Like many Mums in the modern world, I wear many hats in my day-to-day life and sometimes feel that my time and energy is stretched beyond belief.
I run a business, I’m a single parent, I have a team of staff, family and friends to make time for, a house to run… so after all of that it leaves zero time for myself.
Being a Mum is by far the toughest and most rewarding role I have ever taken on in my life and I am sure you will agree.
I constantly beat myself up with feelings of guilt or worry that I’m not good enough or doing the right thing, and I think that’s pretty normal too!
Gone are the days where you would spend two weeks in hospital with your baby (just like my Mum did when she had me) and the only focus was adjusting to your new role as a Mum.
Pressure to lose the baby weight and slip into your pre-pregnancy clothes within minutes of giving birth is increasing thanks to the minority of ‘lucky’ ones that flaunt it over social media.
Times have changed and nowadays women aren’t just expected to stay at home and look after the house. We work and we run the household and everybody in it. We have to juggle all of these things, bring up the perfect child and lose the stubborn baby weight. IT’S TOO MUCH!!!!
My main fear is missing out on my son Joey’s life, or making him grow up without a fit and able parent.
I don’t want to be the fat mum in the playground, I don’t want to be so unfit that I can’t run around with him, and I don’t want my health to hold him back from anything in his life.
Could our own insecurities prevent us from enjoying precious time with our children?
Does the thought of putting on a swimming costume at the beach or to take your children swimming fill you with dread?
Do you worry that you partner doesn’t find you attractive since you are carrying a few extra pounds and haven’t washed your hair in a few days?
Do you avoid certain activities because you know that your current fitness levels mean you wont be able to keep up?
Don’t worry; you are not alone.
Deep-down (or maybe on the surface a little) we envy the super fit Mums we see bouncing around full of energy with a washboard stomach and zero stretch marks.
Many of us aren’t so lucky.
I was 20 when I had my son; he was a 10lb baby (yes, it hurt!) and I topped the scales at nearly 17 stone.
But for some strange reason my priorities changed after I had Joey because now my desire to be in shape wasn’t just for me.
My goals shifted from being purely cosmetic to being for long-term health so that I could be around for as long as possible for him, to keep him safe and support him to be whatever he wanted to be.
I wasn’t setting a good example to my son and that had to change.
I joined a fitness centre with a wonderful community of people and for the first time in my life I stuck to a plan and reached my long-term goals.
I lost 6.5 stone in 10 months and I was stronger and fitter than I had ever been, but my body still showed the scars of bearing a child.
I have deep stretch marks all over my middle. My tummy is a wobbly pouch of loose skin that no matter how hard I tried it would not budge. My hips are wider than they were, I can’t find my belly button and my inner thighs and bingo wings seem to now flap in the wind!!
BUT I don’t care.
I can take Joey swimming, go on bike rides and play at the park. When he was a toddler and the little monster would run away I could catch him and I noticed that I had tons more energy than some of the other Mums I would see. I love the feeling of being a fit and active Mum and believe it’s because of my own transformation that Joey is such a happy, confident and active child.
I’ve learned to love my scars and wobbly bits because without them I wouldn’t have Joey.
I don’t need to wear a bikini and have washboard abs, I am happy with a swimming costume and strong core muscles (buried under my jelly tummy) so that I am relieved from lower back pain.
If you close your eyes and imagine feeling totally happy and content with your health and fitness what would that look like?
Would it be to finally shift your baby weight? Your baby is 12 now, no excuses.
Would it be to have time for yourself a few times per week?
Is there some kind of fitness challenge you would love to achieve such as being able to run 5km or do a full press up?
Or maybe you suffer from ongoing injury and would like relief from daily pain?
There is nothing more fulfilling than get into the best shape of your life and therefore having the self-confidence to do those things with your children.
I am not saying that it will be easy; it’s going to take hard work. You may have realised that already.
The time you give to yourself is so precious and all of the Mums I have helped over the last five years (including myself) have found it far easier to stick to our programmes purely because they like the time away, just for themselves.
You can be you again.
You can meet people and have an actual real-life conversation with a grown up who may even have the same goals as you. You will feel fitter and have an abundance of energy that you won’t know what to do with. You will fit back into your pre-pregnancy clothes or maybe even need a whole new wardrobe! You will feel confident and happy within yourself and most importantly….you will feel like you can give your kids so much more than could before!
My advice is to seek the help and support of a professional for accountability and guidance throughout your journey. Plan ahead so you are never caught out and NEVER EVER EVER be tempted to start churning out excuses for not sticking to your plan.
We are all busy. We are all tired and we all get it, so don’t try and make out that its worse for you. If you want something enough then go get it and if you aren’t willing to put in the work? Stop complaining about how unhappy you are, because at the end of the day the responsibility lies in your hands.
You are a parent and it’s time to start leading by example for the sake of your children.
Here is a lovely little video that has nothing to do with weight loss or fitness but really highlights how deep down we all have the same insecurities as a Mum.
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Really interesting article, we have new baby in our house (8 months) and I can fully agree being a mum…. or dad does require strength and stamina!