Safe to say, things have changed. I haven’t been to a gym in three years. I have two kids, a pile of newfound kilograms and extra bulge where there used to be flat. I can’t look at the gym’s mirrored walls without wondering ