found that I am much more likely to work out if I have planned a workout. I typically use my MotivateMe Monday posts to plan out the week.
- Workout EARLY. I’ve found that the earlier in the day I workout, the more likely it happens. Life doesn’t get in the way as much early in the morning. I also like that I don’t spend the rest of the day trying to beat the “I don’t wannas”. If I do it as soon as I can, then I can “rest” and enjoy the rest of the day.
- Workout WITH the kids. Kids LOVE to move and they LOVE the attention from mom or dad. I like to play “Fitness Class” with the kids. Some other ideas are to run and push them in a jogging stroller, or have them bike alongside you if they’re old enough, play soccer, tag, hide and go seek, etc. Babies LOVE working out with mom or dad too – they love to lie under you while you do planks, or sit on top of you while you do crunches.
- BRIBE the kids. I got this one from Running Rachel, who has openly admitted to bribing her 3 adorable sons so she can fit a workout in. Like Rachel, I’ve been known to utter the words “if you let mommy workout I’ll take you to the park”… It works, trust me.
- Enlist HELP. Hire a teen-aged sitter to watch the kids for an hour after school so you can visit the gym or exchange child care with another like-minded mommy. I use the child care at the gym every Tuesday and Thursday so I can go to my BodyPump class – it’s been a HUGE help in my overall mental health, and baby Amber has learned to accept care from other people.
- Go to BED when the kids do. I skip the chores and go to bed when the kids do so that I’ll have more energy in the morning to fit in that EARLY morning workout I PLANNED to do WITH the kids.
Do you have any tips to add?
What activities/games do you like to do with your kids?