I have reconciled myself to the fact that I will never get my bikini body back. This is primarily because I never had one. However, there is something to be said for aiming to be the best that you can physically and mentally. It is with this in mind that I have decided to aim for health and fitness rather than obsess over weight-loss per se.
I don’t claim to enjoy exercise greatly when doing it, but I do feel good afterwards and it has a real physiological benefit for me. I think some ‘me time’ to exercise and clear my mind makes me a better Mum (mostly).
This exercise idea is a big step in the right direction for me. I have dusted off my sneakers, excavated some work-out gear from the depth of my wardrobe and bought myself a 10-visit card for my local Cross Fit group. My baby is 9 weeks old and I think I am ready . . . but all this has been easy compared with the challenge of Getting Out Of The House.
For me to get to any exercise class is a military operation requiring the precision usually reserved for invading small countries or rescuing kidnapped journalists. It is a mental challenge to ensure every possible scenario is taken into account; kids fed and watered, dinner organised, favourite books and toys placed within easy reach, whingeing placated . . . This means that to get out of the house for one hour of exercise requires about two hours of preparation.
A typical effort would go something like this:
Call Mr magentafrog and remind him that he promised to be home on time so I could exercise
Pack bag with water and towel
Find matching socks and sneaker
Extract clingy Master 20 months from my leg which I have been dragging from room to room
Find clothes that fit but are not too revealing of lumps and bumps. I tell myself they will soon be gone anyway.
Find other sneaker
Sit down and breastfeed Master 9 weeks
Yell at Master 3 and 20 months to stop rumbling on the couch and hitting each other with blocks
Master 3 decides he needs a poo and that he suddenly, after months of doing it himself, needs my help. I help him set up the kids’ toilet seat and get on it; I get him a book to read. He doesn’t like that book; he wants ‘Billy Goats Gruff’. I can’t find ‘The Three Billy Goats Gruff’ and try to persuade him to read ‘Noddy Lends a Hand’. He starts bawling; I walk away.
Defrost a meal for children knowing full well that Master 3 will refuse to eat it anyway
Change shirt because it’s too tight
Wipe Master 3’s bum
Tell Masters 3 and 20 months that our bed is not a trampoline
Change Master 9 weeks’ pooey nappy
Change back to original shirt because it doesn’t matter what I look like, I am there to exercise, right?
Clean up Master 20 months’ wee which he has accurately done in the DVD drawer and dry all DVDs and change him
Wash Master 20 months’ hands since he has played in said wee
Get Master 20 months a biscuit and Master 3 a cheesestick all the while feeling guilty that they haven’t had any fruit
Console crying children after they realise I’m going out by myself. Master 3 screaming ‘I’ve got tears; you wipe them for me, please?’
I wipe Master 3’s tears and blow his nose for good measure
Check my face for bits of my children (snot, dried spew or lumps of chewed food)
Put deodorant on
Find car keys
Ring Mr magentafrog and ask where the fuck he is because I am going to implode if he doesn’t get his arse home in five minutes
I check the time; my class is set to start
I gather my gear and go and pace in the driveway, silently cursing and now more stressed than ever
Mr magentfrog pulls into the driveway proudly stating he’s home on time. I inform him that he has not allowed for my ‘get there’ time and speed away pissed off that I never make him late for his sport
Arrive at class and summon an apologetic smile and work out as hard as I can.
Are you just getting back to exercise after a baby? How do you manage to get out of the house?