Confessions of an Active Parent-to-Be

My wife is just over six months pregnant with our first. When the due date finally gets here, everything in my life will change.

I'm more excited about becoming a father than I can express. I can't wait to hold the little bundle of dough in my arms. I think about it a lot. My sister just recently had a baby, so I've been getting first-hand accounts of the life changes that are happening.

It's one thing to have your parents tell you, "You just wait. EVERYTHING changes when you have a baby." It is another to have it happen in your peer group. And that is where my peer group is now. The wave of weddings has passed and we are now mid-set in the first wave of babies, bobbing in the surf, waiting for our ride.

More: How to Succeed at the Balancing Act

Saying that you are ready for the change and actually being ready are two different things, though, and I recognize that. I am well aware that things are about to happen to my life I can only pretend at being prepared for. But knowing that there are things that I can't know helps me feel comfortable in my unknowing because I'm ready for the unknown (that was a mouthful). I'm mentally prepared to be flexible. I'm warming up for being upended.

And I have a slightly vain worry in all this.

I don't want to become a Fat Dad.

You've seen them. You might even know them. Dude was healthy and strong and then the baby came and his sleep schedule was wrecked and all that free time he spent working out became baby time. I want to be clear, I see these things as good and right. If I tried working out as much as I do now after the baby is born, it would be a toss up if my wife would kill me or divorce me first. And she would be right for doing so.

More: Balancing Fitness With Family

I am all about getting in there as dad and doing my job. She wants to be a stay-at-home mom, which means by the time I get home from teaching everyday Momma's going to need a nap and a baby break and I'm getting tagged in. There go those after school runs and rides.

She wants to breast feed, so while I'm not going to be directly responsible for those 3 a.m. feedings I don't expect for a second to be sleeping through them for a while. I'm not getting up for a 5 a.m. pre-teaching swim after that. On top of that I'm going to want to spend as much time with Joe Batman (our placeholder in utero name). When I weigh "Three Hour Ride" against "Chill on the Floor With Baby," baby is going to win every time.

So how am I going to avoid Fat Dadness? Well, we are buying (read: we have put on our registry) a BOB Revolution Running Stroller, so that is going to be helpful. I will eventually get a bike trailer so I can bring the baby along on shorter rides. My wife knows that working out is an integral part of maintaining sanity for me, so it's not like she's going expect me to put the kibosh on it completely.

More: 5 Tips for Running With a Stroller

I've also taken advantage of the early registration rate for a local triathlon in May, so I have a race on my calendar. That will help me get out of the house and stay active. I'll have Dad Adjusted expectations for the race, seeing as two-a-day trainings and the like will probably be out.

Tied in to all of this is that both of us want our children to grow up in an active household. We want the kids to know fitness from the get go. It should be part of their environment.

The bottom line is I want to stay fit, I want to improve myself, and I want to be an excellent, involved dad. I know doing all those things is possible, I just don't know how it's going to come together yet. The next step of my fitness adventure is a big blind one, and I'm totally looking forward to it.

More: Gabrielle Reece on Fitness and Family

Active logoBalance family and fitness. Search for an event.

Discuss This Article

Get ACTIVE on the Go

Active Kids App
Active Kids App

Active Kids App

Parenting just got a little easier with the largest kids activity app on the planet.

Available for iOS | Android

Latest In Triathlon

Connect With Us