Let’s face it, some days are just insanely busy. Some days we lose our patience. And some days we have to be away from our kids when we don’t want to be. Work, business travel, errands and other demands on our time can mean we aren’t around our kids as much as we’d like to in a perfect world. So the last thing you want to do is do something for YOU that takes you away from your kids, right? I hear you. But one thing I have never felt guilty about is taking time for my workouts.
Since my kids were babies, I have scheduled my workouts like I schedule an appointment. It’s inked in my calendar. My kids have grown up knowing that I value exercise. hey tagged along to the gym with me happily and sometimes, not so happily. They have listened to me talk about strength, cardio and healthy eating. And now they will even workout with me and actually value the example I set for the past 22 years. Believe me, I remember the times when I’d just start my workout and a baby would start to cry. Or we’d arrive at the gym and one Tof the three would get sick … I know most of you can feel that pain. But the most important thing is to not give up and to try again.
I polled my Facebook page on this very subject and I was happy to see how many moms have mastered the NO-GUILT WORKOUT! But if you still fall into the trap of skipping your workouts because you can’t take time away from the kids, reframe your thinking and say Bye Bye to the mommy guilt! Here’s how.
1. Change your thinking.
Don’t view exercise as just another demand on your time. Switch your thinking and view exercise as an investment in your health. You want to be around as long as possible for your kids, right? Exercise is something within your control that you can choose to do to stay healthy. Exercise also increases your energy, boosts mental clarity, helps you sleep and puts you in a better mood—all amazing benefits that can make you an even more AWESOME mom. And aren’t you worth it?
FACEBOOK Friend TIP: “Now that my girls are 6 and 9 years old, I am trying to workout with them. We went to indoor track to walk and run yesterday. Also, I don’t ever allow myself to feel guilty when I exercise on my own. I want to set a positive example for my daughters and be a strong, healthy mom for them for many, many years to come!” – Jen
2. Go for NO EXCUSES.
I know moms face overloaded schedules and mounting To Do lists, but don’t let lack of time or the pressure to be a perfect mom put you in the land of excuses this year. Be a little tougher on yourself and tell yourself that if your health is important to you … you will create the time or make the time. Leave excuses behind and let your actions show that your family’s health is a priority. It begins with you!
FACEBOOK Friend TIP: “I workout either super early or we all work out together. It’s fun! My 6-year-old loves having her own weights. My 10-year-old loves kickboxing. The teenagers lift and run together. Working out together is a huge component of our family being close and supporting each other’s goals in life.” – Kelly Jo
3. Have a plan.
Know when you are going to exercise ahead of time. Before you go to bed at night have your exercise plan in place for the next day. Lay out your clothes and a snack the night before so you’re ready to get moving when it’s time to workout. You know your schedule requires some finesse but you are a master juggler and you’ve got this!
Say: I can do this! A little positive thought can go a long way.
4. Workout at home.
No time to drive to the gym? Workout where you are…at home. Join my online streaming service, Get Healthy U TV where you can do tons of workouts, from HIIT to Pilates to cardio kickboxing, all from the comfort of your own home. Skip the time it takes to drive to the gym, change clothes, shower, do your hair, pack and unpack, and more. Get your workouts done efficiently at home before you even leave the house!
FACEBOOK Friend TIP: “I work part-time so I am usually able to get a workout in while they are at school. Plus, I am a much happier person when I workout. And if mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.” – Monica
5. Become an early bird.
Some women I know workout before the sun comes up when their husband and kids are still at home. Would this work for you? It can be nice to get your workouts done first thing in the morning because it sets you up for success throughout the day by starting out on the right foot.
FACEBOOK Friend TIP: “That’s why I stared going at 5 a.m. many, many years ago. Now I can’t imagine going at any other time.” – Rebecca
6. Select an activity for quality time with your kids each day.
Yes, you want to spend quality time with your kids every day without needing a plan to do so, but actively planning an experience can alleviate any mom-time guilt when you are exercising by yourself. Plan something memorable and fun where you will be fully present.
FACEBOOK FAN TIP: “I have thought about this a lot and I’ve learned to appreciate one of the yoga instructor’s advice: ‘Good for you to make time for yourself, one hour out of your day devoted to you.’ As moms we are on duty 23 hours. Enjoy your one hour and outside of the club, show your kids an active and healthy lifestyle.” – Jaclyn
7. Workout with your kids.
Are your kids old enough? When you’re working out at home with me, ask your kids to join in! Get your kids their own yoga mats and have them follow along to your routine with you. Of course, encourage them to modify the exercises and only do what they want to, but you might be surprised at how much fun they have!
FACEBOOK Friend TIP: “Work out with them! I can run with my boys in the jogging stroller and I have a trailer for my bike. I think a big part of doing it this way is to accept that you will go a little slower, you might get a little distracted, and maybe you will have to pause your workout for a minute, but you get the best of both worlds and then some.” – Leanne
8. Use childcare at the gym.
If your gym has childcare, use it! Go to a group fitness class and let the certified people at your gym watch your kids while you exercise. Eliminate that mom guilt and allow yourself the time to workout without feeling like you “should be” somewhere else.
FACEBOOK Friend TIP: “Go to a gym with great child care!” It’s hard to feel guilty when they are begging to go!” – Shala
9. Identify what relaxes you.
Exercise doesn’t have to be high-intensity all the time. And finding time for yoga or meditation daily or even weekly can be just as beneficial as a higher-intensity workout. For one person, meditation could mean a walk with your dog. For another, it could be a glass of wine and a sunset. Others might relax with a yoga class or a solo jog. Maybe it’s a great conversation with your spouse. Identify what relaxes you and try to work it into your weekly schedule a few times each week.
You really can be mom of the year and a mom who exercises. It’s not an either or scenario. Think of the great example of health you are setting for your kids! What you do and what they see is far more influential than what you say. As an active mom you will have more energy for them too! And remember this: When your kids see you doing things for yourself—like taking care of your health—they will see you valuing yourself and that teaches them to value themselves too. So forget guilt this year. Taking time for your own fitness does not translate to you being a bad or inattentive mom. That’s just flawed (and not positive!) thinking. View your exercise as making an investment in a healthy family. Don’t forget:
FACEBOOK Friend TIP: “I work out at home generally after dinner. My kids know it’s my time and unless there is a true emergency (bleeding, possible broken bone) not to interrupt me. Even my pets know better! LaToya
HA! Say bye to mom guilt and start saying: I deserve taking the time to take care of my health!
Still feel like it’s hard to fit in a workout? Check out our 3 time-saving tips to help create some room in your schedule.
Get help where you can. As a mom, I don’t believe we win any awards for shouldering everything ourselves. So get some help. Whether you need to ask your mother to help out with the kids for an hour while you go to the gym or you decide to hire someone to clean your house once a week, taking a couple things off your plate can go a long way toward your health and your sanity!
Plan ahead. Cooking isn’t easy when your toddlers are scaling the furniture or plodding to explore the fireplace. Prepping ahead of time (use Sunday!) with some cauliflower cilantro rice or some quinoa salad can be helpful in throwing meals together fast. Try making one meal in bulk over the weekend like this slow cooker pulled pork and you’ll be able to get multiple meals out of it all week. It can be a lifesaver to know that all you have to do is simply warm up a meal you already made.
When you think it, ink it. Keeping a piece of paper and a pencil on the counter can help you feel like you’re on tops of things. When something comes to mind that you need to do, simply write it down rather than feeling like you need to address it at the moment. It’s a master time saver and it gives you mental clarity. And then after you’ve written a good list, you can batch like tasks together and feel good about using your time wisely. Rely on your list, not on your memory.