Being a mom is an all-day, every-day job. From caring for kids to keeping up with housework — plus work responsibilities, maintaining relationships, remembering everyone’s appointments … the list goes on — it seems impossible to squeeze in any time for yourself. But self-care needs to find a spot on your to-do list, too! Finding a way to prioritize fitness, for your physical and mental health, will help you be the best mom that you can be.
“I have worked with many new moms, and it can be hard to recognize the importance of self-care,” says Shannon Strzynski, a personal trainer and group fitness instructor at the Monon Community Center in Carmel. “It can also seem like there is not enough time in the day. But finding 30 to 60 minutes for yourself can really help foster a positive mind set, and increase the mental and physical ability to take care of others throughout the rest of the day.”
Strzynski suggests building a self-care habit as soon as possible, starting with as little as a minute a day of dedicated self-care time. “Make self-care as normal as brushing your teeth,” she says. “Then, let that grow over time to attending a fitness class or spending time in a gym.”
Currently, Strzynski teaches an express 30-minute workout class at the Monon Community Center, which she says is perfect for moms on the go. But she also adds that the MCC has one of the largest fitness schedules she has seen in one location. “There is something for everyone,” she says. “Zumba, barre, tabata, bootcamp, pilates, water aerobics, spin, and strength and cardio classes. All of our instructors are so knowledgeable and friendly.”
So we know that self-care and fitness is important. But what do we do if we just don’t feel motivated to take that next step?
“Some days will be harder than others,” Strzynski says. “Knowing your ‘why’ makes it easier to get out of the door. For example, your ‘why’ could be ‘to get healthy long-term, so I can see my kids graduate college.’ Or it could be ‘to get my body back,’ ‘to run a 5K,’ ‘to look good in my clothes’ or ‘to feel good in my body.’ On days when motivation is low, I go through my list of ‘whys.’ It’s something that usually gets me moving.”
Finding childcare can be a barrier to carving out time for yourself, especially for moms with young children. Strzynski suggests finding a place — like the MCC — that offers great child care.
“A great childcare center gives moms the ability to work out while their children make new friends,” Strzynski says. “The MCC provides that with KidZone! KidZone is a reservation-based indoor playground and area for kiddos up to 12 years old. Members can utilize the space for up to two hours while they work out. And in the summer, the MCC offers camps for kids. So, moms can have some ‘me time’ to work out, while their children attend great programs and camps. Then afterward, everyone can spend family time having a blast at The Waterpark or navigating the trails around the center!”
Strzynski emphasizes that when you spend time on yourself, the investment will start to impact everything. “Not only will you be building a healthy body, but you will be cultivating a healthy mind,” she says. “And children see this. You will be creating a foundation for your children to do the same.”