No, I am not that out of shape (though, I am by no means “in shape”), but I am constantly having to pause my workout for my children and their antics. I know, I know. Just get up earlier! If I could get up before my kids, I would be able to fit in a workout without interruption, but … I just can’t do it. Exercising before it gets light out just isn’t my thing, so I try to squeeze it in during the day while the kids are occupied.
In theory, they should be able to occupy themselves for a little bit; they are three and five and will often spend thirty minutes coloring, or playing with dinosaurs, or reading their books, or a million other things without me having to be involved. But, when they see me in my workout clothes, their ability to sit quietly and do anything seems to fly out the window.
My treadmill is located in the corner of the playroom, so usually the kids stick close. I huff and puff as I watch my son fill a piece of paper with stickers, and on the small trampoline in the middle of the room, my daughter does her own “ex-shure-size.” Every few jumps she looks at me for approval and calls out, “Whew! This is hard work, Mama!” When she is not bouncing around, she can often be found directly next to my treadmill. She looks up at me every tenth of a mile to ask, “Mommy, are you done yet?” This is a surefire way to make two miles seem like ten.
However, the children tend to wander from my sight after a bit. The following is just a sampling of antics that have me hopping off the treadmill to intervene, or, in most cases, observe the aftermath:
- My son is wrapping masking tape around his sister as she tries to watch cartoons.
- Both of the children have completely unloaded all books from my son’s bookcase and moved the shelf completely across the room.
- My son opened a two-liter bottle of soda and is attempting to drink it (without a cup!) over our newish carpet.
- “I need to be wiped!” (Not to be gross, but why, oh why, must they poop while I am on the treadmill? Seriously, it is like every time.)
- The iPad isn’t working! Or, more precisely, my children have found it necessary to push every button in rapid succession and have proceeded to lock the device for the next fifteen minutes. Horrors! They can’t play their new favorite Lion Guard game, so they will not be happy doing anything else but fighting.
- My son is eating sugar out of the sugar bowl… again!
- “I need more goldfish!” If I wait on this one, there will be goldfish EVERYWHERE because they will simply go pour themselves their own heaping bowls and leave a trail wherever they go.
- My daughter is attempting to slowly rip out every other page of my daily planner. The pages she is not ripping out, she is coloring with a purple marker.
- My son has unloaded all 24 rolls of toilet paper from the new pack and created a tower.
- My daughter found the glitter. Enough said.
So, you would think all of this would deter me from attempting to exercise during the day. And, in that specific moment when I am vacuuming up what appears to be a half of box of crushed goldfish, it does. I vow to get up early the next day and get my obligatory exercise out of the way before the kids wake. But then 6:30 am rolls around, and my bed feels so warm and comfortable, my husband has made coffee, the Today show comes on, and then two little rascals climb into my bed for their morning snuggle. Nah. I’ll squeeze in some exercise later today!
So, how do you fit exercise into your day? And, please, tell me someone else has some examples of their own kids acting crazy while they exercise!