As part of my plan to be happier and fight off post-partum depression, I am making exercise a priority. And not just for myself, but for Mr. F. too, because a happier Mr. F. is a happier Lady Susan. However, finding a time for Mr. F. and I to exercise at times feels like solving a mind-teaser puzzle. Mornings are out because Mr. F. leaves for work at dawn. Also, our kids are unpredictable in the mornings--Finn often wakes up in the wee hours and needs coaxing back to sleep (despite assertions on his part to the contrary. "I'm not sleepy!" Oh yes, my boy, you are.) Evenings are out for the same reason. (Not to mention it is too close to our bedtimes.) Last post-pregnancy, I tried to exersise during the day using the jogging stroller, however, that meant I was dependent on the weather. This was even more limiting than usual, because while I might be o.k. with certain conditions (more extreme temperatures, some light rain, etc.), my child might not be. And it is hard to form a habit when you can't be consistent. This time around, however, I am not going to try to exercise while also looking after two kids. This is not a realistic and feasible option for me. The only time left then for exersise: after Mr. F. comes home from work and before dinner.
It takes at least an hour to cook dinner on a good day. We eat at five. Mr. F. comes home between 4-4:30. For the longest time, I did not see the solution to this dilema. And then I had a friend give me a tip on suriving two kids--cook dinner whenever you have time, even if this is in the morning. She wasn't talking exclusively about crockpot meals either. (The only time I ever started dinner in the morning previously.) You make your meal and then warm it up when it is time to eat it.
People. This advice is life-changing. I should have been cooking this way for years now. Everyone knows that the witching hour begins at 4 and lasts until bedtime. Kids always act up at this time. So now, even though I cook in the morning or early afternoon without assistance, my kid(s) are much better behaved than if I waited until 4ish and Mr. F. ran interference. Dinner time ends up being so. much. calmer. Cooking early also frees up a whole hour or so where Mr. F. and I can exersise while the other looks after the munchkins. (Running without pushing a jogging stroller? Awesome. Being able to stretch and doing some strengthening exersises post-run? Awesome.) I am seriously enjoying my post-exersise endorphins. I have forgotten how much better I feel with regular exersise. (It has been too, too long). Now, that I have been reminded, I feel motivated to make this a regular occurance.
Now if I could only find a solution for regular bathroom cleaning, life would be perfect.