There’s no doubt about it: we love our kids to bits and pieces. We love them so darn much that we will devote all of our time and energy to bonding with them, teaching them about the world, and creating a safe and loving environment for them.

Sneaking a bit of Pilates into your week or making a smoothie that’s not meant for the kids feels like cheating, doesn’t it? Guilt could just eat you up inside! We’ve all been there: abandoning any inkling of me-time or self-care in order not to deprive our kids of something crucial, be it attention, affection, or simple supervision.

However, as much as we love our little ones, we need to teach them how to love themselves, too. The only way to do that is to lead by example. They’ll grow up to be good people, but they also need to be kind to themselves, listening to their needs and dreams, and taking care of their health and wellbeing.

So, mums, taking time to care for your health long enough to exercise, sleep, and eat healthily isn’t time taken away from your kids. It’s time you devote to being the kind of role model that your kids need! Here’s how you can ignite some of that self-love and self-care!

Above all else – get some rest

You cannot expect yourself to feel up for a workout if you haven’t had a decent night of sleep in months. First and foremost, make sure that your kids go to bed at a decent time, and talk to your spouse about your sleep schedule. If neither of you works crazy shifts, you can make a deal to go to bed at roughly the same time every night and get at least seven or eight hours of sleep. If your hands are full with a baby, then restorative sleep and sharing chores fairly is what you need before you can safely go back to your workouts.

With a good sleeping routine, you will feel less stressed, and you’ll refresh your energy levels, which will allow your body to work out more vigorously. Sleep is one of the main pillars of a healthy life, and the sooner you define your sleeping schedule, the easier it will be to start working out regularly.

Tweak your food to boost energy

Hand in hand with sleep, diet is your best ally in shedding unwanted pounds, but also fuelling your body with ample energy and vigour. As a busy mum, you might benefit from introducing a good pre workout for women into your morning shake, so that you get your energy levels up in time for a solid training session.

It’s important to find a supplement specifically made for women, because your goals might be different, and your body could use a targeted combination of ingredients to stimulate fat-burning and elevate your focus. Plus, it will help you regulate your blood sugar levels, cravings, and you’ll start off your day right, making it easier to stick to your nutrition goals, too.

Prepare treats to stay motivated

In addition to adding protein and pre workout goodies into your exercise regime, you can also enrich your diet and boost energy with the help of healthy snacks. There’s another opportunity for you to be a role model to your kids, by setting an example on how a wholesome diet needs to look like, and that it’s possible to live without major sugar cravings.

As a busy mum, you can use fresh fruit, veggies, nuts, and seeds as the basis of your snack menu. If you have meal-prepping days, you can set aside half an hour to prepare nutritious muffins, both sweet and savory to make snacking more diverse. Your diet doesn’t have to be boring, and you can use these treats to keep yourself motivated to finish your daily exercise dose.

Get your kids to participate, too

When you cannot let go of that guilt trip, why not share the fun with your kids and even your spouse if they have the time and energy? This will encourage your kids to be more active, it will be a chance for you to spend quality time together without digital distractions, and spend time in nature if you choose outdoor activities.
Hiking, cycling, volleyball in the park or on the beach, surfing, kayaking – these are all wonderful opportunities for the whole family to have fun and stay fit. If the weather is nice, you can make it into a weekend getaway, prepare healthy snacks, and you won’t even feel like it’s a responsibility to exercise.

Use affirmations to build confidence

Even when you have your sleeping and eating routine down, chances are there will be days when you feel exhausted, annoyed, or frustrated. It’s on those days that matters most what you choose to do and if you succumb to your cravings instead of pushing through a quick yoga routine. To put yourself in the right mindset and genuinely focus on yourself, you can use affirmations that will remind you of that healthy way to perceive yourself.

Give yourself a few moments of privacy in the bathroom, stand in front of that mirror and repeat something to remind yourself of your worth. Use affirmations such as “I exercise because I love my body and I love myself. I cherish the temple that has given me my kids!” and “I feel myself growing stronger every day!” They’ll pull you out of a rut when you feel stuck and weak, and most of all, they’ll remind you of why you’re doing this.

Let’s face it, mums will always be busy, but adding a few 30-minute workout sessions into your week doesn’t have to be a struggle. It can be a source of fun, inspiration, a bonding opportunity with your kids and your spouse. More than everything else, it’s a moment to remind yourself that the healthier, stronger, more vibrant you are, the more you can give your kids, and the better role model you’ll be for them!

Do you struggle to find time in your life to exercise? If you do exercise, what do you do and when do you do it? Tell us in the comments below.

  • Yes I struggle to find time for exercise, life is just so busy


  • I find I can usually find about 10 minutes to exercise and do this three times a day so get in my 30 minutes with much less stress. Thanks for the article.


  • Yes, but just need to make it a priority and be organised


  • I’ve returned to Kung Fu after 3 years, it’s great but I’m lacking the same confidence this te around, I need to keep pushing myself

    • Wow, good on you for picking this up again, hope your confidence returns !


  • I love these ideas. Just wish I was able to do them. Mine would be taking the dog for a walk every morning


  • Exercise is so important and a must for the health and well being of everyone in our family.


  • This is such a good article, I seriously needed to read this. I never take time for myself to exercise or meal prep. I really need to do it more to get ontop of my weight, energy and over all well being.


  • I think I could definitely make time to exercise but it’s still the motivation to do it which I lack.


  • Absolutely I do! Before covid I was walking twice a day and lost 15kg. But covid restrictions soon made this difficult to do and I gave up. I’ve just recently started walking again and this time with my family. It’s great quality family time walking and away from screen time. I’m loving it!

    • Yes, family walks are lovely & healthy for all !

      • We love to walk too! It is so relaxing and is such a feel good activity.


  • I walk to and from work every day, then after work I go for a min 5km walk. I also walk on the weekends. At the moment it’s every day due to a challenge I’ve got going.
    Wednesday night I do yoga


  • Before covid hit, I had actually joined my local gym, loved it. I would go at least 4 times a week. To start off with, I used the treadmill and bike. But as confidence built I began the various strengthening machines. Loved it, my health and wellness improved so much. As did my fitness. But when covid hit, I missed the gym. When we could, would go for walks, but it wasn’t the same. Over time, I was relaxed with just walking. But did end up turning my push bike into one I could use inside.


  • I must get back into it. Not exercising affects my headspace


  • I do running and walking with my friends just after my kids dropping at school.We do motivate each other doing exercise.


  • I really wished I had exercised when I was younger. It may have helped my health.


  • It’s all great advice but life really does get in the way. The Mother Load makes this so hard… unless you can get the family on board to help with it.


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