Thursday, August 7, 2014

Do NOT Ditch the Gym Membership! Staying in Shape as a SAHD

"You get married, you have kids, and you get fat." -Jim Gaffigan, Dad is Fat.

This blog post is in direct response to the recent blog post "Ditch the Gym Membership: Staying in Shape as a SAHD" by B.K. Mullen.

I began being a Stay at Home Dad in April 2012, and I was determined to keep up my work out routine. Although it has altered a lot, I have lost weight since staying home and stayed in relatively good shape. I am signed up to do a relay Olympic triathlon in September (I am biking 26 miles and running a 10K) and planning on running a half marathon in October.
Running with the double stroller also often puts the kids to sleep.

During the past 2.5 years, I have kept my gym membership. Yes, my gym is two blocks down the street from our house and I do get to the gym 2-3 times a week. I know that every Dad out there does not have the same convenience.

If you are a stay at home Dad/Mom or even a working parent, here are some tips on staying in shape even with young children:

Workout at odd hours. When our kids are on a roll of waking up around 7:00 AM, I get up at 5:00/5:30, go for a bike ride or get to the gym. This does not happen very often, but it is a great way to start the day. When the kids are waking up on the early side, I go to the gym or work out at home at 8:00 PM. If your kids sleep in later than 8:00 AM, I envy you and I have no further advice.

Run with Your Kids. Most of my weekday runs these days are with either a single or double Bob stroller. It is a great workout and when our 3 year old refuses to take a nap, a great way to get him to sleep. These runs are not as great as my pre kid runs, but I enjoy them just the same.

Carve out time on the weekend. Being a stay at home parent is difficult and tiring. You do not get a lot of alone time. Working out on the weekend has provided the time I needed to think or relax. About 2-3 times on a weekend, I get up early and ride my bike. go for a run or head to the gym. It’s a great way to work out and get some alone time. Of course, you will need pre-approval from your spouse on this one.

Join a Mommy Boot Camp. Two years ago, I joined StrollerStrides in our area. Yes, I was usually the only Dad in the class (two Dads had joined previous to me joining), but it was a great way to workout, meet other parents and get an hour break from parenting duties.

Yes, when we have kids our lives have changed dramatically. We have less time to ourselves and for leisure activities. However, with some creativity, less sleep and desire, we can keep our gym memberships and continue to work out. If fitness is important to you, don't give it up just because you now have kids.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Letter of Apology to Our Second Born Child

Dear Eloise,

Since this January, I have been caring for you and your older brother Caden. Unfortunately for you, your life is based on Caden's schedule and not your very own schedule. Luckily, you are good-natured about this and are willing to go with the flow.

When Caden was your age, he got to sleep when he wanted to sleep uninterrupted, go to swim class and story time, eat when he wanted to eat and got picked up pretty much the instant he started to cry. This is what happens when the world revolves around you.

Since you are the second child, your first year of life has been quite different than Caden’s first year. Therefore, I would like to apologize to you for the following:

  • Waking you up when I had to go pick up Caden
  • Letting you cry a little longer so I could attend to Caden's needs
  • Turning my back on you for one second and your brother somehow using that one second to knock you over or stomp on your hand, etc.
  • Since our lives revolve around Caden's activities, I apologize for not taking you to swim class or many free library story times. That being said, these were mostly lame until kids turn about 18 months.
  • Anything Caden did to you in the double Bob stroller that I could not see because of the covers and the fact I was busy running or walking the dog.

Despite these inconveniences, I do feel I am a better parent the second time around. I am in tune for when you are hungry, sleepy or not feeling well. I now know some tricks to keep you safe and happy. I am also more patient and less stressed out as we have been through all this before. Also, I have learned to appreciate the little things (rolling over, crawling, babbling) much more since these things go by way too fast.

Again, I hope you accept this apology. Oh, and if we decide to have child #3, I apologize in advance for giving you the Middle Child Syndrome.