Balancing motherhood and the rest is tricky. From the beginning of our journey as moms we’re fed two very opposite messages. We get stuck between the guilt of Kids first everything else last and the frustration of be a perfectly shaped tight little package 6 weeks after delivery (maybe sooner). Nowhere that I have ever found does it discuss how to schedule breast-pumping breaks around workouts. How too perfectly time naps so that dinner gets prepped, laundry gets folded and perhaps you actually get changed out of pajamas! We’re all too familiar with the pressure laid at our feet, like eggshells we’re expected to walk on and not break.
I’m not really writing about that, but what crossed my mind today while doing 10,000 things was very reminiscent of those moments in my life and the pressure I felt to be the perfect mom and wife, and the guilt I felt when I wasn’t.
The real reason I’m writing today is that I was unloading my dishwasher, after moving furniture in the front room AFTER dragging my 2 year old to my annual physical and I had the fleeting thought…
“I’m not going to get a chance to work out today”
I felt bad, almost guilty. How ridiculous. Feeling guilty over not having the time to go the gym and workout? I had a swift come to Jesus talk with myself and snapped out of it. I thought after that I can’t be the only one who has days filled with “stuff” and feels like there’s no time for myself? Surely not. So now that the toddler is finally napping I’d like to share my tricks, ideas, #protips if you will.
How do I find balance as a mom? How do I move more and feel healthy and not leave my responsibilities at the wayside?
Yes. Say it with me now. Del –uh– gate. This is all dependent on how old your children are mind you, but if you have a partner. This one’s for them. You are NOT the only person in your house with two arms, legs and a brain set firmly between those ears. Write the list. Give jobs away. Hold your family accountable. Your 60 minutes of time to yourself to move more is invaluable to them. You’ll be a better mom, wife, woman and friend if you get a chance to do what you love and get that heart rate up! Your 12 year old CAN do the laundry. Vacuuming the stairs can be handled by your ten year old. Husbands (or wives) CAN be put in charge of dinner. Delegate. Do it. You’re welcome.
#2 Create movement patterns that fit.
Move more. It doesn’t have to look pretty, you don’t need new workout clothes, it can be quick and simple. Do things like….use the bathroom on the highest or lowest level. Skip elevators. Do 25 air squats every time you go to the bathroom. Knock out 10 pushups when you wake up and go to sleep. Wall sits for teeth brushing. Planks when you’re coloring with the kids, have dance party breaks. Every movement counts. Add it up at the end of the day; you’ll be amazed at how much you get in when you actually make a conscious effort to just move more. It’s simple, not always easy, but you can do it.
#3 Drag your kids along for the ride
At any age, any ability level, you can create a quick and easy family workout to do together. A quick thirty min circuit of sprints, jumping jacks, push ups, balance beam challenges, leap frog, planks will fix anyone’s grumpy mood, stop everyone in their tracks and create a moment of memories that your kids are guaranteed to love. Even a walk, if that’s where you are in your fitness journey, just pause for squats at every corner. It doesn’t have to be complicated, or overwhelming. This is fun remember!
# 4 Give yourself grace
Balance is critical. As long as you’re making forward movement and you have more “moving” days than non moving days. You are on the right track. Being a mom is freaking hard. (Parenting is hard in general but I’m a mom so I can speak from only my experience) Be kind to yourself if you couldn’t get it all together and get a full workout in. Don’t feel like the bottom fell out of your plan and that you’ve lost all progress. Make the mental adjustment to move more (see suggestions above) and adjust your days later in the week by delegating tasks that you needed done and get yourself the movement you deserve. It will happen if you just keep moving. Don’t give up.
Let me know if you’ve got ways you balance motherhood and working out. I’d love to hear them and share them with my clients!!
Until next time