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MAMA, YOU DESERVE SELF CARE TOO

I will never forget the day that I found out I was going to be a mom. Every emotion imaginable flooded me; from excited to nervous to anxious, you name it, I felt it! Something that I especially remember after sharing our exciting news with people were the comments that people often share with a soon-to-be mom. Comments such as “you just wait!” or “your body will never be the same” or “you won’t have any time for yourself” or any of the other negative remarks people often share without even being asked.  

 

And to be honest, I remember thinking “This is it! No more time for myself for a while”. Having been an athlete from childhood through college and an avid gym goer for as long as I could remember, I recall thinking that that time was about to come to a screeching halt after our daughter arrived.

 

It could have been so easy to have let those thoughts overtake my belief in myself. Something that I learned very quickly after our daughter was born was the importance of prioritizing time for myself after becoming a mom. Yes, the days are long, the nights are exhausting, and yes, rest is critically important, but I will never forget how amazing it was for me to create that time again to move my body and to fuel my body appropriately through exercising and proper nutrition. After all, I wasn’t only focusing just on myself at that point, but also our daughter!

 

Motherhood is the greatest journey we can be blessed to experience. But it is also the hardest, in my opinion. It is exhausting, can be lonely, and let’s be honest, it can test us and our sanity! But it is all so worth it! And because of the tough days, I believe it is so incredibly important to prioritize some “me time” and to use that time to fill up our own cup. Because, after all, as mothers, we spend so much time filling up everyone else’s cup. I always tell my clients “you can’t pour from an empty cup!”

 

I’d like to think that in over a decade of parenting, I have endured enough challenges to be able to provide some recommendations or encouragement for other moms. I can already total in years (you read that right- YEARS) of motherhood where I have single handedly taken care of myself, our children, all household duties, as well as my career, due to the nature of my husband’s schedule and career. And if I had to describe in a phrase how to manage motherhood while not losing yourself and while still making yourself a priority, that phrase would be “Whether you think you can or you can’t, you’re right!” Whatever we believe will become your reality, which is why it is so important to always believe in yourself!

 

This is exactly why I am so passionate about working with other moms and working moms. We wear many hats. We juggle A LOT on a daily basis. We get zero days off. But we are beyond capable of far more than what we realize we are capable of. Is it easy? No. Is it worth it? Absolutely! All it takes is some proper planning.  Try implementing these recommendations:

 

1-    Plan your workouts in advance! Treat this time like any other appointment. You don’t no-show on your doctor or therapist, do you? Probably not. Reserve that time for yourself! Perhaps it is before your kids wake up. I, for one, never thought that I would enjoy early morning workouts until this year. Now, I look forward to having my workout complete before it’s time for our kids to rise and shine and start their day!  

2-    Make your workout efficient. I don’t have hours to spend in the gym like I did before becoming a mom. And guess what? That is okay! Even a 20-30 minute workout (think HIIT training, full body workouts, etc.) counts, and it is still a lot more than what many will accomplish.  

3-    Let your kids join you! Perhaps you work out from home or don’t have any options for childcare. That’s okay, let them join you! Go for a walk or jog while pushing your stroller, hold on for snuggles while you do walking lunges or squats. You can be very creative, include your precious little one/s, and still get a great workout in!  

4-    Be flexible with your schedule. We all know that as parents, we could have all the plans imaginable made, but sometimes our kids have other plans (think the never-ending sicknesses that our kids often bring home from daycare and school). Be flexible, give yourself grace, and remember that even if you have to miss a workout one day, you can pivot and still get movement in throughout the day. 

5-    Remember the importance of quality rest! Nobody knows exhaustion like a parent. Always prioritize your rest, as that is optimal for recovery as well!  

6-    My top recommendation- prioritize your nutrition! The most important component will always be nutrition. Have your weekly menu created, do your grocery shopping ahead of time (perhaps during the weekend when you might have more sets of hands to help with the kids, or during naptime!) and have as much prepped in advance as possible. As we always say at KK Wellness, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail!” Having this plan in place will be key to your success!  

7-    Give yourself grace. Motherhood is not easy! Remember what an amazing job you are doing each and every single day. But never give up on yourself or on your goals, even during the busiest and wildest of seasons!  

8-    Lastly, take care of YOU, free of any guilt! You will never regret prioritizing your own health, allowing yourself to recharge, and to be consistent with your “me time” so that you can remain consistent with helping and being there for your family and loved ones! Self-care is never selfish!

 

 

Working with other moms who experience the same struggles and challenges as I face is one of the most rewarding things I am blessed to be able to do. As I often say, “we are all in this together!” But I will never be able to say this enough:  self-care and prioritizing yourself is never selfish, and it is one of the most important things that you will ever do for not only yourself, but for your children and your family as well! Don’t ever lose sight of your goals even during the chaos of motherhood. You’ve got this, Mama!



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