Juggling children, work and for many Perth Mums; a husband who works away, means Mums are rarely sitting around doing nothing, and as you probably know too well, the ‘selfish pleasure’ to exercise is inevitably one of the first things to fall off the priority list.
AND even if exercise is on the priority list, it’s also probably where it’ll stay. I mean, where do Mums find the energy to workout?
Zonk out is more like it!!!
Read 42-year-old Perth Mum, Kylie's story on juggling motherhood shift work, and god forbid, ‘me time’ to exercise.
" Why are there only 24 hours in a day? I mean some days that’s all I need, but some days I could really do with just a couple more. Am I the only one who needs this?? It’s such a cliché but with a pre-schooler, full time job (and shift work at that!) and unfortunately, no live-in nanny, I am exhausted at the end of the day!
Then there’s trying to find some ‘me’ time. HA! I think that’s a cruel marketing gimmick; designed by big-wigs on 6 figure salaries, who have never had to stir a meal on the stove with one hand, while feeding a baby with the other, while wiping up spilled bolognaise sauce off the floor with nothing but your toes and a Viva paper towel.
But IS ‘me’ time really marketing crap??
Becoming a mum was the hardest thing I have ever done (Spartan is a close second!!) I did not cope well for the first few months of motherhood. I don’t know any mothers who sail through this time to be honest. But being the control freak I am, I truly struggled in a completely new way. I lost all sense of who I was or who I used to be, I had no family nearby, I was so, so tired and there was no baby instruction booklet- dammit!! As the weeks then months went on, eventually we settled into a rhythm and dare I say it, a routine. But I still had no sense of being my own separate person. I had virtually not done a single thing for myself in 12 months.
That is a long time not to have any ‘me’ time.
I went back to work. Now things got really hectic. I remember being up til 10 or 11 pm some nights, making the following nights meals so I didn’t have to come home and cook after a 12 hr shift. Spending weekends cleaning and blah, blah, blah…..
Still no ‘me’ time.
Then a friend tagged me in a FaceBook post about a mum’s fitness group. It only went for 45-60 mins. Surely I could manage that? And my daughter got to have a play at the park surely everyone wins? I certainly did not feel like I was winning at my first session! Crikey!! Who is this she-devil making me RUN for God’s sake!! I was so unfit and puffed out I actually thought I might have developed asthma!! (I even went to the doctor!) But you know what? For 1 whole hour I did not think. I wasn’t thinking about dinner, or the pile of washing/ironing, I wasn’t thinking of my unmade bed or my dirty floor. I could only think about NOT dying!
FINALLY! Some ‘me’ time, albeit sweaty, slightly traumatic ‘me’ time!
Since then I have been a regular class goer of Jen’s. I love it now. I really do. It’s the longest I have stuck to a fitness ‘thing’ ever. (Please don’t tell her, I love to whinge about the running still!) And while it still is about the ‘me’ time, it's gradually morphing into -‘Hell girl- you deserve this! Get strong! Set goals! And get out of your comfort zone!’ time. As the saying goes- “ It always seems impossible until it’s done. “
In saying that, I have learned over the past 18 months that I need to be kind to myself. It really is ok to have some washing in the basket and a dirty floor. I also could never have continued without a supportive hubby. He too has noticed the difference a bit of ‘me’ time has made to our lives. It really has made a positive difference. Without our evening tag teaming in caring for our now 4yo cherub, it would be almost impossible.
So if you know a mum, maybe she’s a bit exhausted or lost, who needs a bit of ‘me’ time, make her run!!"
Trying to fit in exercise when you're juggling children is tough, add a job to the mix and it’s even tougher, however getting in a workout can be achieved when making it a part of your daily activities that revolve around or involve your children.
BEFORE YOU BEGIN
Pregnancy and childbirth can have a lasting effect on your pelvic floor muscle. Learn how to strengthen and exercise your PELVIC FLOOR
For a list of continence and women's health or pelvic floor physiotherapists, visit the Australian Physiotherapy Association or call the National Continence Helpline on 1800 33 00 66.
Personally I see Amy Tinetti at Central Bassendean Physiotherapy.
NGALA is a provider of Early Parenting and Early Childhood services with a passion for supporting and guiding families and young children through the journey of parenting.
POST NATAL DEPRESSION is real; it affects around 20% of new Mothers and around 10% of new Dads.