I had just made lunch for my girls and was finishing my workout. This workout was particularly hard and I was almost done but struggling.
I looked over and my girls were watching me while they were eating. It occurred to me, I am showing them what it looks like to not give up, to push through even when it’s hard.
I smiled and said, “Girls, this is hard, can you cheer for me? I need you to help me finish!” So as “Go mommy go!” began to echo in our house I got the last of my workout done. High fives were in order as they cheered for mommy making it through her workout!
Moms, it’s important for you to take time for yourself.
Your children are watching your every move.
It’s important that your children see you place priority on your own health and well-being. Through fitness and exercise, we provide our kids with an example of determination, persistence, and the importance of staying physically active. Modeling a healthy, balanced diet provides an example of how to maintain effective nutrition throughout their life.
But the mom guilt is real, isn’t it? I can almost hear the hushed whispers explaining how you just don’t have the time or you can’t make it work with your kids being home all day.
But you can.
And, you should be doing this regularly because taking time out for yourself will help you become a better mom, wife, sister, friend, and all the other important roles you play.
I believe there are several areas we let go of as mothers. In spite of our best intentions, nurturing and caring for the needs of our children, we gradually neglect certain areas of our own life in the process.
Working out can be a big struggle for moms. You feel selfish taking the time to go workout on a regular basis. As if you believe every moment spent on yourself should be allocated to your children.
Being a mom of a little one is a 24/7 job with no breaks: it’s exhausting. You often feel you don’t have the energy to pack your children up, go to the gym, and get a workout in (the process to get to the gym may feel like a workout itself).
But how amazing it is that we get to show our littles the importance of working out and taking care of our bodies!
It is important for your children to see you value yourself.
If you don’t have a gym membership (or the energy to pack up the kids!), start with getting outside and going for a walk with your child in a stroller. Add in some lunges at every corner and you’ve got a little workout! Or there are plenty of in-home exercise routines that will help you stay active and develop muscle strength and cardio fitness.
You feel better when you eat healthy, right?! But when you don’t plan ahead or only eat your children’s leftovers you start to feel a little off and unhealthy. Maybe even a little grumpy because you didn’t eat enough. Or you might even become upset with yourself because you emotionally ate…again.
Nutrition is so important for moms. Fueling our bodies with more whole foods and less processed foods nourishes our bodies and helps us truly thrive.
Maybe you’re starting from scratch and you’re not sure where to begin. Try swapping your sandwich for a salad loaded with lots of fresh veggies or instead of your usual diet coke drink sparkling water. Small changes add up to big success.
I believe in time you’ll see these small adjustments overflow into other areas of your life. If you’re healthy and feeling better about yourself, you’ll have more energy to care for the needs of your children. Placing priority on your health will set an example for your children to follow as they grow up.
Don’t feel guilty about taking care of yourself. See it as an investment in your ability to be a more effective mother.
Moms, I encourage you to take time for yourself starting today. I truly believe it will make you a more effective mother if you do. My challenge to you is to start with one small change today.
What area do you need to focus on starting today?
Kara and her husband, Noah, live in Ankeny with their two little girls, London and Iylee. She is the founder and nutrition expert of Life Well Lived. Kara runs bootcamps that teach women how to lose fat, eat the right foods for their body, and make clean eating a lifestyle that lasts. Kara enjoys cooking, reading, traveling, and playing Barbies with her two little girls.