I’m so happy to introduce you all to Amber, of Mommy’s Me Time. I met Amber via the Twin Cities Moms Blog (we’re both contributors), and I just know you’re going to think she’s as fantastic as I do.
Be sure to stop by her blog and give it a read – it’s all about taking time to take care of yourself (without guilt!) after having kids. Amber’s going to share some of her inspiring thoughts with us today, and it will resonate even if you’re NOT a mom.
Hello Wild Ruffle readers! I’m so excited to have a chance to chat with you today. As a mom to three kids under three years old, I’ve quickly learned in my short stint as a mom that making time for fitness certainly isn’t easy. Quite frankly, by the time I’m finished fulfilling the needs of my little people, all I want to do is sleep or veg out on the couch. To be honest, when I was first pregnant I thought I would have to get an au pair or nanny in order to find time to exercise. My European friend became a Cultural Care Au Pair to travel to the US and improve her English and she was telling me that she would look after the children while her mum went for a fitness session at their local sports centre.
However, ironically I’ve also learned that if ever there was a reason I need to work out, it was after becoming a mom. Sure there was the baby weight that I wanted to get rid of, but more than that I’ve realized that prioritizing self care makes me the best mom I can be.
When I’m drained from taking care of my family, I need something to fill me up. I think we can all agree that there’s nothing like that feeling you get after a good sweat session. When the blood is pumping, the sweat is dripping and the endorphins are releasing, it feels like you can conquer just about anything. The stress leaves the body and we’re left feeling relaxed and confident.
This is me nine months after I had my twin girls. I know my body will never be the same as it was before kids, but after working my butt off it felt great to embrace my post baby body and feel confident in a swimsuit during our trip to Mexico!
I don’t think anyone would argue the benefits that accompany working out. The real question becomes, “How do I actually make time for it?”
From my experience, it takes a team of people around me who understand that fitness needs to be a priority. My husband and other close friends and family always know when I’ve gone a few days without working out. Mostly because I get crabby and easily irritated, which probably makes it easy for them to kick me out of the house. But more importantly, they know that I’m a better mom and wife when I break out and get my sweat on, so they’re always encouraging me and making it easier for me to make time for it.
During the warm months, you often won’t see me outside without my life-changing triple jogger. My parents got this for me as a baby gift after the twins were born because they knew I’d go nuts if I wasn’t able to be actively outside with the kids. Best baby gift ever. It’s definitely been my saving grace, and nothing makes me feel more accomplished than after running five miles while pushing my little loves!
Additionally, we decided that a gym membership with a childcare center was the best option for us, which I am forever grateful for, especially during the frigid winter months. While it’s an additional cost, it still ends up being much more affordable than a babysitter and even allows my husband and I to have “gym dates!”
Another thing that helps me to follow through with my workouts is scheduling them. I try to make it to the gym at least three or four times each week, and when they’re on my calendar I can mentally prepare and get excited about my “me time.”
My workouts usually consist of 30 – 50 minutes of cardio, and about 20 minutes of light weight lifting and abs. Some days I feel like running, and other days I feel like hitting up the arc trainer so I can also play around on my phone and catch up on reading the blogs I love or peruse Facebook or Instagram. I have been really getting into the flow of things on Instagram lately. I was even looking at some of the offerings on the Buzzoid website that caught my eye the other day. Who knows, next blog post might commence with me saying We purchased Instagram followers at Buzzoid.com! Anyway, the key for me is finding something that pushes me but that I also enjoy doing. It keeps me going back for more!
On a sidenote, one of the best feelings I’ve had was when I trained for and finished a half marathon after having my son. Running past him as he cheered for me from his stroller was such an emotional high. If you’ve never done a road race, I’d highly recommend it!
I could give you more helpful tips for being successful, but like anything in life, the only way to develop a good habit is to just do it. There will always be a million excuses as to why we could push ourselves to the back burner. Sometimes we even feel like giving up our “me time” is a selfless thing to do, but from my experience when I neglect my body for very long, the way I feel about myself starts to affect the people around me.
More than anything, I want my precious family to feel the confidence I exude. I want to be an example to my daughters especially, of what it looks like to have a positive body image, so they don’t have to deal with all the lies our society will feed them. I want all my kids to know how important it is to take care of the bodies they’ve been given, and how feeling their best will allow them to have more to give to the people around them.
I love what Cate and Tammy are accomplishing through this fitness series. When we come together to encourage and support one another in our pursuit of a healthy lifestyle, we can be world changers!
If I could leave you with one request, I would beg you to prioritize self care. Whether you’re a mom or not, you work hard and deserve to feel your best! You won’t regret it, I promise!
Our thanks to Amber for her encouragement today! You can check out previous WR fitness posts, here, here, and here, and here. And don’t forget to visit Amber’s blog!