I’m assuming your a mum if you are reading this, and I’m also assuming that you already know I’m a mum. I have 6 kids, (4 biological and 2 step), yes I know thats a lot, no we didn’t plan on having that many, and YES we own a TV……
I’ve been mum for just about my entire adult life. Through this experience and mixing with other mums I have learned what most of us have in common…..
1. We put everyone else before ourselves…CONSTANTLY
2. On the RARE occasion we do put ourselves first, (usually because we have just about been pushed to the brink of insanity), we feel GUILTY. Actually, we feel guilty for just about everything. It seems as soon as you leave hospital with your first baby, you carry out with you this big bag of guilt and we never put it down. If we work, we feel guilty for not being home, if we are home, we feel guilty for not working, if we spend lots of time playing with the kids, we feel guilty that the house is a mess, if we clean, we feel guilty for not playing with the kids, the list goes on and on. Feel free to insert you never ending list of guilty feelings here….you get the picture.
3. For most of us we see physical activity a must for our children (this is great by the way seeing as though a whopping 25% of Australian kids are considered overweight), we take them to the park and we race around dropping them to various sports multiple times a week, yet we don’t think that physical activity is a PRIORITY for us (this is NOT great). At first you might think ‘oh hang on there, yes I do!’ but truthfully, if you did, you would do it. Many of us view going to the gym, going for a walk or participating in a sport a LUXURY and not a necessity.
4. A lot of us get used to playing the ‘mum card’. Do any of these sound familiar?
“I can’t do that I’m a mum”
“I’m past that!’ “I’ve had 3 kids”
“I’m beyond help”
“I’m a mum so its normal for me to look and feel tired all the time”
“As long as the kids are happy and healthy, thats all that matters”
“I’m too old for that”
“It’s too late”
“I’ll piss my pants if I do 1 burpee..”
5. We have become used to hiding behind the needs of our family, we are actually scared to try new things. Scared of joining the gym or going to a fitness class because you wouldn’t know what to do or you’d feel inferior to the 21 year old with a extra tight toosh in her sexy booty shorts. We’re scared of being pushed out of our comfort zones, scared of wasting your valuable time on something that you might not enjoy, scared of failure, or even maybe you’re scared of leaving the kids. There are many things we seem to become fearful of when we become a mum.
I personally struggled for many years on most of the above, and I hear the same thing from other mothers over and over again. I JUST DON’T HAVE TIME! Before I started living a healthy ACTIVE lifestyle I couldn’t understand how some mothers fit it in. I believed that I was doing the right thing by NOT exercising because I was putting my children first, to me if I took that time out, I was selfish. What a load of BS! That approach left me exhausted, unhappy and unhealthy.
If you’re in that same headspace its time to stop that! Seriously, why do we view ourselves as so unimportant? As the saying goes ‘You can’t pour from an empty cup’, so start taking time to look after yourself, fill your cup!
Another part of taking care of yourself, is calling yourself out on your own excuses. As a PT I’ve heard it all before. I’m not saying that its easy to fit exercise in, or start something new, I’m saying try harder. MAKE it a priority. If your kids needed extra time, you’d find it somehow, so find the time for yourself. Yes, you might find it hard to start with, but you are a mum, show yourself some of that tough love you know so well. There will ALWAYS be a MILLION other things you could be doing, shut that to do list off in your head for at least 30 mins a day and go and do something that your body and mind will thank you for.
So what about tiredness? If you are suffering from extreme sleep deprivation, I truly sympathise with and you are the exception to the rule, but even a 5 min easy walk in the fresh air would do you the world of good. If you’re tired because you’re running around after everyone, you NEED to exercise. Exercise for a healthy body and a healthy mind. It not only decreases your chance of lifestyle disease, it increases your fitness and energy levels so you will actually have more energy to be there for your family. It also boosts your endorphin levels, so you will be in a better mood and have more patience when it comes to dealing with things like number 3’s, fights over who sits where, repeating yourself 500 times a day and discovering how lazy and disgusting your kids can be when you noticed that they have wiped their boogies on the side of a chair!
The fact is, if being healthy and having more energy is something you want, its time to start moving. If you seem to flop in front of Netflix with a packet of biscuits at the end of every night, exhausted, depleted and worn out, don’t you think its time to make a change? You can start slow, you should start slow, Just START. Stop hiding behind your mum card, start taking care of yourself and watch how your life changes for the better. In the end, something has got to give, your needs are just as important as everyone else in the family. When your daughters become mothers, wouldn’t you want them to look after themselves? Be that example to them.
If you need to start slow or ease into it, I recommend you start with my Bikini Newbie program. The workouts are achievable and enjoyable, and kept to around 20 – 30 mins. Your strength and fitness will increase and you will be pleasantly surprised when you start leaning out, toning up and feeling fantastic! Wouldn’t that extra bit of self confidence be the icing on the cake?