Lose the Mother’s Guilt
Trying to balance fitness with kids can be hectic. Know why? Guilt. Especially if your kids are very young and cute.
I get it. Heck, I’ve felt it! There’s a lot of pressure on women to not just be moms, but to be super moms. I give my clients workouts that range from 30 minutes to 90 minutes, based on their schedules and fitness goals. Often they tell me that they feel guilty spending so much time on themselves.
One hour a day, five days a week. Sounds like a lot, doesn’t it? Well, when you consider there are 24 hours in a day and seven days in a week, that equals 168 hours. So five hours a week at the gym means you’re still dedicating 97 percent of your time to everyone else! Don’t you deserve 3 percent of your day for yourself?
Still feeling a tinge of guilt? When this happens, just repeat the following mantra: “There is EXACTLY enough time to do what’s important to me.”
For example, sometimes the laundry piles up, the mail needs to be opened, the floors need to be mopped and I won’t have time to do it. But, by God, I will make time to watch “Game of Thrones” on HBO because it is imperative that I see the dragons. Same thing goes for exercise: make it important to you, and I guarantee you will find the time for it.
View exercise as your “me time.” Don’t answer emails. Don’t check social media. Don’t answer your phone. For one glorious hour a day, listen to your favorite music, lift heavy things in front of the mirror and reflect on how strong your biceps are. Exercise is addictive and provides a powerful dose of sanity in an insane world.
It’s also helpful if you have some fitness equipment at home. That way you’re not dealing with the time (and money) suck of going to a gym. I love using my Bowflex treadmill and switching up the program every day for variety. If I want to add strength training to the mix, I do 8-minute intervals on the treadmill and then use my adjustable dumbbells to do a set of curls or shoulder presses. After I’m done lifting, I get back on the treadmill.
When you take the time to take care of yourself, you are sending a powerful message to your children: I am of value too. Exercise has been shown to boost your mood and reduce stress — something every mom needs. By exercising and eating well, you are making yourself healthier. This makes chasing your kids at the park easier to do because you have less excess weight to lug around and more energy to keep up with them.
When you take the time to take care of yourself, you will be better able to care for the ones you love the most.