I went to a professional conference all day and am pleased to report I am now three for three in finding success when needing to find a private place to pump in a random public place. Just like last time, I called the hotel hosting the conference the day before, I was put in touch with a real live person who could help me, we talked, and I knew I would have a conference room all to myself where I could go to pump whenever I needed to. Bonus: There was a bathroom adjacent to the conference room, which meant not only was it very easy to rinse my pump parts, but I also had access to MY VERY OWN BATHROOM. This was fabulous, as my profession, occupational therapy, is 99% women, which normally makes for extraordinarily long bathroom lines at events like this. So I was loving my VIP bathroom status.
After the conference, I arrived home to see the babysitter holding a bouncing, smiling, waving Sweet Pea in the window to greet me, which was ridiculously cute. I was kind of sad to hang out for a half an hour, only to make a mad dash to get out the door for a four mile run before it got dark/Sweet Pea’s bedtime, but that’s what I did. I had a surprisingly awesome run in the perfect kind of cold- enough to be refreshing but not brutal enough to be numbing.
What I wondered while I was running was how/when I would work out if I were working full-time. I thought perhaps during lunch, or I would skip lunch to get it done at the end of the day maybe. Or more likely, I would do it after we put the baby down for the night. It’s hard to say, but I think it would be very challenging to carve out the time. Do you work full-time and work out regularly, in addition to parenting? How do you schedule it??
During my run, I also thought about the fact that when I was really into the very time consuming sport of road biking, (most of my 20’s), I noticed there were practically no women with children on any of the evening or weekend group rides I routinely joined. Back then, I thought maybe you just didn’t get to do things like go on three hour rides when you had kids, and so maybe I didn’t want kids, ever. Actually, I thought that right up till the second I birthed Sweet Pea and held her perfect, slimy, tiny body in my arms. (Shhhh).
I realize now, that certainly there were (and are) serious female athletes who have young children, and they probably didn’t have time to be dicking around waiting for everyone to show up for a group ride, hanging out at a gas station while 20 people purchase a Gatorade and line up for the restroom, or waiting at the top of a hill for everyone to catch up.
I realize a lot of things I never understood before, first and foremost, why in the world you would want a baby at all. If I met my 25 year old self, I would try to explain that someday I wouldn’t even mind caring for a baby instead of going for a long ride in the mountains. I would try to explain that after a great run- a run when your legs feel like powerful pistons, when a fast pace feels easy, when the air is dry and crisp, when dusk is setting in and there’s a blue haze over the Flatirons as a bright moon rises- there’s still more joy to be had when you return home and see your husband holding your baby who is giggling at you through the window.