Say no to “mom guilt” (or parent guilt)
Society has you feeling like your entire life should be sacrificed for your kids once you’re a parent. That cannot be further from the truth.
Will you have to make some adjustments, some trade-offs, and juggle your time in a way that you maybe wouldn’t if you didn’t have kids? Definitely.
But you were a whole person before you had kids. You didn’t stop being that person once you became a parent. You still deserve time for self-care, exercise, nourishing your body, work, and time to do activities that you ENJOY.
Your kids will be ok if you take time for yourself. I’d even argue that they will be so much better for seeing their parent taking care of themselves and doing activities that bring them joy.
Get to know your workout style
- Do you need to workout in silence or can your kids be there too?
- Do you prefer morning workouts or evenings?
- Are you ok with a home workout or do you need to be in a gym?
- Do you need to workout with someone else or can you do it alone?
Now let’s go back and see which of those you are willing to be flexible on.
Ex: You prefer a gym workout but can possibly do one at home if it still challenges you. You prefer morning workouts but afternoons work better with your current schedule.
Life and fitness have seasons.
Maybe you’re in a season now with little sleep and very little childcare options. So what once was a preference for morning gym workouts in silence now looks like at home workouts with your kid running around the garage.
This isn’t a forever change. It’s “for now”. What works with your preferences and schedule in your current season.
Building healthy habits
We can talk about making the workouts fit, but if you’ve been out of the game for a while, you’re going to need to build that habit back up.
Relying on motivation won’t help you here.
One easy way to do this is to exercise with a friend or your partner. Having to be accountable to meet up with someone makes things easier.
But what if you don’t have someone to workout with or if you can’t get away? I like to take the no days off approach here. No that doesn’t mean go hard and no rest. But it does mean some form of intentional movement every day.
Maybe start out taking the dog for a 20 min daily walk, 10 min on the treadmill, or a mobility session each day. By doing small bits of intentional movement each day, you’re setting yourself up to be able to more easily sub out a workout a few days a week.
Short workouts are better than no workouts
You’re going to have to let go of the all or nothing mentality here friend. Movement adds up throughout the day.
Have 10 min before dinner is ready? Do a quick circuit of squats, pushups, and step ups to the kitchen stool.
Have 7 min in the morning? Do your warmup/mobility session.
We call these movement snacks. 30 minutes of exercise broken up into 3, 10 minute sections is still 30 minutes of exercise.
Distract or involve the kids with your workout
Depending on the age of your kids you can either choose to distract or involve them while you workout.
That can look like:
– iPad, kindle, or TV time while you lift
– Utilizing the gym’s daycare
– A playpen or sectioned off area with toys for them to explore
– Using your baby as weight in your goblet squats or carries or have face to face play during push ups or planks
– Special toys that are only played with during gym time
– Bring a kettlebell and a mat to the park and do a quick session while the kids play
– Workout at their sports practices (I do this often no matter if my kids are embarrassed or not)
While you may prefer to get a full workout in peace (as a massive introvert I 100% understand this), this is where flexibility in this season comes into play. Do the best you can with the time you have.
Reduce your mental load – have a plan
Part of the difficulty of working out as a parent with numerous responsibilities is the overwhelming mental load that you’re already under. Adding in the thought of putting together a workout is another decision that you don’t have time for.
Even as someone that knows program design and that does this for a living, I have to have my workout planned for me. My brain doesn’t have the space right now for winging it in the gym.
This is where FIT for Women is so key.
Yes, I do my own program. Current me simultaneously loves past me for writing the program and hates past me for including rear foot elevated split squats 😂
If you need help with accountability or if the thought of adding one more thing to your mental load has you overwhelmed, get a program and stop piecing together workouts from YouTube and Instagram.
If you’re ready to start lifting (and living again) without worrying about your core and pelvic floor, FIT for Women is for you. Get the mobility, core and pelvic floor progressions, and strength programming you need to help you navigate your symptoms.
If you want to take a deep dive on more core and pelvic floor topics, join my weekly Q&A email list. It may or may not also be the only place to snag a discount on programs. So run, don’t walk, to join.