I’ve been reading a lot of conversations in my moms groups about motivation. Finding the motivation when kiddos are so demanding. How do you motivate yourself when you barely have time to shower let alone make it to the gym or find 30 minutes to go for a run.
It’s not impossible my friends. It’s called priorities.
When Adam was in Texas, he and I both really began to prioritize activity in our life. The summer prior to him going to basic we hiked Old Rag, went on day trips, hiked in Vermont, and realized that we enjoy activities like that. When he got home, we regularly went for bike rides together, or went running together as I trained for the Hopkins Triathlon.
So upon having baby, I knew that I would rather find time to go for a half hour run, or clean my house than nap when Ethan napped. So when I hear mamas in my group struggling, it makes me sad because taking care of yourself is such an integral part of being the best mama you can be.
Five ways to be a motivated mama
1. Make it social. Whether you work out with the hubs, or whether you join a group like Stroller Strides – make it a social event. Go for a walk with another mama pal. Make plans to meet up for a run with the bebes in strollers – if it’s social you’re less likely to find an excuse to back out.
2. Schedule it. I schedule my workouts. Mostly so I’m less likely to bail, but also so I can coordinate with the hubs and know when I need to bring Ethan along and when I can get an hour to myself to go for a run or go to a class.
3. Pick a goal. I have to be working towards something. Whether it’s a weight loss goal or a race, if I set a goal for myself I’m more likely to make the time to work towards it for fear of failing.
4. Start out small. Listen, having babies and being a mama is a lot of work. It’s tough, sometimes thankless and if you’re anything like me, by the end of the day you want to kick up your feet, watch an episode or five of the Good Wife and drink a case of wine (who needs moderation?!). But starting out small – say with Couch 2 5k, is a good way to ease back into it.
5. Pick something you enjoy. For me, working out is enjoyable. Though getting my sneakers on and getting my butt out the door is always a chore, once I do, I never regret it. The high at the end of the workout makes me happy through out the day and nothing feels better than the feeling of accomplishment after a good workout. But if you don’t like running…you’re going to be hard pressed to go out for a four mile run. If you don’t like spinning, you’re not going to go a class. If you’re frightened by yoga? You get my point. Pick what you love. After all this is YOU time. Even when I run with Ethan, he takes it all in and I just feel bad ass for pushing the stroller and getting my butt moving.
Like I said, you need to take care of yourself. Being a good example and prioritizing your health and your mental well being (which I’ll get into soon) will go a lot further than you taking a 20 minute power nap where you drift in and out of sleep because you’re worried about not hearing the baby when he wakes up (I was never the type who napped when Ethan napped. I’ve done it a couple times in the past week but usually for 20 minutes and I end up waking up feeling worse. If I nap, I usually only do it if Hubs or someone else is around).
So figure out your strategy to fit in the time, whether you pick up a used elliptical and go at it for 30 minutes in front of the TV while baby naps or if you get up at early o’clock to go to the gym (I know a lot of moms who get up at 5a to go workout. I try not to see the 5-6a hour unless absolutely necessary. As in, I have to be at the airport for a flight.) figure out what will work best for you and hop to it. I promise you’ll feel a million times better.
What’s your strategy for fitting in your workouts with a baby around? How do you find the time?