Hey there my Flawsome Friend,
Hope the day is seeing you well?
Like last week this is a special post, today I have a guest post from a great friend of mine The Tustin Girl Kate. I’ll hand over to Kate now……….
Finding balance as a working mum
In today’s society, there can be an expectation to be the best at work, to be the best mum and wife, oh and don’t forget to eat well, exercise and fit some time in for you too. In my humble opinion, it just isn’t possible 365 days of the year and do you know what? That is absolutely okay.
A bit about me
I have been actively looking after myself for the last 2 and a half years. Prior to that I worked out as and when I was motivated and if I put on weight, I reduced my calories with little thought into what I was and wasn’t putting into my body. I would quite happily eat a snickers bar and skip lunch to keep my calories down. My change of direction was a result of my second pregnancy which was a difficult pregnancy towards the end. In short, my bump wasn’t growing, my baby daughter wasn’t growing, she didn’t have enough amniotic fluid which meant weekly visits to the hospital to check her vitals. In the end, I had her by C-section nearly 5 weeks early and she was 4lbs7oz. Even though she was so tiny, I had managed to put on an extra 3 stone. The whole situation woke me up to the fact that I had to look after myself more if I wanted to be the best mum I could be.
An inward journey
The journey of losing 3 stone has been just as much an internal journey as an outward one. It has been discovering who I am, accepting who I am, loving the body and mind that I have, eating and working out because I love who I am not because I want to punish my body for not being skinnier. It has also been about learning how to be a role model to my children so they learn how to be whole, strong individuals ready for their own journeys.
I now realise I sound like one of those women who is always calm and serene and has it all figured out. Not by a long shot! I still have days where I shout at the kids, we still have chocolate in the house, there are days where I miss workouts from sheer exhaustion of doing everything else. Sometimes I cannot do it all and after a few years of trying to be perfect, I have come to the conclusion that it just isn’t possible. Instead, I have learnt that I can only do my best.
Changing our perspective
We spend so much time trying to DO things differently that we don’t realise that sometimes it is about how we THINK about everything which matters the most. For example, let’s take a fictional character called Lisa. She could have planned and executed her meal plans perfectly, spent time with her hubby and children every day, stayed on top of her work but ended up missing one workout and felt awful. If you look at it, what she actually accomplished that week was pretty amazing. If we were her best friend, we would probably be telling her that she had done a great job, that she can’t do it all, all of the time but for Lisa, she set herself up with a plan and she didn’t follow through and so she felt like she had failed. Lisa then puts less and less energy into her planning and intentions each week as she thinks it is just too difficult to keep on top of it all.
BUT, here is my biggest ‘aha’ moment, it is not always about what you DO but what you THINK which makes the most difference. If Lisa had exactly the same week but this time reflected and thought ‘maybe 5 workouts a week is just a bit too much for me with everything else, let’s drop it to 4 and see how I get on’ then the likelihood is that she would have felt less guilt. She could have looked at her week as a journey and not a ‘to do’ list where she had to get everything checked off.
If you feel like you are constantly battling or feeling guilty for not getting it all done, I hope these 5 points might help you to think about things differently:
- The world is a very real place and you do not have the control to change everything which comes your way but you CAN decide how you are going to react to it. When you feel that you are losing control in any way, take any opportunity you can to list 5 things which you are grateful for in your life and at least 3 things which you have achieved this week already. None of these have to be big.
- The perfect mum / wife / employee does not exist. No matter who you are thinking of when I talk about being perfect, I guarantee that person you are thinking of is not perfect and does not have a perfect life. Stop aiming for perfection, it will make you miserable. Aim for meaning. What does it mean to you when you manage (against all odds) to get a workout in, to eat well, to spend time with your family?
- Start a gratitude journal. Practising gratitude is like a muscle, the more your practise it, the stronger it makes you. When I first started out, I thought writing it down was a waste of time but I have since learnt what a positive effect it can have. You don’t need any fancy journal, just a piece of paper and a pen will do. Start small with 5 and see how many you can get to over time. Remember, nothing is too small.
- Get your kids involved. Yes, this is an action rather than a mindset change but it really is a great one. If they are old enough, get the kids involved with planning meals. I have found this great for explaining the basics of nutrition and making it more probable that they will actually eat the food! You can get them to workout with you too so you are not waiting around for the perfect time (which we know doesn’t exist!)
- Don’t be hard on yourself. Doing what you are doing is tough and you are doing the best you can every single day. Yes some days will feel like crap but that doesn’t mean that you are not awesome for trying. Think about what you would say to your best friend and tell yourself those things EVERY SINGLE DAY!
You are doing a great job even if you aren’t where you want to be yet. Take every day as it comes, keep going, keep being your own best friend and enjoy the journey. You are stronger than you think and you can do this.
If you want to get to know me better, I am a mindset and success coach helping to empower women. Find me at www.thetustingirl.com
Thank you for reading Kate’s guest post today, I hope you have enjoyed reading as much as I have. Kate is so awesome and inspirational. If Kate spoke to you today, I highly recommend checking her out!
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Have a Flawsome day!
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** DISCLAIMER **
I am not a dietician or a doctor.
The ideas suggested here, are intended to be used for educational purposes only based on my own personal experiences.
The author ‘Jemma Stevens’ ‘Flawsome Jem’, is not rendering medical advice, nor to diagnose, prescribe or treat, any disease, condition, injury or illness.
It is imperative before beginning any exercise or nutrition programme, that you receive full medical clearance from your GP (doctor/physician).
Flawsome Jem and Jemma Stevens, claim no responsibility for any person or entity, for any liability, loss or damage caused or alleged to be caused as a result of the use, application or interpretation of the materials presented here.
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