Being a mom is the ultimate endurance sport, so finding time for your OWN health and well being is so important. If you don’t take care of yourself how can you effectively take care of anyone else to the best of your ability.
I often have moms tell me that they just don’t have time to exercise or to cook a healthy meal. Sometimes it IS hard, but you have to make it a priority and once you find a routine it becomes easier. When you take care of yourself you feel better, sleep better, and have more energy which makes you more effective at everything else.
When my daughter was a baby I made the investment in a jogging stroller. I got a BOB jogging stroller and I often say it saved my life, or at least my mental well being. Being a first time mom is hard and getting out of the house is so important. Once I started a routine of putting my daughter in the stroller and going for walks, and than runs I become more energized and mentally happier. I started to train for my first half marathon with that jogging stroller and it was amazing. Now that my daughter is almost 3, getting her to sit in the jogging stroller for more than a couple miles is a little harder. There is a park that is 2.5 miles away from my house, so I make her a deal that if she sits in the stroller we will run to the park and play and than we run home. So my 5 mile run has an hour break in the middle, but it is better than nothing.
My daughter is also in preschool now 2 days a week from 9-12:30 so I prioritize that time for grocery shopping and ME time. I will either go for a long run or catch a Hot Pilates or a Dailey Method class. When my daughter was a year old I found an amazing gym with an amazing kids program. My daughter LOVES going there. This has actually worked in my favor for extra motivation. She will wake up and ask to go to the club, which means when I am lacking in motivation to go to the gym I have my little girl begging to go and how could I say no to that?
Sometimes the budget is a little tight for the gym or there just isn’t a good one for kids in the area. I have previously worked out plans with other mommy friends. My friend would have a playdate with my daughter and her 2 kids for an hour while I get a nice run in and than I come back and switch. She than also gets her run, our kids get a playdate and we are all happier.
I am fortunate enough to be able to do most of my work from home, phone, and computer. This means that I often choose to do a lot of the work after my daughter goes to sleep which gives me more time during the day to play with her, take care of the house and to take care of myself. A lot of people I realize have to be at an office full time. My sister is one of these people. I helped her work out a plan where 3 days a week, instead of taking the time to go out and eat, she packs a healthier lunch AND than has time for a 45 min power walk too. It doesn’t always sound super amazing, but she says that she is so much happier at work after that power walk.
When it comes to making a healthier meal for my family it doesn’t always have to take hours. When I pack my daughters lunch I will often prep dinner, such as cut up vegetables or start the crock pot. On Sundays before I go to farmers market I will think about which days are the busier days and plan out an idea of menus for the week and than get food accordingly. Having this plan for the week also helps not eating out because I know that I will just end up throwing food away that I have at home if we eat out and I HATE to waste like that.
My father always told me that you don’t get to pick the cards you are dealt, but you just need to play the best hand with what you have. Finding the balance in your life of taking care of your family and yourself too is key.