As a momma of 2 (currently 2 under 2) I know the value of a super intense workout. There's nothing like taking the time out of your day to get your heart racing, muscles burning, and the feeling of accomplishment that comes with a workout. There's also every excuse in the book.
I, too, have many days where I'm just "not feeling it" or "don't have time". I get it. Honestly, I will always suggest a nap over a workout when you're still in the early days of adjusting to a newborn.... but there are many times where a quick workout is going to make your day 100x better and get your head back in the game.
Here's how I've been making it work:
1) I take the "BUTS" out.
Guys, sometimes we need to just get out of our own way. We're all tired, we're all strapped for time, and yes, sometimes we just need to sleep to get our hormones back in balance. However, keeping a mantra to keep you motivated will help keep you going. The one that's speaking to me now is, "just get it done". I'm writing this a week before Christmas and I have a 22 month old and a 13 week old. We're busy. In order to make things happen I just need to "Get it Done". There are a million other obligations at all hours of the day, and my workout is one of them. If I can only get 5 minutes of stretching and breathing in, that's also a win. Give yourself a little grace and confidence, and ignore the excuses.
2) I have my own permanent "Mommy Space"
When I get my kids down to nap at the same time, it's like a clock starts... I've got a very limited amount of time to get everything done before everyone is asleep at 11pm. So I
Our house is a sea of toys and random crap my toddler finds and marches around the house with anyway, so a few workout toys are going to go completely unnoticed.
I've got a corner with weights, a water bottle, a stopwatch, my yoga mat, and a Pilates ball. This way I'm not scrambling around looking for stuff.
3) I make playtime my workout time.
I'll put on some baby music and squat with my newborn, or get on the floor with her for some back exercises as she does her tummytime. I'll sprint around my yard chasing my toddler, or challenge him to a squat competition. There are many games we can incorporate into fitness and family time. Jumping the alphabet, chasing a ball, doing bridges to "London Bridge" have been some of our recent favorites.
4) I find the movement where I can get it.
Simple stuff like parking far away, strolling vs driving, taking the stairs, skipping vs walking, can add up. Even a small boost of exercise can do wonders for your physical and mental health.
5) I schedule and coordinate me-time.
Sundays are my day at the gym. I take my toddler to the rec center and he plays in the on-site daycare while my husband stays behind with our daughter. This is a non-negotiable. If we have an obligation that conflicts with this, I coordinate so I still get my block of time.
6) I do the most important stuff first
Each of my workouts has a specific goal in mind, and I get those exercises done first. Most of my client programming has a quick warm up and we dive in to these first, because as you know, there's always a chance of interruption or calling it quits early for some unknown reason.
Right now I'm doing my cool-down, core, and breathing exercises as my warm up because I'm working on getting my core back in shape. Next is glutes, cardio, and back. I'll end with upper body stuff because lord knows my arms are full enough right now and my priority is in core strength.
7) I do full-body, functional training circuits
This is how I program for my clients, and it works. I focus on full-body exercises rather than focus on a specific muscle groups. When I train glutes I do more than just fire hydrants, I train every muscle that attacks the glutes and works in multiple planes of motion. A few circuits of compound exercises (squat to press, lunge to curl, etc) can go a long way when I'm short on time. Circuits keep my heart rate up and I ensure that I'm preventing injury by working in multiple planes of motion with each workout.
These are just a few of the ways that I've had some success when getting my workouts in. Currently I train 3 days a week for 15-90 minutes. In an ideal world I'd be training 5 days a week at 45 minutes minimum each day, and we're working up to that. I'll share more tips here as they come to me.