Searching for Super Mom {Juggling fitness and all the rest of life’s demands}

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“I just can’t seem to fit it all in!”  I can’t even tell you how many times I say that in a typical week. Being a mom is the most demanding job I have ever had. The responsibility of running a household and the needs of my family can quickly feel overwhelming. When you try to add a regular fitness routine to the mix, it can seem like more trouble than it’s worth.

But it’s not!

Being healthy and getting regular exercise is not only important for YOU, it’s an important example to set for your family. Being healthy also makes it easier to make it through those long days of motherhood.

We know that. But when it comes right down to fitting it in, it can just seem impossible and it’s easy to get discouraged. Here are a few things that have worked for me. I hope they are helpful for you:

1. Make a plan. Look at your family’s schedule for the week. Where are there windows you can use for your workouts? Do you need to get up early and get it done while everyone sleeps? Is there a day when your spouse will be around? My workout schedule is usually a combination of workouts when my husband is home, after bedtime workouts when he’s working nights, and early morning workouts on the days when there’s just no other time to squeeze it in. It’s different every week because life is different every week! Sitting down and mapping it out makes it a whole lot easier than trying to fit it in as I go through the week.

2. Be flexible. A plan is great! But you can’t predict a sick munchkin, your husband’s last minute work meeting, terrible weather when you planned to run outside. Even the best plans have to be changed sometimes. Don’t let that frustrate you. Try to come up with a plan b. If you were planning on going for a run but at the last minute, you don’t have child care, grab a soccer ball and your crew and head to the park. Kicking the ball around for an hour might not be an equal replacement for your solo run — but at least you get moving! And your kids do, too!

3. Make an active lifestyle part of your family’s DNA. Instead of going to the movies or the mall, go on a hike. Instead of going to an amusement park, load up your bikes and find a new spot to explore. Set up a starting and finish line in your yard and hold family races. It may not the same as the 5 mile run on your training plan but just consider it speed work. :)  In a pinch, find a fun dance workout that you can all do together! 

Here’s what some other Fit Moms had to say!

Make fitness a part of your whole family’s day. Go for walks or runs together or involve kiddos in your workout. Rather than taking time away from your family, being fit can be fun for everyone! – Alyssa Serchia

I think you can/should schedule it like you would a dr appt or a business meeting. Make a plan, put it on your calendar and make that time “you” time! Get the help and encouragement from family and friends or do it at times your spouse or sitter are around. It’s so important!! - Sammy Hantman
 
Be open with your partner and your kids about what your fitness goals are and why. It’s such a great example for them and having their support makes the work of the exercise itself and the schedule juggling seem so much easier. - Jessica Nichols Snowden
 
Look for ways you can maximize and double-up your time. I have done lap swim during my kids’ swim lessons and run laps around the field during soccer practice. Stop from time to time to watch and cheer them on, but they don’t need your undivided attention during every minute of every practice, and it’s an easy way to fit in some extra workouts. – Katie Cartwright Hampton
 
And here’s some great advice from Katie Brackman, who has juggled fitness as both a working mom and a stay at home mom…
 
I worked full-time after I had my first child. I found that the best way for me to squeeze in a workout was at lunch time. I already had mom-guilt for leaving her in daycare for 10 hours a day, so I didn’t want to take up any extra time going to the gym, so lunch time it was. It wasn’t always easy and I didn’t always make it (deadlines and such) but 90% of the time, it worked.
 
I’m now a full time stay at home mom with two kids and it is much harder to find the time to work out.  We recently joined the YMCA and they have childcare that I take advantage of so that I can get a workout in, so I would suggest finding a gym that has childcare.
 
Lastly, if something doesn’t work, don’t give up – keep trying to find something that does work. 
 
Making your health a priority requires juggling and creativity. What part of motherhood doesn’t?  It’s not easy – but friends, it is SO worth it.
 
Happy Fit Family Friday!!

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Let’s chat!  Tell me how you fit exercise into your busy life or tell me about the obstacles you’re trying to overcome.