As a co-founder of Body Beyond Birth, it’s natural that women of all ages would hit me up for fitness tips. It’s so funny that when I am relaying fitness tips, so many Mums struggle to see yourselves in the frame. Often when I’m talking to other mums about health, fitness and generally looking after ourselves and our families, I get this question:
“How do regular mums (like us) look after ourselves?”
Don’t get me wrong, I feel totally flattered if anyone should happen to think I have some sort of super powers. But the truth is, if you were a fly on the wall in my house, you’d know the real story. I haven’t unlocked some magical land that doesn’t require me to parent or let’s me off the hook, fitness tips wise.
Let me give you a glimpse into my life to show you just how regular I really am
Body Beyond Birth recently held a media event. It was a pretty big deal for Becky and I. We had to put a lot of time and effort into it. That’s pretty normal, fitting work into your life as a mummy.
The week leading up to the event I had to really plan hard to ensure the wheels didn’t fall off family life. I made meals for the week for the family (particularly as I was going to stay in the city the night prior to the event). I had to make sure the washing was up-to-date. Like a good project managing mummy, I had to ensure the family calendar had all of our commitments listed on there so everyone (i.e. my husband) knew who was doing what and when. I also had to help Maui complete his homework tasks.
On top of that I’d fit in my workouts (mostly late at night before bed). I also organised everything I needed to for the event, ironed my clothes, packed my bag and I was ready to go! One of the biggest fitness tips is to recognise that if you’re going to manage the stress of extra things thrown on a busy woman’s plate, you need to take time out for exercise as a stress reduction technique.
Another mental fitness tip is recognising where the limits lie
If I had super powers, everything would have unfolded exactly the way I’d planned. But just like other mums, my life is regular with an extra boost of busy. And so things don’t always go according to my plan.
Here’s what actually happened.
Just like most busy mums, I try to utilise every single minute of the day. The day prior to the media event I decided to just squeeze in another commitment before heading into the city.
I took my my mum and my Aunties to the movies and lunch. I raced home, picked up Maui from school before grabbing my overnight bag and bits and pieces. Then I set off to meet Becky and we were on our way to the event.
When we arrived in town, we finished putting the goodie bags together. Before you knew it, it was nearly 8pm. I thought I’d ring my family to say a quick goodnight to all my boys. There was no answer. Strange, but not unusual. Maybe they were all in bed. I tried once more, still no answer. I put it down to an early night. Or so I thought.
At around 9.15pm my husband called. He sounded like he was in a panic and started the conversation with “Don’t worry, everyone is safe and OK”.
You know what that means, right? Everything is not OK.
My husband proceeded to tell me that he’d had an emergency at work and hadn’t picked the twins up on time from daycare.
I was relieved and asked “That’s fine. What time did you pick them up?”
“Well…” he said, “I’m just on my way to get them now”
I laughed, thinking that was a joke. The silence on the other end told me otherwise. It was after 10pm by the time they got home from daycare! Luckily, they go to family daycare and we really are like part of the family. But for children that are normally picked up by 5pm at the latest who love routine, it was a little upsetting – for them and me!
Emotional fitness tips include realising you never know someone else’s story
What do you do when you hear something like this and you know there is absolutely nothing you can do about it?!
Firstly, I had to remind myself that sometimes there are things that are just out of our control and everyone is doing their best to get things done.
Next, I just reminded myself that everyone was safe and there was absolutely nothing I could do about it from where I was sitting. I also remember that I wasn’t going to have to deal with the ratty, overtired children in the morning. That meant the lesson was sure to sink in.
I spoke to the boys at 10.30pm and everyone was OK. A little sad perhaps I wasn’t there, but OK.
Enter the feeling of guilt and all those mixed emotions we have as a mum as a result.
Note to self: Remind myself that everything I am doing is to have a better work life balance with my family and that sometimes, things happen.
Needless to say, I didn’t sleep well that night. I had to get up very early the following morning for our breakfast event. But like many mums, I found some extra petrol for the tank. You know ladies, that moment when you’re under pressure and overtired and how we somehow find a reserve from somewhere to help us do what we need to do. The just get ‘er done mode was well and truly activated that day!
And that’s what happened. We had an amazing time at the event and were inspired talking to so many amazing women from all walks of life about online Pilates, fitness tips, balancing life and health and more. All the craziness was worth it.
Then it was home again to my boys and back to my “other job”.
All us regular mums are in this together
I totally love my family, love my life and love all the opportunities that surround us. Sometimes life is crazy and I don’t have all the answers no matter how much planning and how prepared I think I am. As a regular mum, I just do my best at trying to fit everything in, including a little time for me.