If you’re a mom, you understand the title of this post without me having to say another word. (Usually when you do finally answer “What?” they forget what they wanted to ask anyway…ironic?)
Either way, the point of this post is to talk about kids. They are amazing, incredible, wonderful, hilarious, adorable, fun, funny, the best part of your day every single day – but of course you want to be the best parent you can be, and that means spending a hell of a lot of time caring for those kids instead of spending that time on yourself. This can make it really difficult when you’re trying to stay in shape. Yes, it definitely makes it harder. But it doesn’t make it impossible.
So often I hear people say that since they had kids they haven’t had time for their workouts, or they find themselves overweight because they are eating the same things as their kids instead of taking time to make their own meals. I’m no perfect parent and far from it, but I do go after what I want and don’t make excuses for things, and this is definitely one example where this rings true more than ever.
Kids should not be a reason for you to not do something good and positive in your life. Instead, they should be one of the biggest reasons for you to do it. Yes, being a mom is an around-the-clock job, but if there is something you really want, you find a way to make it work instead of making an excuse for why you can’t.
With proper planning, you can find time to fit in your workouts through the week just as easily as you find time to catch up on the latest episodes of The Real Housewives of Atlanta or The Walking Dead. And there’s absolutely no reason you should be dealing with weight issues as a result of “snacking on the kids’ meals” – if you’re feeding them junk that would make you overweight, do you really think you should be feeding it to your kids?
Now is the best time to teach your kids lifestyle habits they will keep with them forever. Prepare them healthy, nutritious meals, and you can enjoy cooking and eating healthy together. Remember, things you teach your children now will last them a lifetime, so make your life lessons count. Teaching a child to eat fast food and junk food and they will likely carry these habits with them into adulthood.
As I’ve said many times before in many different posts, Sunday is usually my day of choice for taking a bit of time to myself to plan for the week ahead. From birthday parties to school meetings, keeping up with blog posts and designing for my activewear line and the million and one other things I have to get done through the week – I use this planning time to make my week count, and it makes me feel enthusiastic and eager for the week ahead instead of overwhelmed and exhausted.
If you’re struggling just to find 20 minutes to rest when you’re busy with kids and life (we all feel like this sometimes) I’m telling you – planning and preparation will make all the difference in the world. At least then you can schedule in that 20 minute nap, even if you do get woken up by that baby cry over the monitor as soon as you close your eyes. Look, like I said, it’s not going to be easy, but it is going to be worth it.
Many times, my workout soundtrack has consisted of “Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes” or “Old MacDonald Had a Farm” but you know what? I dealt with it. Sure, it’s not as great as listening to Meshuggah or Mastadon cranked full blast (of course I’m getting the kids to love them too) but if it helps me keep up with my workouts and keep the kids happy at the same time, it’s a done deal.
Of course it depends on the ages of your kids, what you do for a living, and all those other personal factors that come into play, but the moral of the story here is that even with little ones running around the house, there’s no reason you can’t fit in time to take care of yourself. In fact, after having kids it’s even more important to eat right and stay active, because you’ve gained weight during pregnancy which can be difficult to get off, along with the hectic life of being a new mom and barely having time to get showered and dressed in the morning. You want to put your children first and you definitely should, but that doesn’t mean you have to forget about yourself. Being overweight and unhealthy is only going to make you feel sick and bad about yourself, and this will affect your mood and attitude with your kids, even if you don’t want to admit it.
As a mom, there’s no one that compares in terms of how proud you should feel. I mean, come on, you created a human being inside your body and brought it into this world. Even rocket scientists can’t complete with that. You’re amazing! The same goes for the guy parents out there. You’re doing an amazing thing and you should feel damn impressed with yourself. Just don’t use kids as an excuse for why you let yourself go. Staying fit and healthy is not only beneficial for yourself, but also means you’re setting a great example for your little ones. One of the most important things you will ever teach your children besides being confident, kind to others, and respecting the world we live in, is to take care of their body.
So just remember, even as a busy mom, there is always time for working out and being healthy. The most important things to remember are to plan and prepare, whether you decide to take one evening a week to do it, or just a couple minutes a day, whatever works for you.
Never forget how important exercise and a healthy diet are, not only to you but to your children as well. You’re their number one influence and role model, so make it count and set a good example for the most important people in your life.
Stick with it, even when you’re having a bad day or if you’re not losing weight as quickly as you would have hoped after having your little one. You just created a human being so give yourself a break, just remember how good being fit and healthy makes you feel and it will be a huge motivator for you to get back in shape.
Get help, whether that means seeking advice from a personal trainer or nutritionist (you usually don’t need to hire someone full-time to guide you through this process, but if you’re not sure what you’re doing, it can definitely help to have someone there to offer their personalized expertise and help you get started) to getting together with friends through the week to try new healthy recipes or go to the gym. Support is everything and will definitely help you stay focused on achieving your fitness goals.
No matter who you are and whether you have just one little one at home or almost enough to start a baseball team, showering your kids with love and compassion is always number one, but there is always time to take care of yourself too. It’s just a matter of finding the will and the time to stay fit and healthy. Figure out what works for you, but just make it work.