Going from being a college athlete to a mom was a huge shift for me. I lost the competition and began to realize the only competition I had now was myself. I’m hard on myself, like most women and moms. I know I’ll feel like nothing I do is perfect or good enough, but man I can make the world’s best chocolate chip cookies and know all the words to, “You’re Welcome” from Moana.
I’ve been working out with my kids since my first born was about 5 months old. I joined a local stroller strides group (DO THIS FOR YOURSELF…it changed my whole outlook on myself and on exercise!) and then I picked up running when he was about 10 months old. When I got pregnant with my second baby, I continued my routine. I had a fit pregnancy and was so proud to have accomplished running throughout my entire pregnancy.
Working out after I had the baby was harder than working out when I was pregnant. I expected to start off right where I left off…that wasn’t the case. Of course, now my 2 1/2 year old wanted to workout with me even more because there was another little human taking attention. While doing push-ups, I stopped. “Oh my gosh. Mommy is so weak.” That’s when I realized what kind of an influence I was making on my son. “Wow! I’m so weak…” came out of my sweet, strong, brave little boy’s mouth as he was doing push-ups beside me.
I quickly stopped what I was doing. How could I allow my son to think so little of himself? He heard me say how little I think of myself. Why should he think differently? We started pushups again. “I am strong!” I shouted. “Look at me, mommy! I’m so strong!” He yelled. We did this the remainder of the workout.
Mamas, I will drop an f bomb here and there, but I am telling you I’d have rather heard my kid say that then that he was weak. It is so important that we try as hard as we can to shout how strong we are. How pretty we are. How capable we are of anything! Not only is it important for our kids to hear so they have an easier time developing a positive self image for themselves, but so we recognize the good in ourselves.
As I said before, I know I’m not perfect. I sometimes feel like I can’t get anything done the way it should be, but my kid doesn’t care that I didn’t get the laundry put away. He sees that pile of clothes on the couch and gets excited to climb on a “mountain!” My boys don’t see mommy working out as a struggle for her. They are watching a strong, capable, hard working mama bear!
I’m challenging you to shout with your kids this week words to promote positive image. Go to the mirror, point to your kiddo and tell them things like, “I am BRAVE! I am FUNNY! I am UNIQUE!” Not only is this good for you kids, but it’s so, so important for you. You are brave. You are strong. You are capable of anything.