As a new chapter begins in my journey of being a father to two children, a week has gone so quickly.
A goal I vowed to follow was to not let this wonderful change stop me indulging in my old habits – writing and hitting the gym.
It goes without saving, having a child is like a steam roller to routine, as you wander around in a daze thinking whether you will ever get time to pursue old habits.
It took a long time to get back into habits, so when I knew number two was coming along I couldn’t help feeling a dread that next year my interests would take a backseat for late nights, nappies and screaming.
As I started my two week paternity leave I threw myself back into it (where possible) so my habits would keep consistent.
With first baby my writing suffered, my ability to commit to a regular blog routine fell, I found time to concentrate difficult and through in action inspiration dried up.
This year, I’ve been proud of my efforts getting back into the flow of writing, rebuilding and being consistent with content.
And when second baby arrived, I’m proud of efforts so far, producing two posts for my blog and an article on the mindset of Winston Churchill for another project (details which will be announced soon).
How am I managing?
My experience from my first year as a father made me realise I couldn’t sustain writing large amounts of content over a few hours like I used to.
The nature of (young) children having demands suited small bursts of writing on a regular basis.
So I set myself a goal to be disciplined with a daily writing habit, which can be sustainable despite with a busy family lifestyle.
This involved small actions, writing at least 250 words a day, which is similar to an approach detailed in a previous post building habits to last, where if you put aside ten minutes a day, you cancreate major progress.
The little and a lot approach is powerful to get stuff done, fits round a schedule of a young family and generally, I can normally exceed this target.
When I started paternity leave with the first child, I did not go to the gym for those two weeks and upon returning to work time spent in the gym was inconsistent until the end 2018 to get back to a fix scheduled.
But I was training without purpose, so a lot of sessions felt like i was going through the motions until the start of 2019 when I set goals to improve my strength.
How am I managing?
My second daughter is now one week old and managed two gym workouts while on paternity leave.
I’m feeling confident of having a couple more before returning to work and except to quickly establish a revised routine so I have a good work-life-gym balance.
The key to managing a gym (or any exercise routine) with children is to dedicate time in a space where my fatherhood duties does not impact my ability to train.
My perfect time is in the morning, Monday to Friday as it fits in well with work commitments and ensures I am fully focused on my children on evenings and weekends.
My gym goals continue to be ambitious and will only be achieved if I am consistent in my gym attendance.
Getting used to change
My ability to adapt to the second child and maintain my habits I attribute to being more confident and comfortable as a father.
It’s still early days, but the absolute determination and ambition to keep a balance with my other interests makes me feel confident I can maintaining a habit.
Despite being a father it’s important to not let your other interests die just because you have this new found responsibility.
These are an important part of your wellbeing, essential to continue functioning as an effective father.
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