Here’s the thing people don’t get about being a WAHM (work-at-home-mom): You’re really working two jobs, and you’re on shift for both of them 24/7. Sure, you might have assigned yourself office hours-times when you want to be focused on work or when you’re comfortable with clients calling you. But since your kids don’t operate under the rules of “mommy’s working; you can need me again in eight hours,” you are, by necessity, on mom duty even when you’re “on the clock,” so to speak. And since you don’t get to dedicate all your office time to the office, you find yourself trying to play catch-up during your off time. It’s an exhausting teeter-totter of work-mom balance, and that’s before you get into the complexity of trying to take care of yourself. Celebs might manage to pop a baby out on a Tuesday and be back to their swimsuit bod by Friday, but you’re lucky if the 9-months-on, 9-months-off rule holds true for you with your crazy schedule. So how do you stay fit as a work at home mom? Here are some easy tips that you can implement today to get you started.
Cook Smarter, Not Harder
We all know that getting fit starts with what we fuel our bodies with. But as a WAHM, you’re so busy and frazzled that you’re lucky if you manage to down a cup of coffee and steal a few of your kid’s goldfish. When you do eat, it’s the drive-through-window variety of food, hastily stuffed into your mouth while you drive with one hand and pray your kids don’t start screaming.
It doesn’t have to be that way. A little forethought can allow you to eat healthy meals without spending hours in the kitchen. Crock pot meals are a great way to get a healthy dinner on the table each night, and the best part is that you can get them ready at night after your kids go to bed or in the morning before they wake up. Try putting your outlet on a timer so that you don’t forget to start the meal at the right time during your hectic day.
As for breakfasts and lunches, buy things that are easy to grab and go. Baby carrot sticks, apples, bananas, berries, pre-cut melons, crackers, and nuts all make snacks that you can eat throughout the day with your fingers without touching a utensil. By keeping a variety of healthy finger foods in your house and rotating between them throughout the day, you can ensure you get the nutrition you need each day to stay fit and feel good.
Learn to Relax
Believe it or not, stress causes you to pack on the pounds, and to hold onto the ones that are already there. So, if you want to get fit and work towards your pre-baby body, you have to learn to let some things go. Consider the 3-item to-do-list if you want to feel accomplished at the end of each day while still letting some things go. Visit Free Your Spine to learn to let the tension out of your body. Doing so will also leave your body feeling looser and more limber, allowing you to better chase after your kids, pick them up, and do everything you need to do in a day.
Working from home while taking care of kids leaves you with precious little time to work out. Instead of aiming to hit the gym for long sessions-and then being frustrated when you fail-change how you define working out. Take your kids for a walk to the park instead of driving the car to get a few extra steps into your day. Yoga can easily be worked into your morning or evening routine without you spending more than 5-10 minutes on it at a time. And you can even get an under-the-desk peddler to keep your legs working during the day. And if that’s too distracting? A standing desk can at least keep you from sitting all the time and can help you get fit.
There are lots of ways to prioritize fitness, even as a busy working mom. Pick a new fitness habit each week to work on, whether it’s drinking more water or working an extra serving of veggies into your day. By the end of 9 months, you’ll have instilled 36 fitness habits into your life, and you’ll be sure to be feeling like a more fit version of you.