'Staying fit while taking care of the kids? That's either a contradiction in terms or an Olympian feat, depending on how you look at it.
As a stay-at-home mom who also writes in her 'spare time,' exercising is admittedly at the bottom of my list of priorities. I was never a gym goer B.C. (before children), and even today I?d much rather read a magazine or book undisturbed, or turn in to bed a little earlier than usual, than exert any physical energy (you know what I mean). These days, I count grocery shopping with two kids as a marathon sport.
Before my first daughter was born, I happily hoofed it to my office near Gramercy Park. The sights and sounds of the big city were so intriguing that I hardly noticed I was walking a considerable distance. And when I became pregnant, the fact that I was 'exercising for two' was a hidden benefit, and one that I now relish in hindsight (daily alone time? 'Nuff said.)
Sure, as a new mom living in suburbia, I took to the local streets with my stroller like a parched pup takes to water. My newborn daughter was lulled to sleep by the thump-thump of her stroller pounding the pavement. But once she grew older and settled into a napping routine, our walking weaned. Suddenly my pants were more snug than I cared to admit.
While exercise was one part of my life as a mom that was virtually non-existent, my good eating habits were thankfully not. Not a fan of 'kid foods' and blessed with a finicky eater, I found myself preparing my daughter versions of meals that my husband and I would later consume ourselves. So conscious was I of what she would put into her body, I made smart choices at the supermarket and cooked simple, but healthy dishes: roasted chicken, flounder from our neighborhood fish market, veggies from a local farm stand. We were poster children for the 'Happy, Healthy American Family.' Today, with two little girls under the age of 5, I find it harder to stay on track both with exercise and diet. After a harried day, I'm tempted to indulge myself on mounds of dark chocolate?hey, doesn't the latest research say it's good for you? Oh yeah: in moderation - I always forget that part.
I know I'll never make it to the gym, or ever have any interest in joining one, anytime soon. But if bounding up and down two flights of stairs multiple times a day to tend to laundry, a baby up from her nap and the rest of a typical day in my house counts for being healthy and fit, than I?m going for the gold.
Posted on Wednesday, May 13, 2009 @ 09:32 AM | 2 replies View/Post Feedback