As you know, it’s only a matter of days before your kids are home with you for the summer . . . the whole summer! If you’re a mom or dad you will be busy carting kids from point A to point B, juggling camps and activities, or negotiating play dates across the county, all the while wondering if you’ll ever have a moment to yourself.
Traditionally, we parents put ourselves last and our kids first. This is human nature and plays into a long-standing myth, particularly among women, that there is no room for selfishness in parenting. We must drive them, feed them, keep them busy, and deliver entertainment regardless of the cost to our wellbeing. ‘Everything first, mom last’ is becomes our mantra.
Recall your last plane ride. Do you remember the pre-flight safety instructions? “Place the mask over your own face before assisting your child.” If you’re choking you can’t help your child survive. The same is true with your wellbeing: you have to make sure you are sane and healthy to help your child, family, or household to be so.
Instead of repeating the “mom last” mantra, decide to do this summer differently. Turn the time you dedicate to taking care of everyone else, kid-juggling and chauffeuring, into take-good-care-of-you-time. It is possible and actually easier to fit in than you’d think. Here’s how:
1. Auto-Isometrics. Improve your posture & strengthen your abs while you drive. Whenever you sit in the driver’s seat, concentrate on 3 muscle contractions (in this order):
B. Belly button to spine
C. Retract your shoulder blades to your seat back
Hold all three for 5 seconds (or as long as you can) and repeat until you reach your destination. [Good for: core strength, spine, upper back, & your marriage]
2. Inspiration Input. God invented headphones for a reason! Put them on your children with music while you take advantage of drive time to listen to a favored podcast, inspirational CD, or audiobook. Take advantage of wait time by journaling, having a short coaching session, or meditating. [Good for: your psycho-emotional wellbeing, mood, spiritual reconnect & mindfulness]
3. While You Weights. Use your car and body weight for full body workout while you wait. Kids in ½ day camp? You can use your hood for push-ups, your running boards for 1-leg squats or use an open car door as an anchor for exercise bands. Or find a park nearby and do a playground workout. [Good for: full body strength, caloric expenditure, & body composition]
4. Turn Outings into Exercise. Play dates and zoo trips can be a killer workout! You can work everything from the waist down by simply walking hilly parks or your local zoo. Take advantage of the summertime adventure with your children by making everywhere you go a mini-workout or active playtime. Lots of options via the beach, zoo, theme parks, bay, bike riding, hiking, playgrounds, swimming, etc. [Good for: family relations, full body, cardio, & caloric expenditure]
Beginning in June, Lisa will be serving up some seriously helpful support for moms. Please contact her for more information.