Ask any woman what she’d like more of and I reckon the most common answer would be this: time (wine would be a close second).
More time with our kids or partners; more time to travel; more time to relax; more time to take care of ourselves. Hell some days I’d settle for five minutes to take a shower on my own, without someone banging on the door wanting something!
When you’re younger it feels like you have all time in the world to do all the things you want to do, see all the places you want see, become the person you want to be.
But as we get older it quickly becomes apparent that time is a finite resource. There never seem to be enough hours in the day, enough days in the week or weeks in the year to do all the stuff we need to do.
If you’re anything like me you have a list (or many lists!) of things you need to do that day, that week – or even a bucket list of things you want to do in your lifetime – and trying to get it all done can be super stressful!
But how many of us think to put training or exercise on our to-do lists? I know from experience that if I don’t write my training into my diary at the start of each week, I’m much less likely to get it done. One of the Goddess girls, Martine, goes one better and not only writes her training sessions in her diary each week, she ticks off the session once she’s been and if she misses a session (a rarity in her case), she’ll white it out – I love this, as it helps keep you accountable to the most important person, yourself.
I see a lot of people who start with the best of intentions – you’re going to go to training three or four times a week, practice yoga, walk the dog twice a day, do your pelvic floor exercises regularly (we all really should be keeping that promise to ourselves!).
But then life gets in the way – work gets busy/ the kids get sick/ we go on holidays/ we change jobs/ we renovate or move house etc etc. And before we know it, even the best intentions fall by wayside and exercise gets thrown onto the “I’ll do it later” list.
I see this a lot when women have kids. All of a sudden they have a little person who is entirely dependent on them and it seems selfish (and sometimes downright impossible) to put themselves first. And when you throw in returning to work, and then you’re trying to juggle kids and work and partners and LIFE, then exercise is often the first casualty.
With Mother’s Day coming up next week, I figured it was a timely reminder to all the amazing mums out there struggling to FIT IT ALL IN (and maintain your sanity) that it’s OK to be selfish sometimes. That taking an hour to yourself a couple of times a week to go for a run, or do yoga or Bootcamp is going to make you a happier, less stressed person and probably a better mum because of it.
And these things ring true even if you’re not a mum – I personally know I’m a much nicer, happier person to be around when I’ve had my hit of exercise endorphins!
And although I know (and you know) how important exercise is to our mental and physical wellbeing, the fact is that life sometimes does legitimately get in the way. I have friends with two or three or four kids; some are single mums trying to keep it all together on their own; others are juggling successful, all-consuming businesses or careers with kids and babies, all on little or no sleep; others have kids with disabilities who need a little more time and attention than most. And they’re all doing the best they can.
And what I’d say to them – and to other women dealing with overwhelm – is do what you can. Sometimes you have to compromise or improvise. If you can, bring your kids to training with you (then you’re spending time with them and you’re being a great role model at the same time: win-win).
Squeezing in exercise wherever you can adds up too: walk the kids to school, take the stairs, do 20 squats while you’re waiting for the kettle to boil, sneak in some exercise while your kids are at their sporting commitments. I’ve started walking our dog or going for a run while I’m waiting for my girls to finish AFL or soccer training. I’d just be standing around anyway so I figure I might as well use that time wisely!
Do the best you can with the time you’ve got – but don’t beat yourself up if you can’t do it all, all of the time. Fitting it all in is tough. Ignoring the mother guilt is tough. But if sweating and moving your body makes you a happier person and a better mum/ partner/ daughter/ friend in the long run, then it’s worth it.
Hope to see you all at training!
PS I’m working on an online program for busy women like you – so that you can fit it all in! I’d love to hear what you’d like to see in the program – what would be helpful to you in your life right now? Please reply to this email and let me know!
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