LET'S BE REAL. Working out in any stage of life is an accomplishment. Working out as a mom is like climbing a mountain with a baby strapped to you. So managing to tie on those sneakers, and throwing your four day unwashed hair that is 92% dry shampoo into a pony to squeeze a quick workout into their nap time or, while your little ones climb all over you while you try to do mountain climbers is quite the feat! But let's talk expectations, because working out as a mom isn't as simple as "hey, I want to workout" and then you do, there are little faces that have control over all your time leaving you with only certain points in the day that you can workout.
Here are my top five tips on how to get it in:
1. Be willing to say "good enough!". I have learned that in this season of life with small children everywhere I can't have the same expectations of myself that I would before kids. I have many responsibilities and sometimes that means that my workout isn't great because every time I try to jump lunge, Atticus comes running over to cling to my leg. So sometimes this means you won't break as good a sweat, or you won't be able to do the 7 minute circuit without stopping because someone needs something, or maybe you are using your 20lb, 18 month old as a weight instead of a 25lb medicine ball. I have learned to look at workouts at home while my kids are awake and say "it wasn't my best, but it was better than nothing" and move on with my day. I can try again tomorrow.
2. Get into workout clothes first thing. This is a game changer. Thank goodness athleisure is so in right now! I totally recommend buying workout clothes that you love, feel comfortable in, and are versatile enough to wear anywhere! You can wake up, put on your workout clothes and get all the things done until you have time to workout. Then you are already dressed for your workout. I personally love Fabletics for this since it is affordable, stylish, comfortable, and delivered right to your door (since who actually has time to go to the store?!)
3. Be flexible, and willing to adjust in certain seasons. I was on a good streak for about 6 months of waking up at 5:20am to go to the gym 4-5 days a week. But then came the summer, with longer days, earlier mornings with the kids, running around more, + my husbands work schedule meant he had to leave earlier, and all of a sudden going to the gym early stopped being practical. So this summer I have needed to adjust to fit our family's needs, meaning I workout from home, mid morning or in the afternoon after my kids wake up from their nap. It isn't ideal, especially since I love being able to workout in the morning and be done with it, but certain seasons require flexibility and the willingness to adjust to meet your family's needs.
4. When all else fails, TV and a snack. Going off of the previous point, there are a fair number of workouts now where the kids are watching guppies with a bowl of goldfish crackers in hands while mom busts out a 30 minute workout. We don't watch a lot of TV in our house, but I have no scruples about letting them watch something so that I can take care of my health. *Note: if you have a little one who gets distracted, the high chair with a snack is a genius solution to keeping them contained!*
5. Accountability. Get an accountabili-buddy. I wouldn't have made it to 12 weeks if I didn't have a text message thread of 4 friends who we sent sweaty selfies too. There is nothing more motivating than watching your friends kick butt to make you want to join the bandwagon. And plan your workouts! Know what your week holds and adjust your workout days to fit that - If Monday, Wednesday, Friday isn't great with your family's schedule than adjust it any other days of the week to work!