I have seriously HEARD IT ALL from moms. The legit reasons like the baby is sick, the mother-in-law needs help, or the car is broken down. The excuses that tell me you just aren’t ready to make fitness a regular part of your life: you are sore, you slept-in, you have an event, or you forgot. And then everything in-between. The reasons you tell yourself you can’t get to class, start a new program or get out for the run. The reasons that make motivation so HARD. But don’t worry there is hope. I can help you see the light at the end of the excuses. Here’s the top reasons you may not be exercising and how to get past them:
1. TIME. Moms need 7 hours to try and sleep, 1 hour to do laundry, 4 hours to shop, prep and provide healthy meals, 2 hours to drive their kids around, 2.5 hours to clean up all the messes, 2 hours to ensure the kids get outside, 1.5 hours to run errands, and 2 hours to bath and get the kids ready. That leaves 2 hours to do ALL the miscellaneous items I didn’t list. So how do you squeeze in exercising? Remind yourself you don’t need more then 30 minutes to sweat and get the benefits of moving your body. Start slowly but consistently, be creative with your time and make it a priority. Plus read my recent blog post on working out WITH your kids.
2. BODY HAIR: “I almost didn’t come to class this morning because I haven’t shaved in a solid week.” Seriously this is a challenge. We have so many crooks and crannies to tend to it isn’t even funny. And who’s got time for that. So how to overcome all the hair? Prioritize, cover-up or get over it. I can totally except hairy legs but the armpits make me super self conscious. Grab some small shorts to put overtop of your bathing suit, skip the tank tops, wear the long tights or remind yourself NO ONE else likely notices or cares (especially if you are in an all parent fitness class!).
3. ORGANIZE. ALL.THE.THINGS. The wipes, the snacks, the meal-prep before you leave, the messes (see above), the change of clothes and everything else it takes to JUST GET OUT THE DOOR. Sometimes I literally say to my husband “is this even worth it?” So how to deal? Take a deep breath. Literally. Let go of the anxiety and stress that organizing everything gives you. Do your best. And let the rest go. Keep a bag half packed with the essentials so you can grab it in a flash. Get husbands, partners, or older kidlets to help. And if you forget something remind yourself “we do the best we can” and no one will likely die without their granola bar for one hour.
4. SLEEP (OR LACK OF IT). If you are still in the baby stage you are likely waking a few times a night still. If you are in the preschool years you could be up at the 5 o’clock hour (3:30am for me this past weekend :O). If you are in the teen years you are likely up past midnight worrying on some nights. So how do you deal with the lack of sleep? Nap, go to bed earlier, and/or focus on quality vs quantity sleep when you do get it. And let me tell you, the best thing for quality sleep, is exercise and fresh air. Push through most days and forgive yourself other days for being just too damn tired and skip the workout all together.
5. MESSES EVERYWHERE. I don’t know about you but when I got crap all over the living room floor, the last thing I want to do is workout in there. And when I have dirty bathrooms I am super distracted by them. So how do you deal with this? Get out of the house NOW. Leave it and move somewhere else. Ask yourself if one year from now you will be thankful for a clean house or a fit body? You may only be able to pick one today.
6. TEARS: YOURS. Being a mom IS HARD ASS WORK. There is Just. So. Much. To. Do. I don’t know about you, but when I feel like there isn’t enough hours in the day, I get overwhelmed and I hold back the tears (or don’t hold them back). And when I’m feeling this anxious my first inclination is to let go of the things FOR ME on my to-do list. The tears are flowing and the kid(s) are melting down and I tell myself the last thing I can do right now is exercise. So what do I do? Let the tears flow and start moving. Remind yourself that it’s the exercise that will make you more patient, efficient, and happier tackling all the other things on your to-do list. When I don’t put exercise at the top of the priority list, all the opposite occurs.
In my parent fitness classes we have had many days where moms arrive with the tears flowing, dark circles under the eyes, hairy legs and forgotten running shoes. So we support, lend some shoes, push them through the workout and at the end they are glowing and ready to tackle the day. THIS IS WHAT WE ALL NEED. Be stronger than your excuses, and I promise the results will be worth it.