No one told me that the older I was when I had my children, the more my heart and my body would be at odds with what I wanted to do. By the time I turned 38 years old, I had an infant and a toddler. Both of my girls were still in diapers and I was changing them around the clock. There was little sleep, especially at night, and when there was, it was always interrupted. Ironically, in my twenties I never batted an eye at staying up until 1 or 2 a.m. partying or just watching late night movies, then getting up at 6 am the next day for work. But now??
So I needed a strategy. Between the lack of sleep from the newborn and trying to keep up with my toddler, I decided to put them on the same eating and sleeping schedule. It was the best thing I could have done for myself. When they slept I took a cat nap, and began to exercise. Having had two children back-to-back I’d lost my girly figure. I was motivated to get myself in good shape, but also have enough energy throughout the day. You see, Sofia, my oldest daughter, was walking and running and had no sense of fear. She became extremely active and got into everything! She wanted to play all the time. If I had any hope of keeping up with them, I had to get into shape!
Of course, there were times when the girls weren’t accommodating to my new regime, so I adapted. The times when the girls refused to take their naps, I put them in a double stroller and walked around my neighborhood. When my husband came home from work, I would leave the girls with him and walk with my neighbor, at least twice a week. There were a couple of nights that my husband was on child duty while I went out with friends or just took a long bath. You know that saying, “When mama’s not happy, nobody’s happy”? He caught on to that real quick and made sure I was taking my MTO!
Yes, though it seems obvious that the older you get the harder it is to keep up with active children, no one told me of the struggle between what I wanted to do and what I could do. But those little Mommy Time-Outs paid off in big ways. I used that time to get in shape – body, mind and soul. Fitting them in where and when I could was necessary and I am so glad I did – and so is my family, because I always came back to them refreshed and ready for the next family adventure!
What are you surprised to learn about yourself when you had your children?