Balancing Life and Fitness

When I became a mom my life went from focusing on myself to focusing on everyone else. My free time was spent washing, cleaning, cooking, changing diapers, nursing, and folding. When I wasn't doing those things I needed to sleep. When you become a new mom people often say "sleep when the baby sleeps." While that is sound advice, is it really realistic?
Sleep is crucial when you have a new baby. However, I found that when the baby or babies were sleeping, I needed to use that time to keep the house and family functioning!
But what about me?  What about my body? My health? My time?  When was I going to lose this baby weight?  That is when I realized - I have to start off small.  One day at a time.  I did squats while rocking the baby to sleep (*hint* babies just like to move, it doesn't have to be a slow rocking back and forth). I did calf raises while washing dishes, lunges from the laundry room to the bedroom, and push-ups against the wall of the shower. I even tried to sing the ABC's while doing sit-ups next to the baby.  They key for me was simply, to get started doing SOMETHING. Eventually, I needed and wanted more. I'm not going to say it's easy, because it's not. I had to make it a priority. I woke up early. I stayed up late. It is all worth it to get a good workout in.
           As my children got a little older and I began to home-school the older two, I realized I had some "free" time while they were working independently and the babies were napping.  I seized the moment and started doing quick intense workouts in my living room. After my children were done with their work I allowed them to join me for the end of my workouts for their "PE." Now, the kids are finding exciting new ways to seek fitness.  We race each other on our bikes and take turns inventing tricks on the trampoline. When we go to the park we practice pull-ups and do sprints across the grass.
Looking back, I realized that becoming a mom is a life-altering event.  My life went from being all about me to being ALL about them - - and that's not a bad thing!  But I thought I had lost myself in my deep love for my children. As time has passed, I understand that it does not have to be one or the other.  I have found ways to stay fit and include my children in that.  I love my children and I love fitness,  so it's exciting to me to watch them take such an active role. Include your children. Be the example to them of what a healthy, fit lifestyle looks like. Don't just let them watch from the sidelines.
Life happens!  You will miss a workout here and there, but just keep moving forward. Keep looking for opportunities to nourish and strengthen your body, mind and soul.  Stop~ take a breath and get back to the balance.
MomStrong 2013-01-03 11.03.19      

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