“Moms give up a lot in order to raise children. We speak openly and often about the sacrifice of motherhood and celebrate all that moms do to keep their families strong. When it comes to health though, moms frequently ignore or put their needs at the very bottom of the to-do list”
– MATERNAL MENTAL HEALTH RESEARCH COLLABORATIVE
It is certainly no secret how hard it is being a mom. Just being responsible for keeping tiny humans alive is a major undertaking. But then add jobs, schoolwork, sports, intense social pressure to have Pinterest worthy meals on the table three times a day and a house that would make Joanna Gaines proud. It’s a lot to handle, and often moms take the majority of the burden on their shoulders. It is no wonder that in many cases the self care of a mother falls to the very bottom of her to-do list. If you do a quick google search for “Mom Self Care,” there are literally millions of articles and blog posts on this topic. It is that important! Among those lists and tips for exhausted and desperate parents, there are some definite themes:
1. Get moving.
2. Stay connected with friends and family.
3. Spend uninterrupted time for yourself.
A little over a year ago, I was a struggling mom with two young children. After being a high school teacher for years, I had now found myself in what from the outside appeared to be a rather glamorous position: stay at home mom. I had a three year old and an almost one year old and we were just starting our new gym business. Between the kids and the business things were very busy, and making time for myself-or my social life-was the last thing on my mind. Meals were inhaled standing at the kitchen counter, days were a blur of sesame street, nursing, and lots of time spent trying to get kids to take naps. There were baby accessories and toys everywhere I turned (seriously, why do they have some much STUFF?!), and the house very seldom got the deep cleaning it needed. While I loved being home with with the kids and really was grateful for the opportunity to spend so much time with them, I was beginning to feel lost. I had no time for myself, I didn’t have a chance to get in to the gym regularly, and for the first time for as long as I can remember, I didn’t have a “job” to do that was outside of the house. The days were long, and even though I had these two beautiful, healthy, happy kids (every parent’s dream, right?) I was not in a good place mentally and physically. I knew how important it was to take care of myself, but I wasn’t sure how best to do that. Something definitely needed to change.
I was seeing firsthand how hard it was to get in the the gym consistently as a new mom, but I also knew how much better I felt after I got a good workout in. I began to think that there were probably a good amount of other moms out there in a situation similar to mine, and even if they weren’t CURRENTLY in the same stage as me, who can better relate than someone who has walked in these shoes? All of the sudden it was completely clear to me: I would create a class at our gym specifically for busy moms (or really just busy people in general) designed to be fun, quick, intense – but easily scalable – full body workouts that combine strength and conditioning. Even though I would be coaching the class and not working out, it would still give me a meaningful reason to get out of the house on a regular basis and connect with similar, like-minded STRONG MOMS. I felt so passionate about this – about how many people I could help – that I just knew that I had to give it a shot. I wasn’t sure what exactly would come of it, but I knew it had massive potential.
Last month, Mom Strong turned one, and to say it has been a success is an understatement. Truly, it has far exceeded my expectations. The moms…and the occasional dad…are all at different stages in our journey: some have toddlers, others have kids in high school and college, and some even have grandchildren. We have ladies who were division I college athletes and those that have never stepped foot in a weight room before Telos. But we all have a common bond and it makes us that much closer, both in and out of the gym. The moms in class work hard at every workout and have an amazing time doing it. Successes are celebrated together whether they are PR’s on a lift or someone’s child hitting a home run in their game the night before. If someone new joins the group, they are welcomed with open arms and treated as if we have known them for years. There is something truly miraculous about a group of women who are so strong both physically and mentally, women who build each other up and SUPPORT each other through life’s difficult moments instead of tearing each other down. This group has turned out to be so much more than just an exercise class, it is a place where moms can stay connected, get uninterrupted time for themselves, and have an awesome workout – all in under an hour. In a society where it has become all too common for women to tear each other down, this collection of strong women build each other up. I am so thankful to be a part of it.
Mom Strong classes are every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday from 9:00am-9:45am. Are you interested in becoming Mom Strong? Join us! We can help you get stronger, have more energy, and feel great about what you’ve accomplished. Click the link below to get started.