I must admit, as a brand new mom, it was incredibly difficult to find time for myself. And I am not the first mom in the world to suffer from the infamous and undeniable case of “mom guilt“. I always knew it was important to find time for myself, but all I wanted to do was hold and play with my baby.
If you ever had these thoughts as a mom of one or a mom of seven kiddo’s… allow me to say… YOU are NOT alone!
As I wrote in my previous post, Achieving Goals, it has taken me several months to understand the importance of making time to just be Mara. I need that time to not be… a wife, an employee, a writer, a daughter, a friend, or a mom.
When we become mom’s… there is a huge part of you that gets sucked up and lost in the cute, craziness of those little adorable babies. You have a new identity. Mom.
But, you’re still… YOU!
Taking time for yourself can be anything that you want. Personally, I choose to use “me-time” for exercise.
Last week, my friend asked me, “When does the mom guilt go away?”
I told her that it takes time, but the sooner you try, the easier it will become. I am not in expert in this area, but you definitely need to find something that works for you and that makes you comfortable.
Why is “me-time” so important? I remember asking myself the same question. Listen up mom’s… I am a MUCH better version of myself when I take time for myself; which also makes me a better wife and mom. Taking a little time for myself throughout the week has allowed me to clear my head and just RELAX. Without this time… I might explode.
I know what you might be thinking…“Well, I have 5 kids. There is absolutely no wiggle room in my schedule.” Trust me, ALL mom’s struggle to find time. It doesn’t matter what age they are or how many you have… we all do this.
For the mom’s that are hoping to incorporate exercise into their “me-time”, I do have some tips. Please remember that not every situation is the same, so definitely figure out what works for you. This may take some trial and error along the way. Be patient with yourself and your family.
8 Ways to Make Time for Exercise
- Get ready for exercise however you want. Working out at home doesn’t require a whole lot of prep-time. If you are like me, however, you do need a few minutes of pre-workout stretching. With a limited window between lunches and naps, maybe try stretching out your hamstrings and calves while your kids eat or while you make lunch/dinner.
- Don’t worry about your apparel. People at a gym or in a yoga class might care if they see a glimpse of your tummy. But if you’re at home, no one cares if you’re in old shorts and a loose top. Just go for it.
- Take your neighbor up on that one-hour babysitting offer. If you have awesome neighbors like me, definitely take them up on their offers to hang out with your kids for an hour or less. Then grab your running shoes or pop in that yoga DVD. Clear your mind and feel the tension release.
- Nap time is mama’s time. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve squeezed in 30-60 minute workouts during my son’s naps. Obviously this is easy for me right now because I only have one kid. Do what works for you though. Maybe bed time is “mama-time” if you have 3 or more.
- Trade babysitting time with a friend or neighbor. I know some mom’s that have weekly pow-wows and trade babysitting services, while the other mom gets to run errands, exercise or whatever. Try using that time for yourself.
- Exercise with your kids. I have not tried this yet, but I can remember wanting to exercise with my mom as a kid. She would give us our own little space on the living room floor and we got to do step aerobics along with her. It is possible that your kids might get bored and go entertain themselves halfway through the workout. It’s worth a try.
- Create playlists on YouTube. Instead of spending your already limited time searching for the perfect workout video, create lists on YouTube. When you are ready to workout, all you have to do is press and play. Boom. Done.
- Exchange “me time” with your husband or significant other. I know it’s equally important for my other-half to get time for himself. So when I get one hour of yoga time a week, I don’t mind allowing him an hour to grab a beer or go to the library.
For my fellow chronic pain sufferers that are having a flare or can’t find the energy to exercise, definitely still take the time for yourself. Hit the refresh button on your mental health.
This also goes for busy working mom’s or stay-at-home mom’s… YOU are the glue in your family. If the glue keeps getting reused or torn apart, it might lose some of it’s stickiness and come undone.
Other suggestions for “me-time”:
- Stop at a coffee shop and read
- Go to the mall and shop for yourself
- Create a painting to hang in your bedroom
- Sit at the park or at a lake and enjoy the peaceful sounds around you
It doesn’t have to be fancy or expensive. It doesn’t have to be perfect or lengthy. FIND what works for you. Believe me – it will be a game changer in your life and your family.
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