Tag Archives: SAHM

The Stay At Home Mom Exercises: My Top Ten Tips and Motivation

Exercise tips and motivation

Before I had kids, I enjoyed exercise often. I was at the gym 4 or 5 times a week. I exercised through my first pregnancy and afterwards, as well. It was when I had my second kid that I really started slacking off. If I made it to the gym even once a week, that was a noteworthy accomplishment. I was more tired than ever, I was stressed dealing with a colicky baby, I was even a little depressed and discouraged (Read my post entitled The Mediocre Mother for more about that time in my life.).

mother child exercise

 

Recently, much to my chagrin, I discovered that I have love handles. I thought they would go away given enough time. Two years postpartum, I’m realizing that apparently they need a little more persuading! I miss being fit and feeling strong, so I am stepping up my exercise game and I want to share my tips with you.

 

 

My Exercise Tips:

  1. Put on exercise clothes when you get up in the morning. Or just sleep in them like I did last night. Ha!
  2. Eat a good breakfast. And lunch and dinner. You won’t have any stamina if you don’t fuel your body.
  3. Checkout exercise videos at the library. New routines always motivate and excite me!
  4. Find FREE workouts on You Tube. My new fav is a 30 day HIIT workout series by Millionaire Hoy. You can watch it for free here.
  5. Do a lot in a little amount of time. Try High Intensity Interval Training (see tip #4 for my recommendation. 🙂 ). Here’s “What it is And Why it Works” from Huffington Post.
  6. Drink water before, during and after. Not a lot right before your workout though. Too much water sloshing around in your belly doesn’t feel so good when you’re doing cardio or yoga moves like downward dog.
  7. Treat yourself to a fun new gym class, and bring a friend to make it feel like Moms Night Out!
  8. Change your scenery– if it’s nice, head outside. I thrive on alternating my workout location- living room, basement, pushing the stroller outdoors, and classes outside the home.
  9. Make it fun! Put on your favorite playlist and dance with your kids! My kids love this and I’m exhausted after two songs. We add lots of jumps, lifts, and twirls.
  10. Put a smile on your face! It’s like tricking your body into thinking you enjoy exercise. And eventually, you will get to like it! (Wise words from my man Millionaire Hoy on Day 3 of his beginner HIIT workout series.)

 

The hardest part about exercising when you’re a SAHM (besides finding the time), is occupying the kids while you work out. I’ve never been motivated to exercise while my kid napped, but I’ve found that is my best bet. That leaves me with one kid still awake, but she is four, and easier to occupy. Lunchtime could also work if they’re slow eaters. 😉

 

Ideas (besides nap time) to keep your kids busy while you exercise:

  • Crafting (crayons, paper, stickers, whatever you trust them with! 🙂 )
  • Snack or lunch
  • Tv (I’ll put a movie on for my girls and use my laptop to stream a free YouTube workout for myself)
  • Play-Doh (again, if you trust them. This backfired with my almost two year old who needed wayyy too much help today. But my four old was good!)
  • Old toy/game they haven’t seen for awhile
  • Time-out

 

Okay, the last one is a joke, but sometimes, I send my four year old to her room, and she stays there for a good half hour! I send her upstairs to get dressed or grab something, she gets distracted and starts playing. And where big sis goes, little sis follows!

You can also exercise WITH your kids, as mentioned in #9 above! I found this great mommy and me dance video today, and while it was only 6 minutes long, my daughter and I had a great time! It was right up our alley, and the instructor was clearly having fun with her daughter, too. We loved the lunge and tickle part!

My daughter also has her own little 1 pound pink weights. She affectionately refers to them as, ‘my little pinky weights’! Sometimes, we take turns showing each new moves. I teach her how to use her weights, and she teaches me some crazy new cardio move. Fun, bonding time!

 

Now, for the Motivation:

When you exercise you….

