Today’s blog is written by guest blogger and fellow mama, Cassie. Read more about her below!
It’s a familiar scene. After rocking the littlest to sleep, you creep from her bedroom,
avoiding the one creaking board, and silently inch the door closed as you finally release
the breath you’ve been holding since the moment you were certain she was truly, finally
As you slip away, you feel a combination of relief and panic. You’re thankful this time of
day has come, grateful she doesn’t seem to be fighting her nap. Simultaneously, you’re
overcome by the knowledge your time is limited, that you have anywhere from minutes
to a few hours to accomplish any number of activities. You really need to work out, but
is it the best use of your time?
Or perhaps it happens a little more like this. The clock ticks toward five, and you begin to
gather your purse and coat while also clicking send on that last email, sweeping your eyes
over your desk to confirm you’ve completed the most urgent tasks for the day. You rush
to the after-school program to pick up your kiddos and then run home where dinner has
been simmering in the slow cooker.
The homework, dinner, baths and bedtime routine hurl you through the remaining hours
of the evening. As you pour soap into your dishwasher and push start, you tick off the
pros and cons of cramming in a quick workout before sliding between your sheets for
(hopefully) sweet dreams.
After spending years as a working mom and about a year so far as a work-at- home mom,
busyness feels like the never-ending curse. And when it comes to working out, something
I know I need to make time for, I often feel guilty ignoring my long list of other
responsibilities for something that seems to impact only me.
And that’s the crux of it, isn’t it? Moms everywhere struggle to create time for ourselves,
passively thinking that if there’s time left over, after everything is done, then we can
indulge in that illusive activity of caring for ourselves. We stuff our activities, our health
(mental, physical, spiritual) and our various other needs into the margins of life. When
those margins cease to exist, as they often do in motherhood, we eliminate them
Regular exercise is often the first to go. The idea of participating in one more physically
demanding activity into our already exhausting day feels ridiculous. But—and I know
you know this already—the irony is the more we exert our bodies in healthy exercise, the
more energy we actually have. Not only that, but studies confirm that working out also
does great things for our emotional lives, helping us to clear our minds and experience
happiness more fully.
The thing I’ve come to realize is that if working out is dependent on my making
additional blocks of time for it, then it will likely never happen. Instead, I have to look at
my life, consider what really matters to me and then reclaim the blocks of time I may
have carelessly given away to less worthy pursuits.
Just in case you need to hear it from someone who understands how demanding
motherhood can be, you matter. Your health and well-being matter. Feeling at peace with
your body matters. Your energy levels matter. You are worthy of your time. Taking a
minute to remember these things, to say them quietly to yourself, may be just the thing
you need to do today. And then it’s time to behave like you believe it.
Let’s consider how you as a busy mother can bring fitness back into your life. While
going to the gym may have been your method in your pre-mom life, it may no longer be a
viable option. For me, the nearest gym is a good thirty minutes away from my home, and
I’m unwilling to sacrifice that amount of time to sitting in the car.
In the past, I’ve spent the two-hour naptime either quietly straightening the house or, I
admit, scrolling through Facebook. However, lately I have begun to incorporate a short
workout into the first part of my daughter’s nap. I don’t do it every day, but I aim for
three times a week. By allowing myself a few days to do the things I used to do, I’ve
found I don’t resent those three days like I thought I would. In fact, I look forward to
Most days, I use YouTube videos. Even though I’m not getting out of my house, I have to
admit I love the freedom of choosing from instructors all around the world. Some of my
favorite instructors live in countries that take steps to keep their videos available only to
those who live within their boundaries. However, these instructors have found a way
around that, and I am so glad because they have because it has enriched my life and
In my quest for fitness-oriented activities, I’ve also discovered the family walk. Most
nights, after dinner, we put my daughter in her stroller, and we head out for a family stroll
around the neighborhood. After we’d been doing this for about a week, I discovered not
only did I enjoy the fresh air and the family time, I was sleeping better at night.
Since I work at home, I asked a few of my friends how they managed to work out during
the eight-to- five workday schedule. One friend told me she and two other women from
her office bring their tennis shoes to work each day, and at lunch, they power walk in the
park near their office. Another friend mentioned she and her husband take turns going to
the gym after work. Whoever isn’t working out, starts dinner and gets the kids organized.
A more adventurous woman than myself said that a few days a week, she takes her
kiddos to the park. While they run around on the equipment, she does too. She was quick
to mention she only does this when there aren’t too many children around, so it’s not as if
she’s taking over their playground.
You and I are not the only ones wondering about this. If you hop on Facebook and ask if
anyone would like to join you for a play date/Zumba workout, I think you’d be surprised
by the number of women who are looking for a solution just like you.
Often the greatest hurtle to exercising is our own self-defeating behavior. We believe that
we come last always. Then we make sure we do. We fill our calendars with everyone
else’s needs and wants. But the truth of the matter is, most things that are good for the
individual are good for the whole. Caring about yourself and your body’s health is of
benefit to you and everyone who loves you. You can make time for your health.
It’s worth it because you are.
Cassie is a busy mom with two careers. As a nurse, she comes face to face every single
day with the importance of making healthy choices. As a freelance writer, she focuses on
health and technology. Cassie believes it is her job as a medical professional, and even
more as a mom, to share her knowledge and expertise to help others live a healthier and
happier lifestyle. Find her work on www.ehealthinformer.com