Do you ever feel like since you became a mom your stress levels are higher, you get worn out a lot easier, and you just have a much harder time keeping a regular workout routine going?
You wish you could just set a workout schedule and stick to it but Mom Life is so unpredictable that it’s nearly impossible to get it perfect every week, right?
And it can be so easy to feel burned right out as a mom. It can come fast and seemingly out of nowhere.
One moment things are amazing. You got your workout in. You ate kale (!) . You even turned down leftover birthday cake at a friend’s house because it just wasn’t worth it.
But then later that night your kiddo decides to throw an award winning tantrum that starts around 4pm, sabotages dinner, runs right through bath time and lasts until she finally falls asleep at 8:42pm.
Then, as if surviving that without racing out of the house and starting a new life as Susan Wallaby (the erotic novelist with a Spanish boyfriend – ooh la la) wasn’t enough, you’re also woken at 2am, 3am, 4am, and 5:12am when your kid decides that she’s up for the day and needs breakfast. Right. Now. And it better be pancakes or else get ready for Terrible Tantrum Tales round 42. Ugh.
And as you sip your coffee and try to forget the fact that the sun won’t even be up for at least another hour you remember that you had promised yourself you’d get a workout in today.
So what do you do?
Do you push through? Suck it up? Make it happen?
Wanna know my two-cents?
What I have to say might surprise you. Here we go…
Being a mom is exhausting – for so many different reasons – and there are so many days where things just don’t work out as planned. Like those crazy days that your kiddo decides she’s going to experiment to see just how short your temper can get.
And it’s these days that you need to have some compassion for yourself.
You don’t have to “suck it up”, “push through”, or abide by the #noexcuses ridiculousness and just get your workout in even though your adrenals are already done and hitch hiking outta town.
You’re exhausted. Mentally. Physically. Emotionally.
You have all the excuses in the world to take a break and you’re more than welcome to use them.
If you had a rough night where you were up lots with a stage 5 teether, you’re sick, you haven’t eaten anything more than whatever fell on the floor in the last 8 hours, you have a newborn…
Whatever your excuse, it’s okay to not exercise today. Or right now. Or this week.
It’s okay that you aren’t getting as much exercise in as you used to get in before you became a mom.
It’s okay to sleep in, go to bed early, or skip lunchtime barre power hour because you’ve already been up for 4 hours and your toddler just asked for second breakfast (because it can’t be lunch – it’s not even 9am yet!)
Yes exercise is good for us. But stressing over not getting enough exercise when we’re trying our best, isn’t.
We have a lot on our plates right now and sometimes time, or energy, or both just isn’t working for us today. That’s okay. Take a break. You don’t have to workout.
There’s a reason that 9-5ers get breaks. They aren’t legally supposed to work long, hard hours without a chance to eat something and go pee every once in a while (without someone staring at them or banging on the door yelling “Muuuuuummmmm” – lucky ducks! 😉 ).
Moms don’t get that luxury. We log 14+hr days and Boss Baby isn’t interested in hearing about how they kept us up all night so we need to just lay down and take a 20 minute power nap.
So give yourself some grace, be more flexible with your workout schedule, create workout goals and calendars that are challenging but doable so you aren’t constantly feeling like a failure because you’re just not getting “there”.
And remember that good enough is good enough.
One workout a week is better than no workouts a week so don’t throw the whole shebang out the window just because you aren’t getting it all right, all the time.
You’re doing your best and that’s okay.
Now here’s where things get a bit tricky and I’m gonna get all honest on you.
Yes, I want you to cut yourself some slack.
Yes, #noexcuses is a bunch of bologna and not a healthy mindset for Moms.
Yes, sometimes a nap instead of a workout is your best option.
But let’s make sure you’re being honest with yourself.
If you have health and wellness goals and they’re important to you, how can you actually make them happen?
What people do you need on your side?
What can you do to make it easier to be more consistent?
What are you doing that’s stopping you from getting there? (This may end up being the most important question of all)
Just be honest.
Do you really need to just chill and watch TV while the kiddo naps or will a workout actually help you feel better?
You know how it is – you drag yourself into a workout because you really don’t wanna, but then you leave feeling amazing. Will that maybe happen today or do you know in your gut you’d be better off relaxing instead?
Do you really need to sleep in or do you need to just get to bed before 10pm so waking up an hour earlier isn’t so hard?
Yes. I am indeed calling you out if you’re a late night binge watcher. Turn off the TV and go to bed so you can get a good night’s sleep and have more energy to get a workout in.
This may not be possible every night – maybe you really do have important things to do late into the evening some nights. But try to shift your schedule around as much as possible and prioritize sleep because it’s crucial for our health and sanity.
Remember you don’t have to get up early and workout every single morning. Start with one day a week and grow from there.
Do you really need to skip the exercise altogether or would swapping that hardcore bootcamp-y workout you had planned for a chill yoga session actually boost your energy and make you feel awesome?
Maybe it’s not about throwing the idea of exercise out completely. Maybe it’s about being more open to other options.
Maybe a walk and some gentle core work would feel better than a long run. Or a simple stretch session instead of weight training would feel amazing. You don’t have to stick with the plan if you’re too tired for a more intense session.
Just try moving in some way and see how it feels. (Remembering that you can stop at any moment).
The bottom line is that I am absolutely giving you a hall pass to use your Mom Card as an excuse to get out of doing something that won’t actually make you feel more energized (like a punishing CrossFit-type workout when you’re running on day 3 of 5-ish hours of sleep).
Because adrenal fatigue is real. And a real issue for Moms.
So the question you should always ask yourself before you pick up those weights or throw on the runners is, “Will this make me feel good or will I need 3+ hrs on the couch to recover afterwards?”
This is especially crucial to ask when you’re a busy mom and you don’t have the luxury of relaxing on the couch or napping for hours after an intense workout session.
We need all the energy we can get. So make sure you’re protecting yours.
Because you are ultimately the only person responsible for how you feel and the results you get.
You can have all the tools you need to create positive change in your life but you need to actually listen to your body – really, sincerely listen to your body – in order for that positive change to happen.
So get honest with yourself.
Will this workout help me feel the way I want to feel or is a nap a better choice?
You get to decide.
You have the power.
Own that power. Own that responsibility.
You are in charge of how you feel. Today. Tomorrow. Heck even three weeks from now.
Make a point of doing the things that make you feel the way you want to feel – whether that’s a workout or a nap.
The choice is yours.
P.S. Now I’d love to hear from you – do you have a tough time listening to your body or figuring out what you really need (like a nap or a workout)?
Tell me about it in the comments below. I’d be delighted to help support you!