The media feeds us the same, trite advice, over and over... Eat healthy, exercise regularly, take 'me' time - and I'm sick of it. I have 2 kids, 3 dogs and 2 cats - and 1 husband. I run my own business, and I'm very active on the PTA at my daughter's school. I barely have time to wash my hair, never mind take an hour to go to the gym!
I read a tip a few days ago that said 'Go with the children when they take the dog to the park'. Who's going to do the ironing then? And why would I go with them when it's the only quiet half hour I get? As for healthy meals - do these people know how much healthy food it takes to fill a teenager?? I'm sorry - just bring on the carbs!
So, with tongue firmly in cheek, I decided to put together an alternative guide for busy moms. Here goes:
1. Sing in the shower
That's right - crank it up! The louder the better, preferably horribly off-key. The sense of relief and fun is incredible. On top of that - everyone will stay far away, and you might actually get time to shampoo AND condition!
2. Throw a tantrum
The next time your 2 year old throws a tantrum, throw one yourself. Copy them, add some extra moves, but do it. Fling yourself around, swing your arms wildly, kick and stamp your feet, all the while screaming at the top of your voice. You will be amazed at what a release it is, and you've done some exercise. With a bit of luck, the two year old is so shocked, they won't dare throw a tantrum again!
3. Huffing and puffing
Ever asked the man in your life to help you move something heavy - and had to listen to huffing and puffing and moaning and groaning for an hour while they do it? Breathing exercises are good for you - so huff along with him. Go on - huff and puff!
4. Catch them
I have a daughter who believes that if she runs fast enough, she’ll get away with anything. My new philosophy is to keep chasing her! It’s the only form of exercise I have time to get, and I’ve realized that determination can give you an amazing amount of stamina. I’ve had aching muscles the day after chasing her round the garden to scold her about something, and they say that’s a good thing too!
5. Eating on the go
I have a teenager who does most things on the run - go to school, come home, go to practice, go hang out - but he still manages to eat 6 times a day! They say that's healthier, don't they? So, starting tomorrow, every time you walk into the house, instead of tidying, hanging the towels up or putting the washing in the laundry basket, just make yourself a snack - and run right out again.
6. Laugh - loud, hard and long
Laughter is good for the soul, the tummy muscles and the face - all that stretching and crinkling has got to do some good! Laugh until you cry, and feel that stress wash away. Some of my best laughs are with my daughter, some have been with a bunch of girlfriends (although those usually entail a drink in one hand, but that's just me!)
7. Strut your stuff
Have you ever looked at a woman whose size may not be what society says it should be, but she's all dressed up, feeling good and having fun? Look around - other people are noticing her too. Don't fuss about the curves in the wrong places - get your glad-rags on and grab life with both hands!
Okay, maybe not a healthy lifestyle. But fun? You bet! And surely that's healthy too? (Oh and by the way, I have done the tantrum thing - in the middle of a large department store. It cured the 2 year old - but every now and then I go ahead and have one all by myself!)
Article with thanks to Anne Erasmus