Fact: The mother elephant has little time to herself.
After protecting her baby for a 22-month gestational period, a mother elephant will nurse her new calf for four to six years. The nearness does not end there. The elephant will stick with its mother for about 16 years. The mother can get a moment alone due to something called, “allomothering,” where other female members of the herd fill in while the mother is temporarily relieved of duties. (Source)
Sometimes I feel like that mama elephant. Not because I birthed a 200 pound child, or feel enormous, but because I am rarely without my little ones. When I am not at work, I am with my kids. That is honestly the way I like it. During evenings or weekends (and my summers off as a teacher) I want to spend time with them. However, I will admit that I am thankful for my herd who fills in for me during the necessary “me time.”
Fact: chasing children around 24/7 burns calories. However, I need more.
I need dedicated time of consciously working out.
“Get a quick workout in while they nap,” they say.
No. My to-do list during nap time is unreal.
“Find time to workout once they go to bed.”
Maybe. Every now and then I can commit to this. Honestly though, I am too tired, and there’s that haunting to-do list again.
Solution: Workout while you are with your kids. Here’s how:
4 Fun and Easy Workouts for Moms and Kids
I often incorporate yoga into my bedtime routine with my son. Teaching mindfulness to young children provides them with ways to cope when they are angry, nervous, or stressed. Just the other day when my daughter was having a little meltdown, I heard my son calmly telling her how to breathe. There are many ways to do this. Roll out the mat and turn it into a game of Simon Says. We like to find fun yoga channels on YouTube for kids. One of our favorites is Cosmic Kids Yoga. There is even one that takes kids through the story of Frozen, for 30 minutes! If your kid is more of a Star Wars or Harry Potter fan, there are yoga videos on this channel for them as well. Before bed we like to just turn on some relaxation music via YouTube or Pandora and practice breathing and stretching.
If you don’t mind following the steps of energetic teeny-boppers while listening to the latest pop songs, a Kidz Bop dance party via their YouTube channel is for you (and your kids). My kids go wild for these songs. Pop music, free of any inappropriate words. Just Dance is another fun one with more of a challenge. Just pick one that matches your Smart TV, gaming system, Apple TV, Roku, Amazon Fire, etc.
I find all sorts of scavenger hunt checklists on Pinterest, but here is one of my favorites. I just put it in a clipboard, hand my son a pen, and we are ready to move. He stays busy looking for things to checkoff, and I am feeling the burn. The sit-and-stand stroller is perfect for these long walks. Sometimes I just give my kids a gallon Ziplock bag to fill with random treasures we find as well.
The TV Show Workout
You may have seen the Television show workout plans for adult shows like, The Walking Dead. For example, each time you see “walkers,” you must do a 30 second plank. Consider the children’s show version of this. If you want a real boot camp, pick our primary-colored show, Caillou. Each time he says something in a whiny tone to his mother, do 10 roundhouse kicks. Or take something slightly less torturous like Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. Each time you hear his signature chuckle, do 20 squats. You get the idea. You set the guidelines and put it in writing. Test out my Dora the Explorer workout. Since she is highly repetitive in nature, you are guaranteed a workout.
So next time you feel like calling out to your “allomothers” so you can get in a quick workout, keep your kids at your side and break a sweat as one happy herd.