The Strong Momma

This is a blog about working out.

WAIT! Don’t change the page just yet.

I’d like to paint you a picture so that you know who’s telling this story {bear with me, my medium is finger paints these days}:

I am five foot four inches tall {not leggy at all}.

I weigh 135 pounds. I am thin because I am super active, not because I have been blessed {like some women – you know who I’m talking about: the one eating an ice cream cone in her size 0 jeans}.

I have big boobs; I tandem nurse. {Ask me about those big perky boobs in a few years}

 

I live under no false pretenses that I will ever be a Barbie doll style fantasy girl.

 

My name is Miranda and I am an addict. I am addicted to being happy, healthy, strong and fast.

 

Here it is: I LOVE WORKING OUT. {Who knew I’d be that girl?} Working out should always be about FEELING good. If you look good too? Icing on the cake.

Never having been a trend follower imagine my surprise when I find out I belong to one. I am a “Strong Mom.”

Women and fellow mothers who take pride in their fitness and athletic abilities after having kids.

How cool is that?! My family has always given me a hard time for devoting chunks of time to working out, seeing it only as time not directly spend with my girls. Which has been a huge hurdle for me. I am constantly torn between wanting to be healthy and giving my kids my very best. Guess what? Working out is what has turned out to be the glue that helps bonds us.

Back to that picture I was painting; I have recently acquired some kick ass obliques but, honestly, most days they kinda look like love handles. We are all different and we all look different, but there is a workout for everyone. Whether you’re my sister the free spirited, no body issues type who is fantastic at yoga or the super intense slightly neurotic (still adorable) me, who thinks they have to do it all. Whatever does it for you, whatever makes you feel good: that’s the workout for you. They’re all great.

My new opinion: It is absolutely vital for Moms and Babes to have fitness a part of their daily lives.

I have an 18 month old and a three year old and although finding the right rhythm and schedule was hard. With a bit of work however, my workouts fit perfectly and benefit each of us.

I feel there are three great reasons to work out just as far as children are concerned:

 

  1. Establishing healthy habits. Seeing me workout everyday helps teach my girls to take care of their minds and bodies as they age.
  2. Momma is important too. Taking time for myself teaches them that it is not ALWAYS about them. Granted, 95% of the time they are, but taking just that 5% for yourself helps let them figure out how to entertain themselves. This, in turn, gives them healthy independence.
  3. Happiness is learned. The countless benefits for you momma’s out there, live longer, feel stronger, and let’s not forget that serotonin shot we all so desperately need. Teaching that happiness is a choice we make every day is an invaluable lesson.

 

The first couple of weeks/months of working out, especially if you have gotten out of shape, is hard. Add kids to the mix and its easy to see why so many out there have a hard time getting started. The good news is after you jump that hurdle you’ll never know how you survived without working out.

 

My back hurts less than before I even had kiddos and I had back labor! I have a ton more energy, sleep much sounder(when I get to sleep) and a much needed boost in my self-esteem make life much easier.

holly4

 

The best thing for us was finding and establishing a schedule so everyone knows what to expect.  Our typical days go like this:

  • The girls and I wake up at the same time since we co-sleep
  • The second all eyes are open we grab a book and have a little story time. Generally two to three books (largely because I have  a rule about books before any television)
  • Then both babes get half a banana/apple/pear, whatever fruit we fancy that day. Which largely helps fight off that early morning drop in blood sugar.                            *During that time I set my oldest up with her favorite show of the week, which she watches at least fifteen seconds before getting distracted by something going on.
  • The youngest gets set up with four or five distracting toys, a drink in her Sippy cup and a fresh diaper directly in front of my workout station.
  • Now, finally, I can get to my morning 30 to 40 minute cardio. For this work out I turn to Jillian Michaels videos, I love them! Some say addicted.
  • Following that the girls and I all sit down together for breakfast.
  • Later in the day I’ll do one or two focused strengthening moves and these usually only take ten to fifteen minutes a piece. The girls and I usually sing songs back and forth which gives me that added bonus of increased cardio.
  • Evening time is reserved for yoga, which is so mellow the girls typically join me. Which thrills me to pieces to see their little bodies gain balance and strength while we giggle and poot (those who do yoga out there you know what i mean) our way through practices.holly3

You have to go into every momma workout with any open mind- things will come up, you will have to multi-task sometimes. That doesn’t mean you are not getting your full workout and interruptions don’t have to mean you’re not having fun. When you have to stop to take care of something (and you will) just get back to it as soon as you’re done. Sometimes I try to jog over to whichever one needs me or sing to keep that cardio from falling off. My littlest loves trying to trick me into changing her perfectly clean diaper, and I know her little silly self thinks its hilarious when I see there is nothing in the diaper. You do what you have to do. It’s a balance that we all have to integrate into our lives, so what’s one more thing. You have plenty of time anyway…..don’t you? {eye roll!}

Helpful hint: One of the very best investments you can make is a full length mirror to work-out in front of.

It’s a great tool in checking your form but it has another purpose: No matter how careful you are one day you will hit/kick/knee your kid while working out. They will zig zag when you only have time to account for a zig.

You Will Feel Terrible!!! Even if it doesn’t really hurt them.

Don’t worry though if your child is old enough she will remind you of the terror you caused every day for quite a while. Anyway, the mirror helps avoid this situation by working out in front of it. {While we are on the subject maybe save kick boxing for nap time ;)}

 

Working out can be for any family, in any situation.

Mine is very organized and is important to me, but every workout is a good one.

Taking baby out for a long morning stroll has fantastic benefits. 20 minutes of yoga while you’re waiting for baby to fall asleep so that you can have a glass of wine will make that wine so much more enjoyable.

Each mom out there has the right to take time for herself to be healthy, because in reality that will pay off more for your children in years to come.

So… bad ass momma’s out there: free yourself from guilt, taking just a half an hour “away” from your kids a day could give them years more later in their life. {and yours}

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