Archive for Parenting

Finding time to exercise

There are a million barriers to exercise when you’re a mom, no matter how many children you have and if you work or stay home.

  • During nap time, you are either exhausted and napping too or you have other tasks to finish before the baby wakes up.
  • In the early morning, just when you find the willpower to get on the treadmill at 6 am, the baby changes their routine and starts waking up earlier.
  • You find a spare moment but can’t go get your workout clothes on cause the 3 year old is sleeping in your bedroom.

As a mom, we have to take exercise whenever and however we can get it. Here are some of the best ways I’ve found to burn a couple extra calories when I can:

  • Change into work out clothes right when I get home for work. That way, when I find 10 minutes that the kids are quietly playing, I can squeeze in 50 sit ups or squats or a short run on the treadmill.
  • Dance and play with your kids. Playing Wii sports (boxing especially!). Doing Bella Dancerella with your 3 year old (and tightening those abs and buttocks in good form while you do!). Practicing your child’s dance routine with them. Running around the house playing chase. Pushing the stroller fast like you’re in a car race.
  • When carrying them upstairs, go fast and make it fun.
  • Go for a walk everyday with the kids in the stroller. Make it a fast paced walk with hills where possible. Even on cold days – bundle up and get some fresh air and sunshine.
  • Just walk around and sit tall with your stomach muscles tightened. Every little bit counts!!!

The latest fitness craze I’ve tried (thanks to my husband and his good friend Dru) is called Crossfit. Crossfit is about strengthening your core body strength and recommends basic, simple exercises to do so. Pull ups, dips, sit ups, etc. The results I’ve seen from people doing crossfit is unbelievable…..including my husband who lost 16 pounds sadly enough before I even noticed!

I like crossfit because it maximizes the results for the time you put into it. A lot of days, the exercises can be completed in 15 minutes. But I must warn you, they are an intense 15 minutes which is why it works. And just having done a couple of days worth of exercises, I can tell that I am already stronger, walking taller, feeling healthier, closer to fitting into my skinny jeans again I wanted to share this with all you working moms because even doing this 2 or 3 times a week, you will see amazing results.

3 things that will make a mom never want to work another day her entire life

#1 Holding your newborn baby in your arms.
It does not matter how career driven and focused you are. That precious newborn that just sprung forth from your womb needs Y-O-U. 100%. 24/7. She is priority #1. In your hormone induced opinion, there is not a single other qualified person on the planet who is capable of caring for that child. Daddy gets his chance to bond of course. And depending on how close you are to your mom or sisters or girlfriends, they can be briefly entrusted with the care of your newborn so you can escape for a shower or a meal. Sometimes this feeling lasts for 2 days, sometimes it lasts for 2 weeks or 6 weeks or even longer. By the time I was due with my 4th child, I knew it was coming. I thought about my career and how to manage my job while on maternity leave and I fully expected to have that window of time where all I wanted to do was hold that baby and gaze lovingly upon her and watch her breath as if she needed my moral support for every single inhale………..and swear I’d never go back to work for another day until I ushered this little creation through her high school graduation. But this time, I saved myself the emotional agony of wrestling with the guilty working mom decision again. I told myself it was coming, to enjoy that time period where I was allowed to sit and do nothing but love on her. It would quickly pass. And before long, this little bundle of feathers would be rosy cheeked and vibrant and ‘durable’ enough that I’d entrust her to a caregiver. And even sooner, she’d be a strong-willed, temper-tantruming 3 year old whom I’d gladly handle over to the authorities for fear of ringing her little neck! To all those expectant moms out there… too will feel this way. It’s our hormonal natural animal instinct. My advice: don’t make any rash decisions with raging post-partum hormones

The #2 reason you swear to never work another day in your life: Not having trustworthy, reliable childcare
As soon as you discover that your childcare provider is throwing lunchables in front of your kids everyday for lunch instead of a well balanced meal with apples, cheese sticks and chicken soup. Or doesn’t greet you at the door with a smile. Or talks on the phone incessantly (in front of you!) in a depressing tone to her friends. Or doesn’t stand up for your child when he’s being picked on at the daycare center. Or, or, or, or. The list goes on and on. To some of you, these may not sound like big things. But for that delicately balanced teeter totter of guilt, it only takes one small item to tip things the other way. You are already sacrificing time away from your children for a career you feel called to or that is required to make ends meet. But never, under any circumstance, would you do that if it meant your children were not happy and satisfied during the day. I always say we’d move to a trailer in the boondocks before we’d sacrifice the well-being of our children. You’ll cancel the most important meeting under the sun (or call in a very difficult favor!) if you felt that the childcare situation was compromising your child’s well-being.

Reason #3: Having a sick child
Even if you have the best Mary Poppins nanny who stays at your house to watch your kids, when babies are sick, they want their mommies. My brain completely turns off as I snuggle in my feverish, stuffy nose, red cheeked babies from 6 am to 3 pm. I’ll let work know not to expect me and put all my focus on them until I feel they are safely out of the woods and I see nourishment and a smile cross their lips. This works for the occasional virus or flu bug. But there are children who are really, really sick with a life threatening illness. I experienced this with my first child who was born 10 weeks early and weighed only 3 pounds. He spent the first 30 days in the hospital and the first 6 months on various medications and monitors that taught me more about the medical field than I care to know. During that time, my full focus was on him and his well being. He recovered and so did I and went back to my career. But that is the one scenario in which I can’t imagine trying to be a working mom. Thank the Lord I have been blessed with healthy children and have not had to make this a consideration. But should that be the case, then I know exactly what will be required of me. At that point, my purpose in life becomes nurturing my babies. And for those moms out there who have done this, you are amazing and strong. More than you even know and way more than you are probably told. For those individuals and those seasons of our lives, I leave this thought which was shared with me by the attending physician when my son was born 10 weeks early: God does not give you more than you can handle!

So on this journey of being a working mom, there are peaks and valleys, bumps and turns, and lots of crossroads where we must re-evaluate our decision. Keep in mind these 3 scenarios and realize it is only for a season and make your decision when standing on a firm foundation and not in the midst of turmoil and change.