Sometimes even I am shocked with how I manage to make it out of the house to the gym three times a week with a baby. Like am I motivated or actually insane?! I am not going to lie, every Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday morning I have an internal dialogue that goes something like this:
Me: "Do I HAVE to go to the gym today?"
Also Me: "Yes"
Me: "But I don't want to lug Lola and all her things"
Also Me: "You have to go"
Me: "But I'm a mom and I'm EXHAUSTED'
Also Me: "You have to go"
And on and on and on it goes until 10:40 am when I find myself strapping Lola into the car and heading to the gym. I know that I feel amazing after every workout and I want to eat better when I move my body, but don't be fooled, its a constant struggle to want to go - especially with my little sidekick.
One thing that has helped me feel better about dragging Lola to the gym with me is being prepared to keep her in good spirits so that I can focus on my workout. I know one of my stress triggers is when Lola is less than impressed and I used to just rush out of the gym without finishing. So this has been my focus the last few months and I think I have it mastered - for now!
So I am sharing my tips and tricks that have helped me for those other mamas who want to workout - or really do anything - with their little in toe!
1. Pack the Bag
This is key! I try to follow the rule of restocking the bag with anything I used as soon as I get in the house. This means the bag will be ready with diapers, wipes, toys, bibs (the spit up life is real), and an extra outfit are all set to go when I need to rush out of the house. Its hard to be on time when you have a baby and its even harder when your bag is not prepared!
Choosing the right bag is also critical! I love my Petunia Pickle Bottom Boxy Backpack! It's pricey for a bag, but it fits so many things and comes with a change pad and wipe container. I really appreciate how much I can carry in it as its not just Lola's things I need to bring with me. I often pack my water bottle and other gym essentials. Its stylish and can be worn in different ways. The right bag makes all the difference!
2. Create a Space
Ever since Lola was around 5 months old, she's been able to play independently. This has been a saving grace because it means Nicci doesn't have to hold her the entire session. I always make sure to bring a soft blanket and a few toys from home so I can recreate a smaller version of her play area. I try to make sure they are toys Lola shows interest in and rotate them every week so she doesn't get bored. I turn her away from the screens and towards people working out as she loves to people watch. Creating this space that's just hers, helps to keep her occupied for the hour or so we are there. Don't get me wrong, Lola does get bored or fussy mostly towards the end of the session. At that point you can find her in Nicci's arms as she flies her around the gym like an air plane!
It's always fun when I can really include Lola in anything I do. I feel the same way at the gym! Lola is currently 16.5 lbs which means she the perfect weight for banded squats or walking lunges or bicep curls... I mean you get the picture! Its great because Lola thinks we're playing, but in actual fact, I'm dying - oh I mean exercising!
I mean just look at Lola's face looking at that puff container. Any mom knows food is key! It used to be I wouldn't leave the house without a bottle of pumped milk. Now that Lola eats solids, I always have puffs or mums available.
5. Sanitizing Wipes
Aleva Naturals Bamboo Baby Pacifier & Toy wipes are one of the best things I have found to add to the diaper bag. The gym, and pretty much anywhere, is a breeding ground for germs. I am by no means a bubble parent but I do believe in trying to mitigate the chances of Lola getting sick. These wipes are great to quickly clean any toys we bring with us. They are also a good idea to bring along to playdates as little babes love to share toys with each other and do not discriminate with what goes in their little mouths.
If you're trying to find ways to do the things you loved before baby I hope these tips I have found help you get back to it with your sidekick. Even if you don't find you and your little in the gym three times a week, I follow these tricks every time I leave the house with Lola.