So I have four kiddos – all less than or just over 2 years apart.
I’ve always loved working out and staying active. I saw my mom workout through the years, and I guess it just became a way of life for me! Even when I lived overseas in the Middle East I joined a gym and walked everywhere I needed to go.
I’m not one for giving advice because I SURELY don’t have it all together, but thought I’d pass on what I did for workouts through the years.
I think we’ve just about seen every scenario…(maybe not, but close) except we’ve never paid for a trainer. I’d love to, but it’s still not in the budget at this point and I don’t think they are necessary. Especially with all of the inexpensive and free YouTube videos these days!
Disclaimers – if you are pregnant and haven’t worked out before, I recommend checking with your doctor first. Also, I’ve never lived near family to help me with the kids while working out, and we have never had enough money to pay a sitter for my workouts.
(Pregnant with our 4th)
I was used to working out before pregnancies so when I became pregnant with my first child, I walked 45 minutes to an hour each day and would go to our seminary gym to use weight machines.
When my son was born, I strapped him into a stroller as soon as I was cleared and began walking again.
We lived in KY at this point and the winters were brutal! But I bundled that baby up, and set out for walks unless it was snowing and icy. I loved getting out and just walking the streets (that’s going to be a constant in this post).
I would walk up to our seminary after my long walks and put my son in the stroller beside me while I went from machine to machine. He preferred being pushed so I only got about 20-30 min at the gym but it was enough!
As he got old enough to really walk well, I’d let him toddle around for 20 min on our walks, it would really tire him out and then I could walk. When he got big enough to not sit in a stroller for my gym time, I’d plan to meet my husband at the gym and he’d take him to the indoor track and run him around while I lifted, then we traded off and he got his workout in.
This worked great…and then we got pregnant and moved from the seminary. So I thought I’d lost my gym…but the house we rented in GA had a (very) small gym but it was enough to work.
Again I’d walk, walk, walk A LOT, let my son play on the playground halfway through the walk…and then took a toy for him to play with while I lifted for a few minutes.
With each pregnancy I worked out right up until I gave birth. I felt great and it kept me active.
When my second son was born and I was cleared to workout and started back with the walking again.
I know the baby looks uncomfortable but you can see in the below pic I ended up using the head guard thing and it worked out great! Right before I birthed my second son I used gift cards and the generosity of my mom to get the double stroller. Huge help!! I loved this stroller too bc I could play my iPod and they could hear the music.
(If you’re worried about your babies head I think they make double strollers now that you can use with a car seat).
So a small gym without my husband to help with the boys became impossible for me to go to. In addition to the walking (still close to an hour, and some days more), i started doing yoga. I LOVE this yoga!! So good! I would do this while they went down for naps, if they didn’t nap together I’d put the baby in a bouncy seat and he watched me. 😉
We moved from GA to FL and ended up very close to a YMCA that had an awesome kids gym. So I could now workout and the kids were occupied. Brilliant!
Wouldn’t you know it…not long after that I got pregnant again!
This time a little girl, and though we had the gym I also got into using P90X (bought on eBay for $60) and running with her when the boys were in our Church’s preschool. It was so great!! I loved this combo! I combined all of this with gym time and the spin class they offered. Loved that!! It totally changed my shape of my legs.
And through the years these are still my most favorite workouts – gym, running, P90X, and yoga.
Guess what happened?? Right. We got pregnant. Again, I worked out until 39 weeks and this is when working out post partum started to go downhill. It was hard juggling 4 kids and trying to find time to workout. I’d wake up crazy early, pop the baby in a stroller and take off for an hour walk…then come back and try and get some p90x done.
By this point we moved again, I think the baby was 6 months. I lost the amazing YMCA, and we were struggling to figure out a fitness plan. I was also struggling with postpartum depression, I had crazy low energy, insomnia, and a baby who at over a year still wasn’t sleeping through the night. 😳 Hard times, y’all.
I started plexus – it’s a line of all natural healthcare products aimed at getting to the root of your health issues. I began sleeping, dropped weight, and felt like myself again. We joined LA Fitness because the YMCA in the new area became way too expensive! There are 3 LA Fitnesses in the area we live in and we only like one of the childcare facilities. So to that one we go! It’s about $72/month for our family to go. And working out is a priority so we spend that money.
Also, Christmas 2 years ago my husband and I asked for bikes from my parents. Honestly, it’s been the best gift we’ve gotten from them. Whether I use it for exercise or we bike around with the kids those things get some good use!
Today I can leave the oldest 3 at home by themselves for a 35 min bike ride or run. My youngest goes to preschool 3x/week and I can use the mornings between homeschool to still get some good exercise in.
Here’s an example of my workout today – still using P90X, and today I did plyometrics to help with my running endurance.
The kids love “working out” with me – I clear out the guest room/office and I use it as a space to do workout videos. They were using different items from around the house to mimic my swing kicks- I was swing kicking over a dollhouse. Use what ya got.
My second son is sick and he laid down on the bed just watching me.
The kids are still young, but we figure it out and make it work. I think my youngest riding a bike is a game changer too.
I can walk/run behind him. I love that through the years God has always provided a way for us to workout, and the the kids see health is a priority. It’s something my husband and I both think is important so when one of us needs to give the other time to get a workout in…the other spouse is completely understanding.
Utilize videos, inexpensive gyms with childcare, a loving spouse, kids naptimes/baby gates/pack n plays/strollers (buy them at consignment like we have!), and family if you’re so lucky they are close to you. Do it because it makes you feel better, heck…somedays it was the only thing that made me feel human. Listen to sermons on podcasts, audio books, music or just silence.
These days I usually have to make the choice between a workout or getting dressed and wearing makeup daily. Most days I choose the workout. 😂
It’s not going to look perfect, its not going to look the same as pre-pregnancy. But you definitely can keep working out! I hope this has helped!