Balancing Baby, Bike and Life

It is hard to find the time to write. I have taken on a writing/communications job with the newly formed Russian pro continental team RusVelo and between that, training for my final professional season, and taking care of little 8 month-old Olympia my time is crunched. It is Olympia that takes up the largest chunk, though. When she naps I must train. So writing is crammed in there when mommy C is around to watch Olympia. And that writing is generally for RusVelo not my personal stuff.

My training has become a matter of quality over quantity. Most my workouts, thanks to being the stay-at-home-mom, are done on the trainer. Of course, winter in Colorado can have me relegated to my rec room too, but without fail Olympia does so every week day, from Monday to Friday, while mommy C is at work. My workouts are efficient. No long rides for me. I have to make them count so I go hard. My window of time is unknown. I train when the baby sleeps. That can be a monster nap of 3 hours to a short stint of 30 minutes. I do not know what I am gonna get so I hop on and pedal fast and furious.

I do not always enjoy that, but I have no choice. And there are times when I put Olympia down for a nap where I just do not feel ready to do a trainer ride. Those times are hard. Because if I miss the nap window then I miss my training window.

Take for example right now. It is snowing (again) outside. No chance to even hit the road later this afternoon when C comes home. Olympia was up early at 5am which means her first nap is also early, 8am. I still need to finish my breakfast plus neighbor Joe below does not appreciate such an early morning rumble from above. So I am wolfing down some cereal, waiting for a more reasonable hour of 9am for Joe’s sake, and praying to the napping gods of babydom to let Olympia have another long one. Yesterday was 3 hours! Please, please let it be at least 2 so I can get an hour in on the trainer.

Oh. And then I have to find time when O awakens to write for Rusvelo. We are working on a press kit for the big team presentation in a couple of weeks. I place O on the floor and lay beside her with my laptop. That works for 30 minutes. Then I place O in her jumper. That is good for another 45 if she is in a good mood and not hungry. She is noisy jumping about, screeching and all, but at least I can type out a sentence or two before paying her attention. Hunger poses a completely different problem for me.

I am not boob mom.

And O just does not like taking a bottle.

So I cram down whatever food I find that she likes. At 8 months of age there is not a lot of choice but I have found that she loves my chunky, thick oatmeal. None of that baby cereal, those instant oats or rice powders that you simply add water or breast milk to, that look nasty and taste even worse. I need the stick-to-the-ribs, keep-the-baby-stuffed kind. And thankfully when I add cinnamon and cardamon and cook it with sweetened almond milk she loves it! That stuff keeps her full and happy. A happy baby is a happier mommy.

This is new territory for me. I used to be able to train at will, when I wanted, how I wanted, no constraints on my time. My sleep too, was a thing of beauty. A solid deep 9 hours every night. When I awoke I was rested, and I needed no alarm to rise me. I gradually and slowly was able to awake each morning. Ha! Now it has become 5am, maybe 5h30am, and by then I have a little hand pinching my arm, and goo and gaa in my ear. If it is a good morning Olympia allows me to sleep until 6. I never feel completely rested anymore. I crave sleep now.

Nights, too, have changed. My sleep is always interrupted. No more 9 hours straight through. Now 3-4x every night I am awoken by the little beast as she cries for boob food. Lately it has been a longer interval before I can resume sleep since we are trying to train Olympia that 1x per night is acceptable and 4 times is not. So I have assumed this sleep training battle while mommy C is slumbering away in the next bedroom. She has to work days and is the boob mom, so when O does get her one-feed-per-night allotment C is on duty.

This is my life.

And I would not trade it for the world.

2 responses

  1. Patrick Van de Wille | Reply

    Anne, what you lose in training you gain in inspiration. I see my wife struggle with dual duties as mom and professional, and I keep telling her that her example value is way more precious than her time value. That’s your job: provide example value.

  2. love this anne. it’s so great to read another mom’s perspective (especially when it is much like my own!)

    some things get easier as they get older (samara is 28 months now) but a lot of things get harder. they sleep longer at night, but only one nap during the day and it’s NEVER 3 hours (unless it is at the nanny’s house and i am at school or work!) :-) then, there are all the activities that you don’t want to miss. but yeah, even though i am not as fast (or well rested) as i once was, i wouldn’t change it for the world.

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