Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : January 26th 2014 Contents | PARENTING |
DITCH THE BLAME game by realis-
ing it's okay to take care of yourself.
After all, you can't spread love to your
family if you don't love yourself. Be-
lieve me, I'm not perfect and have
fallen into the guilt trap many times
after missing a sporting event or
recital or forgetting to send a snack,
and countless other little things I've
screwed up since my grown adult
kids were darling little ones. (Okay,
confession: I even forgot the tooth
fairy one time.)
Let's face it, sometimes we screw up.
Sometimes we lose our patience.
And sometimes we have to be away
from our kids when we don't want to
be. Work, business travel, errands and
other demands on our time can mean
we aren't around our kids as much as
we'd like to be in a perfect world. So
the last thing you want to do is
something for YOU that takes you
away from your kids, right? I hear you.
But one thing I have never felt guilty
about is taking time for my workouts.
Since my kids were babies, I have
scheduled my workouts like I sched-
ule an appointment. It's inked in my
calendar. My kids have grown up
knowing: Mom values exercise.
They watched me exercise. They
tagged along to the gym with me
happily and sometimes, not so hap-
pily. They have listened to me talk
about strength, cardio and healthy
eating. And now they will even work-
out with me and actually value the
example I set for the past 22 years.
Believe me, I remember the times
when I'd just start my workout and a
baby would start to cry. Or we'd arrive
at the gym and one of the three
would get sick ---I know most of you
can feel that pain. But the most im-
portant thing is to not give up and to
I polled my Facebook friends on this
very subject and I was happy to see
how many moms have mastered the
NO-GUILT WORKOUT! But if you still
fall into the trap of skipping your
workouts because you can't take
time away from the kids, reframe
your thinking and say "Bye Bye" to
the mommy guilt!
CHANGE YOUR THINKING
Don't view exercise as just another
demand on your time. Switch your
thinking and view exercise as an in-
vestment in your health. You want
to be around as long as possible for
your kids, right? Exercise is some-
thing within your control that you
can choose to do to stay healthy. Ex-
ercise also increases your energy,
boosts mental clarity, helps you
sleep and puts you in a better mood
--- all amazing benefits that can
make you an even more awesome
mom. And aren't you worth it?
GO FOR NO EXCUSES
I know moms face overloaded
schedules and mounting To Do lists,
but don't let lack of time or the pres-
sure to be a perfect mom put you in
the land of excuses this year. Be a
little tougher on yourself and tell
yourself that if your health is impor-
tant to you --- you will create the
time or make the time. Leave ex-
cuses behind and let your actions
show that your family's health is a
priority. It begins with you!
TRY THESE WORKOUT
TRICKS FOR BUSY MOMS:
Have a plan. Know when you are
going to exercise ahead of time. Be-
fore you go to bed at night have
your exercise plan in place for the
next day. You know your schedule
requires some finesse but you are a
master juggler and you've got this.
Say: I can do this! A little positive
thought can go a long way.
• Workout at home. No time to go
to the gym? Workout where you are
--- at home. Do a workout on a DVD,
body weight exercises or use your
home fitness equipment instead of
letting it sit unused. Consider getting
some hand weights too.
• Become an early bird. Some
women I know workout before the
sun comes up when their husband
and kids are still at home. Would this
work for you?
• Select an activity for quality time
with your kids each day. Scheduling
a specific activity where you will be
fully present with your kids can free
you from guilt when you are spending
quality time by yourself exercising.
• Are your kids old enough? Work-
out with your kids. Pop in a workout
DVD. Get your kids their own yoga
mats. Or just turn on the music and
• You really can be mom of the year
and a mom who exercises. It's not
an either or scenario. Think of the
great example of health you are set-
ting for your kids! What you do and
what they see is far more influential
than what you say. As an active
mom you will have more energy for
them too! And remember this:
When your kids see you doing things
for yourself --- like taking care of your
health --- they will see you valuing
yourself, and that teaches them to
value themselves too. So forget guilt
this year. Taking time for your own
fitness does not translate to you
being a bad or inattentive mom.
That's just flawed (and not positive!)
thinking. View your exercise as mak-
ing an investment in a healthy family.
Don't forget: "The greatest wealth is
By Chris Freytag
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