Hopefully it will come as no surprise to you that with Makeover Momma’s newly relaunched 7 days a week of content, today is now known as Working Wednesdays. Why? Because Wednesday usually signifies the middle of the storm (the mid-week madness that is motherhood), amid impossible schedules of doctors appointments, soccer games, grocery store visits (and anything else that might be going on this week).
Thanks to the chaos and calamity that usually occurs in the middle of week, I decided to begin opening up about the struggle to fit in Wednesday workouts (when I barely have time to brush my teeth). This week has been no different…but I try and keep track of tips that help me through:
* Keep It Simple: When in doubt, I stick to something that works (in my case, using my Stamina In Stride mini stepper machine whenever I get chance). Whether I jump on it for a few minutes while the kids are napping (my only time to watch DVR’d guilty pleasures like Brothers & Sisters or Tori & Dean), or even while holding the baby (it’s a great way to get an arm workout while doing overhead presses with a giggling 9 month old).
* Get Kids Involved: I don’t know about you, but I have zero time to care about working out: whether taking care of children with special needs, bills to pay or baked goods to burn…things are busy. I try to get my little ones involved whenever possible (so that I can sneak in a workout, while they get “mommy playtime”). A recent favorite is simply laying on the ground for a series of sit ups (enlist your kids to sit on your feet), leg lifts (why not play airplane with your toddler) and bridges (a baby on your pelvis gives resistance like you wouldn’t believe).
But to be honest? The hardest thing about “fitting in fitness” (especially during the wildness of Wednesdays), is letting go of all of my residual guilt. After years of being a certified personal trainer, fitness instructor and dance teacher, my (most difficult) job of mom can often leave me feeling less-than-par with my imperfect fitness routine. Instead, I’ve realized that every little bit really does count.
I’d rather go for a nature walk with my little ones than spend hours away at the gym; use their body weight in creative ways (yes, baby bicep curls are possible) and hear them laugh, then tune them out for a set of 8 lb. dumbbells; or find ways to multitask (light weights at the dinner table or squats while they get ready for bed) than wonder how they felt about their day. Every mom is different, every family is different (and let’s face it, every Wednesday is different).
If you can enjoy and afford an hour at the gym…more power to you! If you can tune out the world for a cathartic evening run…I’m jealous of you! But if you simply can’t be “perfect” when it comes to physical fitness… let go of it. Enjoy your life, enjoy your family, and just do what you can. Because believe it or not: baby steps to fitness are always better than burning out on perfection.
* What Do You Think: Is simply being a mom enough to be considered a workout?
Bailey Vincent Clark is the Editor-in-chief, author and founder of Makeover Momma. She talks about Mealtime Makeovers on Monday, workout concerns on Wednesday, and has a weekly column on Friday: “Getting Friendly With Makeover Momma.” If you would like to ask questions, submit concerns or simply chat: please email firstname.lastname@example.org.