With kids my training has fluctuated. When my oldest was born I was a runner. I took 2 months off after her birth.
First, I needed to figure out when to exercise. Before, I did most of my workouts at the gym after work (5pm). However, after she was born I didn’t have afternoons, anymore. Instead I started waking up early (5-5:30am) to run so I could back home between 6-6:30am). I did this 4-5 days per week. This was when both she and my wife were asleep so I didn’t wake either. And then when I got back from work I had time to relieve my wife and give her the rest of the afternoon/evening off. Saturdays or Sundays I could wake up later because I was home all day to help out.
Second, I gave up other things. I pretty much quit watching tv and playing video games. I haven’t done either with any regularity for almost 10 years, now.
By the time my second was born (three years later), I was running AND doing strength training in the gym. All in the mornings. So, I was getting up earlier. I was also going to bed earlier at night, too, to compensate. Or, I was fall asleep sitting on the floor in my daughter’s room after putting her to bed. Often my wife would come in 30-45 minutes later and wake me up. lol.
Getting back to working out after my second was born, tho, was much harder. With two young kids it was much harder to wake up early because with two young kids I had needed to help my wife more. So, I had less energy and less motivation. I did a lot less exercise. And even signing up for events - which usually got me motivated out of sheer fear of failing - wasn’t helping.
I did a few races here and there over the next 3-4 years, and supported my wife as she got back into shape. But I was getting older and had less energy and motivation.
It really wasn’t until both kids were in school (the youngest was in kindergarten) that my energy and motivation improved. It think the biggest improvement was that both kids were now potty trained AND both were sleeping through the night. It’s amazing how much one or two wake-ups a night can drain your energy levels.
After that, I got back into running. And then I got into triathlon and bicycling. And it’s still a work-in-progress because I want to spend weekends with the kids, but those are also my only days for long rides. Either that or I have to wake up at 3am on a weekday to get a long ride. So, there is still a lot of give and take.
And being in my mid-40’s, I’ve been able to tell for a few years now just how much harder it is to recover as I get older. When my first child was born, I was in my early/mid-30’s. Once my son was born and we got past the first couple years, I was already in my 40’s and my energy levels weren’t as high as they were and recovery took longer.
So, really, the biggest thing was finding the time that worked for both my and my family, getting buy-in from my wife, and then prioritizing my hobbies and cutting out other things that just aren’t as important. And then understanding that you’ll be building a new normal that will likely never look the same as your previous normal. And being okay with it.