…because it never left.
After having a baby there is so much pressure for a mom to bounce back to her pre-baby body right away. Magazines and internet articles use terms like,”get your body back.” What they don’t seem to understand is that your body didn’t go anywhere. You didn’t have a child and then suddenly start going about your day as a floating head. In fact you should feel more connected to your body than ever.
It grew a life and brought it into this world. Go you!
As moms we have so much on our plates. We work (if you stay at home believe me I know you put in plenty of work), we take care of the kids, and we try to take care of ourselves. Unfortunately self care often becomes last on the list of things to do. Is it our fault or are there just not enough options that take parenting into account? Some may say that you’re just not making the time that you should. Why aren’t you getting up at 5:00 am to do pushups? Why aren’t you burning the midnight oil to get back to pre-baby size? Here’s another opinion: Is it really self-care if you’re running yourself into the ground trying to do it? For some moms getting up at 5:00 am to work out, or going for a run after the kids are in bed, works. For others, they just need another option that fits into their life as it is.
Also, lets talk about fun. The world is often a serious place and with news stations warning us about pesticides, kidnappers, cyber bullies, and so much more we need a little light heartedness in our lives. If exercise is drudgery it ain’t happening! So let’s discuss some options.
A great place to start is a simple walk. Pop the kid(s) in the stroller and enjoy some fresh air, scenery (can’t beat a walk by the ocean), and those feet hitting the pavement. Bring a friend, the dog, or do it solo. Even a short walk around the neighborhood is enough to improve your mood and burn a few calories.
Get the kids involved
Getting the kids involved not only kills two birds with one stone, it teaches them a good lesson about a healthy and active life style. Examples: have a dance off in the living room, make an obstacle course that you can do together, make a game out of boring exercises like squats, pushups, or jumping jacks.
Find a fitness class that offers child care
There are some fitness studios that offer free or low priced child care when you attend a class. This is a great option for single moms, or mothers who’s partner isn’t available to watch the kids to get some “me” time. Heads up: most require pre-registration so plan ahead.
Join a mommy and me class
This is a great option because it again, gets the kids involved, but also takes out all of the thought or prep on your end. Mommy and me classes also give you an opportunity to meet other moms to converse (and commiserate) about mommy-hood. Being a modern mom can be a very isolating experience. This is a great opportunity to see that you’re not alone in the struggle to be “Mom” but also “Me.”
These are a few great options to help you get started reclaiming your body (not recreating it). Being a mom means our bodies are often dedicated to the service of tiny humans, and that role is important. What is also important is that we stake a claim to our bodies in the most positive way possible. Being active and healthy doesn’t have to mean you have to try to be super woman, while being super mom, and therefore ending the day super tired.
If you can think of any other ways to be active and healthy while being a wonderfully busy momma leave them in the comments below. Other moms (us too!) would love to hear your ideas. Also, if you’re in the Gloucester area and would like to find some mom/kid friendly options check out our website at WWW.PHIAWOMENSCENTER.COM
or like us on facebook for updates on what’s coming up for moms in the Gloucester community.
Lastly, the most important part of being active is showing up. Whether you’re running a 5k pushing a stroller or going for your first long walk in months, you showed up. Both are impressive, both are valid, both will benefit you. And now a round of applause to happy, active, moms and to fitness options that make more happy, active, women.