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This is Crazy!

Monday, April 19, 2010

So I'm off to the gym. I have an appointment with child care (located in the basement of the gym) from 12-1 for my 13-month old. Let's see... I'm supposed to be there at 12, and it's a 15 minute drive. Ack! It's 11:05. I'm going to be late. Why? Because I have 2 kids.

I am very fortunate to be a stay-at-home mom. I don't have to work, and the kids are young enough that they don't really have any activities that I need to drive them to, so I can devote how ever much time I need to my fitness, as long as everybody gets fed and the housework gets done. Still, the amount of time it takes for me to get a 1 or 1 1/2 hour workout is mindboggling.

It takes about 30 minutes to get out the door- I have to:
Locate and change into my gym clothes.
Change and dress the baby - DS, and put his shoes on.
Dress my almost 3 year old - DD and give her shoes and socks to put on herself.
Pour two sippy cups of milk, check the diaper bag, and top up the Cheerios .
Do DD's hair- often don't have time for this, it takes a long time to gently brush out the knots.
Locate my keys and purse - sometimes easy, other times causes a 10 minute delay. I know. I need a system.
Find a cleanish water bottle and sweat rag.
Take DD to the potty, and switch her shoes so they are on the correct feet, about 50% of the time .

This 30 minute time used to include breastfeeding the baby for 10 minutes or so and giving DD a snack. I don't know how I managed that!

The 15 minute drive there takes about 30 minutes. We all walk to the car, pausing to help DD down the 2 sets of steps and carry DS down the steps. Carrying DS, I put DD in her seat, but can't strap her in while carrying DS, so I go around to the other side of the car and strap DS in. Then, I come back and strap DD in. Getting out of the car is much quicker. I open DS's door, and lean over to unstrap DD. Then, I put an Ergo baby carrier on, unstrap DS and put him in the carrier. I put the diaper-backpack on, and make sure I have my keys (with gym card) in my hand and my mini-purse in the backpack. By this time DD has worked herself out of her seat, so when I go open her door she jumps out. If I'm doing a spinning class, I grab my huge gym bag out of the back of the car. I lock the car; my new car has a remote, so that does make it easier. We walk across the parking lot and through the gym, down the stairs, through 2 more doors and into the child care area. And I'm at least 5 minutes late. Every time. Urg! I try so hard. I do feel rude being late. I sign both kids in, and head off. Then I come back because I've left my purse-or-water bottle-or-rag in the diaper bag. Finally I set off and do the easy part, the work-out.

It seems that to be on time for my 12:00 appointment, I need to get moving at 10:55. That would probably give me enough time. Yes, I could dress the kids earlier, but odds are they would end up with breakfast smeared all over their clothes and have to change again. And, honestly, I'm just a procrastinator at heart.

After I pick the kids up from child care, we stop and sit on the couch at the gym and eat Cheerios and drink milk. This got started back when DS was 6 months old and needed to breastfeed every few hours. He was weaned at 11 months, but DD is a creature of habit. Couch time seems to be a very important part of the experience for her, and she gets very upset if we leave without hanging out on the couch for 20 minutes or so. Unfortunately, DS is now more interested in walking off. There is an elevator out of sight, but nearby, and I have to chase him all over instead of relaxing on the couch with DD (who is now unsupervised). It is starting to get pretty stressful. Eventually, I collect all the snacks and drinks and DD and I follow DS to the front door, and we all hold hands (cute) and repeat the car loading and unloading routine.

Total time involved for a workout from 12-1: Start getting ready at 11:00, arrive home at 2:00.

The other day, as I was on my way to child care, a friend stopped to chat and I politely excused myself, saying that I needed to drop the kids off, so I could get my workout started he said "You look tired and worn out, I thought you had just finished working out." Well, there's a very good reason for that.

And I have done this 4 or 5 days a week, for almost 8 months (On Saturday and Sunday I usually leave the kids at home with my husband while I go to spinning). I will continue to do this. I am lucky to have a gym membership and the time to do this. It is worth it, but it is hard.
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