Thursday, December 12, 2013

Three Kids and a Full-Time Job - Who Has Time to Run?

Great question! As I already mentioned, my maternity leave is over...
And yet I have also told you how much more pleasant I am to be around when I get a run in...even if it is incredibly quick. So, what is a girl to do?

First of all, can I just say that it infuriates me when experts go on shows like the Today Show or Good Morning America, or contribute to articles in Fitness or Shape and preach about how you CAN find time in your day to excercise. Every single moment of my day is scheduled. I have NO time. Especially if I want to run when there is enough daylight so that I won't be mistaken for a prancing deer just begging to get shot by a hunter or a wannabe thief looking to speak with local law enforcement.

My day starts with breastfeeding the baby. Can I go run before this? Nope. It doesn't really matter if I could ignore the bowling balls on my chest first thing in the morning because I would not feel safe running in the pitch black pre-6am light. After feeding the baby I then race to get dressed and ready for work, make lunch for myself and my school age son, feed the older two boys their breakfast, and sneak in quick kisses to all my boys (the hubs included) before bolting out the door. I do all this in the span of 45 minutes and also fit in one quick pumping session to make sure my breasts are completely empty before I start the day.

I work a full day and before you tell me to run at my lunch break, I only have a 21 minute lunch during which I hide in a closet and pump again. Break time? Teachers don't really get that. We have prep times full of meetings (team, grade level, content area, evaluation groups, special ed., counseling, parents who want face to face conferences, the list goes on and on). When I do get a "free" period I hide in the closet to pump and maybe grade some papers or prepare lesson plans.

When I leave work I rush to daycare to pick up the baby and the toddler so that I can get back to the bus stop to meet the bus. Now I have three children in my wake and, as I have mentioned before, no way to take them all with me on a run and I still have to fit in at least two feedings with the baby before dinner. My only option is to find a treadmill with access to a television to occupy the kiddos. Quality bonding time?

If I wait until my husband gets home it is once again dark and I am usually in the process of preparing or feeding the kids dinner. Then it is a whirlwind of pjs and teeth brushing, stories and snuggles. One more feeding with the baby and lesson planning, paper grading, and responding to emails that I can't read or answer at school because I am "on stage" all day long. Sadly, my husband and I are usually sitting at opposite ends of our couch on our laptops doing work. Romantic night, huh?

As you can imagine, I am EXHAUSTED at the end of the night, but still find time to beat myself up over not fitting in a run.

The weekends are my only salvation. If I am lucky I can run on Saturday and Sunday mornings. If I get those two runs in I feel like I am winning. Anything else is a pure miracle.

How do you fit your runs in? If I could finagle a treadmill for my house I may be more successful, but it would honestly be a struggle to get one in even with it. A double running stroller might also help, but again it would be quite a monumental effort with all three boys in the winter.  Sometimes I feel like I can't win, but I keep trying.

"Just keep swimming"

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