“Just wait ‘til you have kids…”
Whether someone said this phrase to you, or shared it with others – I know from experience, it’s prevalent. Personally, I hate it. It sets a low bar for us mothers. Generally speaking, if you want something done –surround yourself with a group that includes at least several mothers.
In what context did I primarily hear this phrase? Most often it was related to my active lifestyle while pregnant with my first child. Sure, the days of 2 hour post-coffee chats have been put on pause since I welcomed my two kids into the world – but the early morning runs or pre-bedtime yoga have not.
You see, the above phrase discredits and down plays not only the physical health benefits individuals receive from physical activity at moderate to vigorous intensities, but also the mental health and social benefits that come from working out on a consistent basis.
It frustrates me to be bombarded by images and stories telling women how to look a certain size. You see, a healthy and active lifestyle is not about the size of jeans, it’s about the size of the heart. We must take care of our heart and we must live in a way that is loving and kind toward ourselves, others, and the environment. Physically active and healthy choices will undoubtedly aid in the development of the heart (among other things) – this should be a primary focus today and always.
If you choose to make physical activity a priority while raising your cherubs, and you are among the majority in that some amount of physical activity is feasible, this post is for you. The mission, should you choose to accept it, should consider the following:
- Focus on short-term benefits such as stress relief, feeling of empowerment & productivity.
- Consider health prevention and long-term independent living benefits.
- Include your children in your pursuit (bike trailer, kid yoga mat, walking).
- Seek out used gear & show it some love.
- …Use your kids as an excuse (of course there are excellent exceptions when they need to be an excuse). Skip the décor and choose video monitors and purchase used equipment (running stroller, video monitor/cardio equipment).
- ….Let others make you feel guilty. “What Sally says about Suzie says more about Sally than it says about Suzie.” We control our thoughts. I’ve had others share “must be nice” comments with me regarding my physically active life. Whether it’s pushing 100 lbs of babies and strollers or getting up at 5 a.m., it’s not always easy and nice at first…but they are right – it’s always nice upon completion and I’m always nicer to myself and others afterward.
- …Compare yourself to other mothers, other women &/or folks in magazines. Be the best you that you can be. Celebrate our differences & support one another in trying to make the most of this one precious life we are given.
None of us are perfect, nor should we strive to be. So, without judgment on yourself or others, just do the best you can considering your circumstances and know that you deserve to be healthy and living life to its fullest potential – we all do.
Thanks for reading! Would love to hear your comments on how you make physical activity a reality.
www.movelivelearn.com Cover photo credit: havenholidays