Most people will agree that finding time to do anything productive whilst caring for kids is, well a challenge to say the least. I find that my biggest struggle is to clean. For every one square meter I clean the kids have destroyed 10 square metres between them. Where did they find that red marker?! And why would they draw on the furniture? In the three years they’ve been alive have I ever taught them to draw anywhere other than on paper?! Sigh…
I have found that chill time is seriously in short supply when you have young children
My passion is surfing, I love all things outdoors as well as some serious chill time. But I have found that chill time is seriously in short supply when you have young children. My two are active, they get frustrated if we stay in the house too long. So I do my best to expose them to outdoor activities which get them and myself outside and active.
I have struggled to achieve my pre-pregnancy body after two large babies born close together. My youngest is 18 months old. But now I’ve had a chance to iron out the kinks and realise time in the gym just isn’t going to happen I wanted to share my experience with other mums wanting to get fit whilst caring for kids.
Realistically you have these little balls of energy who flake out after about an hour of activity. So make it count. If the weather is good and not too cold all of you can go to an open space and play. For me it’s the beach, but the park or even kids play area work fine.
Here you can watch the kids safely play while you perform your 15 minute workout routine. This normally takes 30 minutes by the time you’ve picked up a fallen child, lifted them in and out of swings or wiped boogers. (The rock and roll lifestyle we lead)
Include any of the following short action ideas that suit you and your passion:
- So in a perfect world you briskly walk – pushing kids in pushchair – to the park/beach/play area as your warm up. (I use a double buggy)
- Then do as many reps as you can of sit ups. Rest for one minute then repeat. (This is your base point to progress from) Do five sets. The kids love it if they can sit on your feet or tummy.
- Now perform five sets of push ups. However you find success; starting point on your knees is fine. Once again, include the kids to help you if you can.
- Lunge walking – this is hilarious to my two. You can be the monster slowly chasing them around the area doing deep squat lunges. This is brilliant for your butt!
- Digging sand at the beach – just dig for treasure baby! Digging is an amazingly efficient way to work your core. Crouch on your knees and dig with your hands (my kids have spades to help with). Then after you’re breaking a sweat dump a couple “treasures” down there for the kids to find. (little toys or chocolate coins are awesome)
- Cycling with the kids is great fun. Yes, you need the equipment, alternatively a lot of cycle trails have hire equipment with kids seats or trailers attached to the bikes. There is a certain sense of wonder and freedom that goes with cycling. Human powered adventures are so much fun.
- Build a den – You can do this anywhere. Woodlands are the best, ask the kids to find as many sticks as they can and carry them to a flat area and help you build a den…if sticks are in short supply, or actually short then my kids love to build mini dens for ‘fairies’ or mice. You can even search for specific coloured leaves or flowers to furnish the den.
- Go surfing – I took my little girl surfing as soon as she could walk. Middle of summer on the warmest of days with a wetsuit and buoyancy aid on and she lasted 10 minutes. But it was great experience and encouraged her familiarity of the ocean. I started with just playing around the surfboard In the shallows and then on a flat day I put her on my longboard and paddled her around a bit, then worked up to her laying on my back with arms wrapped around my neck as I surfed a wave laying down. She did great and this summer she will be standing up on her own wave at the age of three!
- Play with the kids! Be the big kid in the playground. All activity is beneficial. Your kids will really appreciate the attention and enthusiasm you show in their endeavours. So let go of your inhibitions and climb that jungle Jim, challenge the kids to races, swing on the zip line and generally just have fun!
Having fun will show your little angels how important being physical is but how easy it is too. Instilling an active lifestyle and healthy habits for your kids. If the real workout stuff is too daunting and push ups and sit ups aren’t appealing to you yet then hey! do what makes you happy. Push the kids in the buggy a longer route home or to the shops. Reward yourself with a comfy pair of trainers to push you to walk more.
Don’t make unrealistic goals, my eldest is 3 years old and I have not had two nights in a row of uninterrupted sleep! My youngest still gets up three or four times through the night. With zero energy I cannot motivate myself to workout, this low motivation leads to poor eating choices and the cycle perpetuates. I do what I can, when I can and I try not to give myself a hard time when I don’t. It took nine months to create each of my little stars so it stands to reason it will take that or longer to allow your body to find its rhythm again.
I have my sponsors to thank for keeping me in decent product for my surfing, which I continue to push my own limits every time I enter the ocean for free surfing or a competition. SNUGG Wetsuits; Rockerline Clothing; KB Surfboards; West Coast Surf Wax; Rhino Surfing hardware and bamboo eyewear.
Love and happiness to you all,