When I first became a mom I thought it was tough to exercise with my child in tow because I had to bring all his stuff – diapers, blankets, etc. But we made it work with great outdoor off-road stroller and a sled to pull behind me on cross-country skis or snow shoes.
And it all turned out fun. And I exercised regularly, and kept my weight to “just a bit overweight, but still looking okay.”
Then as he grew he would resist, but I could still make him get in the stroller and go, so all was well.
Once he outgrew that stroller things really changed – for the worse as my exercise habits go.
He wasn’t old enough to leave alone. But taking him along meant going slow because he wasn’t big enough to keep up. And he was too big to carry, push or pull.
So I started to use a step for step aerobics here at the house. Seemed like a good solution.
Except he kept interrupting me. I’d set him up with a video or other activity, and go in the other room to step. Just as I’d be getting my heart rate up, and my muscles warmed up, he’d come in.
J: “Hey momma, can I have a snack.”
Me: “Huff, huff, huff sure, when I get done.”
J again: “Hey momma, when are you going to be done?”
Me: “Step two three – in – four five – two more – six – songs – eight . . . oh, where was I? Is it time to switch legs yet?”
J: “Momma, do you think I could get a motorcycle for my fifth birthday?”
Me: “J, huff huff, I can’t talk, huff, huff, while I exercise huff, huff.”
J: “Oh, okay, when are you going to be done?”
Me: “JaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaY, go in the other room – huffhuffhuffhuff!”
J: “You don’t want me around? (tears forming in his big blue eyes) I just like to watch you and be with you. (little sob escapes) I get lonely without you.”
You get the picture. I’d get the exercise done but would be frustrated and even angry by the time the 45 minutes of trying to jump and step and wave my arms to the beat while carrying on a conversation with a four-year old.
My husband never really understood why it was so hard to get exercise in. He didn’t understand why I didn’t love exercising like he does.
Keep in mind he loves mornings – I don’t. He gets up before it is light and goes out and runs. I don’t. J does not go with him – never has, not even one time. He loves exercise.
Meanwhile someone has to be in the house in case J wakes up while Andy is off on that run. So it wasn’t possible for me to head out and walk early in the morning. And once Andy was done with exercise it was a shower, a pot of coffee made, and off to work, so there wasn’t time for momma to go out and walk, and exercise was frustrating, and became less frequent than it needed to be.
Fast forward to today. I struggle to motivate myself to exercise, and it shows on my now definately fat body.
J is 10, can stay in the house by himself, and should know to leave me alone.
He’s almost got the “don’t interrupt momma in the bathroom” concept down – he’s to the point where when he does come in I can yell “‘privacy” and he backs out right away.
The conversations through the closed door are still a bit frustrating:
J: Hey momma, can I eat this?
J: Can I have one of these?
Me: One of whats?
Me: J, the door is closed, I can’t see, just wait.
Door opens …
J: These (holding out whatever snack he desires).
Me: P R I V A C Y!!!!!
J: Oh yeah, but can I have one?
You get the picture. He’s working on the bathroom issue. Making progress. I’m thinking I can start to exercise again – without him!
But with exercise . . . well, if there is progress it is slow.
This afternoon/evening after school and work I threw a meatloaf in the oven and went out to our front field to walk around it 9 times, making a 3 mile walk.
I was really getting my pace going. It was cool and brisk, and I was moving my fat body in that jiggly overweight lady way, and feeling good for what was happening with my heart rate. Oh, it was feeling good.
Then, I’m out at the other end of the field from the house and J steps out onto the porch and yells at the top of his lungs:
I was too stupid to pretend I couldn’t hear and I called back WHATTTTT?
The he spewed out a long complicated sentence that sounded something like this:
Pawationtw called tahoooeos vlaeahhhh beeppppppmmmmm.
I couldn’t understand a word he said – too far away for words with more than one syllable. I mean it was at lest 100 yards away.
ARRRGGGHHHH! I just wanted to walk!
J comes running out – no shoes, no jacket, and proceeds to tell me how he forgot his math book and can’t do his homework.
I keep on walking fast, trying to huff and puff out directions about calling a classmate to get the problems read off to him and get his homework done.
Three more of these episodes later he’s got it arranged to get the homework from a classmate, and I have just two more laps around the field to go, and they are the only laps that will be made in peace.
Exercising as a mom is frustrating. But I got in my 3 miles this afternoon, and that seems like an accomplishment close to the building of the pyramids.