After a particularly exhausting week, I realized that I'm carrying (or pushing) around a bunch of extra weight, diverting enough calories to grow a person, and suffering through sleep disturbances. Sounds like pregnancy, right? Except the baby is 6 months old. So, despite being the third child I've nursed, I think, perhaps, I've underestimated at times that I am still growing a child, so maybe don't be so hard on myself. This is tough since my standard for "recovered from pregnancy" has gotten higher with each one.
There was an article on this very topic in the Feb. 09 Parents Magazine, "Scaling Back". It is hard wanting your body back, but at what expense? I don't have the will-power for really cutting calories when I'm already cutting hours of sleep which might be for the best. I'm happy to report I've had three chubby - and happy - babies. Workouts fit in between feedings or before the kids wake in the morning and 9/10 times, the kids come with if I'm running. But something always does fit in.
So, I won't be training for another marathon until Francesca turns one this summer, but Roger and I are signed up for an on-road and off-road duathlon in April. He mountain bikes, I trail run, I ride the road and he runs the roads. Shorter distances (relative to the marathon) but consistent training as a part of one's routine and keeping the foundation strong is key. Helpful for my physical and mental well-being and key for keeping the kids "on board".
Trying to put a 2-year-old in the jogger for the first time because you waited to get back into shape and then convincing him that sitting there for an hour or more is OK, let alone fun, is unlikely. Train them from birth, and they'll be climbing in the jogger every time you turn around. Plus they'll appreciate the good times - you know - when the temp is over 30 F and the run is under 90 minutes.