  • Have more energy
  • Sleep more soundly
  • Have a happier outlook
  • Feel accomplished
  • Set a healthy example for your kids
  • Boost your brain power and focus

And of course…

  • Improve your health
  • Become leaner and stronger

 

I pinned this post on My health and Fitness board. If you want more fitness inspiration, click here to follow!

Next, I’m thinking of getting a FitBit, or something like it, to monitor my heart rate. I’ve never researched them, nor do I know anything about the difference in brands, etc. Any advice would be appreciated- leave it in the comments below!

 

 

Little Girls, Little Girls

hannigan11I am not sure what went wrong, but I have a feeling it started with toast. Yesterday was not a good day. On Thursdays, we have to get up and at ’em bright and early in order to make it to my daughter’s dance class. I was too busy barking orders and preparing a good breakfast for my girls to make myself anything more than a pitiful slice of toast. I had to take my coffee with me in a thermos to run a million errands while my daughter danced, I found out we need to spend more money on new tights and buy tickets for her first ballet recital in addition to the money we’re already paying for her class and her recital costume. Plus pictures are extra, of course. Ugh.

By the end of an exceptionally long day alone with the kids, I felt like Miss Hannigan from the musical, “Annie”. I was even singing her song “Little Girls” in my head…

“Little girls,
Little girls.
Night and day
I eat, sleep, and breathe them.”

After hubby came home from work, I went upstairs to change the bedsheets (okay, honestly, I went to our room just to be alone) and all I saw was an overwhelming mess that screamed “mother of little girls”. Whether it was the laundry piled high (both clean and dirty), the random toys that made it into our room, or the forgotten books strewn here and there, or the millions of plastic ball pit balls, I just couldn’t take it anymore! As I cleaned, I thought,

“I’d have cracked
Years ago
If it weren’t for my
Sense of humor”

But oddly enough, I wasn’t finding anything humorous about this messy situation. So maybe I’d already cracked.

Mess=Stress.

My family eventually found me upstairs and hubby helped me clean some things up. I put away the laundry and I returned all the girls’ toys to their rooms (Except those darn, ubiquitous ball pit balls. Those are going straight to the yard sale pile.). I love my kids, but I don’t want their mess to follow me to every room of the house. Something has to be off limits, right?

Sometimes, I miss myself, who I used to be before I had kids. I don’t have time to think, I can’t formulate a coherent thought most of the time because there’s endless chatter/responsibilities/background noise from cartoons, something, All. The. Time. I need peace and quiet periodically, even if it’s just a few minutes in a room with no toys and no laundry to fret over. I’ve given my kids everything I have (I even share my chocolate now!), but they can’t have my room.

Do you have a clean, quiet place to decompress?

The Mediocre Mother

Feeling like a mediocre mother

mediocre mother

I used to think I was mediocre at everything. Remember the movie Napoleon Dynamite? Just like Napoleon, I felt, “I don’t even have any SKILLS!”. Granted, at least I wasn’t quite the dork he was (though my brothers may disagree), but that had no effect on the perception I had of myself.

the mediocre mother

I never had any desire for a specific career, at least not since my dream of becoming a ballerina fizzled around age 7. I wanted to be a mom, and that’s all I could come up with. I always thought maybe I was simply lazy, and settling for the only thing I had a mild propensity for – housekeeping.

I got married and had a baby. And I still felt mediocre. I had another baby and got worse at my housewife job. With two kids, it became harder to keep up with the house, my appearance, my healthy homemade meals. I was doing what I had always wanted to do and I sucked at it. Maybe I was crazy and it wasn’t for me…why did I want this in the first place, I asked myself? Why would I have not one, but TWO kids? Was I nuts? This was hard work and I obviously wasn’t the greatest at this mothering job. I’m neither patient nor organized. I get lazy and discouraged.

Then I realized…I am not lazy (at least not all the time, ha!). Everyone gets discouraged and everyone has their shortcomings. When I want something, though, I go for it. If I am passionate and determined, I’ll do the research, and I’ll give it my best effort. And just because my house is a mess sometimes, or even most of the time, does not mean I am a mediocre mother. I have a laid back approach to motherhood and life, and that’s cool. Some people are way too uptight and stressed all the time. So what’s better, having a messy house, or being stressed to the max about cleaning every nook and cranny?

And since when is devoting your life to the development of small human beings mediocre? My career of choice may not be glamorous, but my daughters know they are loved. I don’t miss a single minute of their day (but oh boy, some days I wish did, though! Haha!). For now, I am their world, and they are mine.

To say I don’t have “skills” is a gross understatement. I may not be skilled in the way that successful professional career women are, but I bet a lot of them can’t bake a pie or knead a loaf of bread, either. As silly as it may sound, those things really do bring me joy, and I hope that if you have a job in the workplace, it gives you joy, too. We all need each other. I need you, the skilled doctor or nurse, when I’m having babies, or the pediatrician, who provides my girls with a health assessment and care when they’re sick. And maybe you don’t necessarily ‘need’ me, but I have services to give as well… I can offer you my friendship, I can make you a meal (if you like flaxseed, beans and spinach), I can be your sounding board because I just love having an adult conversation!

I realized this past week, I’m not mediocre because I can’t perform brain surgery. I’m not lazy because because I don’t have a “career”. My chosen path is challenging, both mentally and physically. My career is my kids, and in 18 years, it will be over. I’ll need to look for a new job. I’ll experience ’empty nest syndrome’.

But my title will always be “Mother” and my kids will always be loved.

dark-pink-heart-hi

Now it’s your turn-

Do you ever feel like you don’t measure up to your own ideals? Tell me in the comments below!

My (Revised) To Do List for Today

My Revised To Do List For Today

My revised To do list for today

My Revised To Do List Today:

  1. Clean kitchen Gaze at my children’s sweet perfect faces.
  2. Pick up the living room Listen to my girl’s imaginative stories and swim in the pretend swimming pool she made on the floor out of packing supplies.
  3. Make dinner Appreciate the humor in daily life-wherever you can find it! Sometimes this includes what happens when your toddler tries to ‘help’ you and all your ingredients go flying…
  4. Strip the sheets  Enjoy watching my kids play, dance, and laugh.
  5. Make produce run Listen to the delightful concert coming from the backseat.
  6. Wash the floor  Remember that dinnertime is soon and the little one will just dump whatever she is eating on the floor again anyway so ya might as well forget it.
  7. Vacuum Appreciate the moment of peace and quiet…when you have kids, the roar of a vacuum drowns out all the crying and arguing, so make sure you get every speck of dirt and dust out of that carpet!
  8. Sit down and take a break. No strikethrough here-just stop for a minute!

Moms work hard; we all know that. But I often get so caught up in all the things I need to get done, and I forget to appreciate those sweet little giggles, the 3 year old humor, and the cuddly, sweet baby who just loves her momma. Sure, I would love to accomplish everything on my to do list once in awhile, but realistically it’s probably not gonna happen. Not now, while the kids are small. Not now while they need me every minute of every day. I am only one person- I am not required to do and be everything. I just need to be my girls’ mommy (and their daddy’s wife- but that’s a post for another day!) and love them like no one else.

My to do list will be there tomorrow, but my girls are getting bigger every day and soon enough, they will no longer cling to me when they fall. They won’t look to me to solve their problems (And who knows what solutions they might come up with on their own…!!). They won’t think I know everything there is to know, so they won’t bother to ask, “Why?” incessantly, and I won’t be able to guide them the way I can now, while they’re still young and impressionable.

It’s okay to put some things off until tomorrow. But not the most important ones.

 

My wise friend told me, “You never know the last time your child will do something…whether it’s holding your hand, or sitting on your lap…There will be a last time, and you won’t know when that last time is until it’s already come and gone.”. So stop and smell your children…Wait- that may not be something you want to do, especially if they’re still in diapers, haha! But be still for a moment and look at your kids; look at their sweet faces, and their sweet innocent spirits and appreciate the gift you’ve been given.