Remember when you thought you were busy? When you were in high school and had all that school work, sports and a social life to juggle? Or in college when you added an internship to the mix? Or once you started your first full time job and still needed to find time to exercise, date and hang out with friends and family?
Now that you’re a Mom, do you look back on those days and laugh? I sure do! I laugh at that 20 something year old girl who would cancel plans on a Friday night because “I just needed a break.” These days, 7 months pregnant and Mom to a 2 year old, I would give my right arm just to HAVE plans on a Friday night! Granted, I would need them to start early so that I could be home, in bed, by 9:00, but still…
As I’m preparing for the arrival of my second son in 3 short months, my Mom continues to remind me “You think you’re busy NOW…just wait!” And I know she’s right. But I think I’ve gotten the hang of a routine that works for me at the moment. It’s all about my priorities. Whichever lands at the top of the list, I MAKE time to get done, and whichever is on the bottom (ahem, putting away the laundry, cleaning up the toy room and making the beds), gets put off until I FIND the time.
For me, health and fitness is very near the top of the list. A lot of times I get asked why I continue to make exercise a priority during my third trimester of pregnancy, and my answer is simply “to have a healthy pregnancy.” I learned a lot from the first time around, when I used pregnancy as an excuse to stop my workouts and eat whatever I wanted. In fact, when we found out we were expecting our first, my husband and I had both JUST started doing the T25 program at home, and I quit immediately because I was afraid that exercising would hurt the baby. I was then diagnosed with Gestational Diabetes in my third trimester, which was not the end of the world, but was certainly something that I would like to avoid this time around if possible.
Now I know that exercising during pregnancy is not only safe, but it is one of the best things you can do for yourself, and your baby. I had a c-section with my first, but I have heard that giving birth is very similar to running a marathon, and the more in shape you are, the better time you’ll have getting through it. I am hoping to “run this marathon” this time around, so I am trying hard to make sure that I will be ready. Here are some of the tips that I use to help me get through it even when my day seems “too busy.”
- Schedule your workout in the night before
Decide the night before WHEN you will get your workout in the next day. If you leave it up to yourself to decide in the moment, you may find yourself coming up with a plethora of excuses as to why you should do something else. Tell yourself the night before, and STICK to your commitment!
- Workout BEFORE the kids wake up
For me, this is the best time to get my workout done. I use Beachbody home fitness programs, so they are only 30 minutes each day and all I have to do is roll out of bed, go downstairs and push play. I generally set my alarm for an hour before my son wakes up, to give me time to get down there, do the workout and shower afterwards (that last part doesn’t always happen…). This way, it’s over and done with before you get to be too tired from your day of Momming. And I find that having a deadline of getting it done before the kids wake up really helps me actually get my butt out of bed.
- Workout at home
I used to be a gym lover. Until I had a small human that I had to figure out what to do with while there. Not to mention getting the two of us ready and into and out of the car, twice, each day. I couldn’t do it. And with number two on his way, I definitely can’t imagine it! There are TONS of resources available for you to workout at home, and you don’t need a whole home gym to get great results! I personally use Beachbody programs because they are short, effective and hardly require any equipment. If waking up before the kids doesn’t work, these programs are short enough that you can get them done during nap time! You also save gas money this way!
- Make a commitment TO yourself and FOR yourself
Try and switch your mindset from thinking that exercise is just another chore, and think of it as the 30-60 minutes that you get to take for YOU. As a Mom, we give and give and give all day long. But exercise can be your time to fill your cup back up. The endorphins and energy boost that you get from it will help you keep up with those kiddos, and the results that you will see over time will give you such a sense of accomplishment, for something that YOU did for YOURself. Not to mention, the health benefits that come from daily exercise will help you be a better mother, AND keep you around longer!
- Find an accountability group, or partner
Finding the motivation to exercise can be tough. Especially after the excitement of those first few weeks, or first few pounds lost, wears off. But if you have someone, or a whole group of people, in your corner, cheering you on and making sure you’re sticking to your commitment, it is so much easier! Better yet, have a friend do the same thing WITH you! Maybe you can schedule to do your workouts at the same time and check in with each other when they’re done, or have her over for a playdate and put the kids in the play room while you two workout together. There are also lots of online support and accountability groups available (feel free to email me for more info on these at [email protected]) full of women going through the same struggles, and celebrating the same triumphs, as you. Get connected and stay committed!
Ultimately, you have to find what works with your schedule, and your family’s schedule. As Moms we wear a lot of hats during the day. We are busy. But that doesn’t mean that we should push what’s important to us to the back burner. Hopefully these tips will help you find a little time to carve out for yourself for your health and fitness in the new year. Because, as they say, if you don’t make time for health and fitness now, you’ll have to find time for sickness later. Start the new year out with a new outlook on “too busy” and start feeling like the MOMstrong Mom you want to be!
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