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.