I'd leave home at 8am in the morning when our nanny would arrive and I'd return somewhere between 6-7pm, depending on if it was mine or my husband's night for the kid hand-off. Upon walking in the door, both kids crawling/running to my feet, I would be ON...full-on Mom/Wife mode. Work stress/pressure? Forget about it. I had to let it roll off my shoulders and put my other hats on. By the time 9pm rolled around, my husband and I would collapse onto the couch after dinners, prep for the following day, and bedtime for the kids to finally have a few minutes to catch up and unplug from the day. Most nights, I struggled to remember to hydrate myself and eat dinner, let alone exercise.
Which always begged the question, "When the hell do I fit in my workouts?"
The answer back then...in my closet with a pair of dumbbells for 10 minute segments.
I work with many moms who are in the same shoes I was, punching the clock with long days at the office - and then handling the rest of life on the fringe hours of the weekdays and over the weekend.
Many days, we're in "survival mode", checking the boxes and putting our best foot forward with the roles we play. It's easy to put our needs last and deem our planned workout as unnecessary, compared to the tasks of the day.
As a work-from-home mom now, I can confidently say that the other side of the coin outside the office isn't any easier. In fact, there are many days where I'm home with the boys all day and I struggle to maintain a home that doesn't look like a murder scene. No matter your job, SAHM, WAHM, full-or-part time working mom, our responsibilities with our family can take over our worlds if we let it...if we don't plan...if we don't ask for help.
Long ago, my husband took my father to a Red Sox game to ask him for permission to marry me. Though it took him most of the game to finally ask the question my father knew they were there for, Jeff finally broached the subject during the 7th inning stretch. I'm not sure exactly how the conversation unfolded, but after some banter and a few minutes of sweat-inducing Irish threats in jest, my Dad finally broke and welcomed Jeff to the family with a big handshake. His advice for our marriage was something neither Jeff nor I will forget; "Your relationship is like a bank account. There are times you'll be making deposits and then those where where you'll be making withdrawals. Open communication is key to the yin/yang of your marriage."
The Moms I see crushing it in their fitness conquests are comfortable making withdrawals consistently, as a matter of routine. They stop trying to be a superwoman and they ask for help: from their partner, friends...a babysitter. They make financial investments in their
They pay for childcare at a gym, they find a sitter to be with their kids at home so they can attend group classes, they ask their partners for support with kid duties - they recognize that making time and space for their physical health is a necessary cog in the wheel of their lives.
For me, metabolic resistance training was, and still is, key for maintaining my consistency and results. Short-duration, high-intensity, progressively-overloaded workouts so I can get back to the rest of my life.
I'm no accountant, but I see first hand how the withdrawals I make come back to my family tenfold...watching my husband's relationship with the boys get deeper through their one-on-one time, my return to my family a fuller and happier person because I've prioritized my mental and physical health and most importantly, how the give-and-take and sharing of responsibilities with my spouse makes us stronger as partners.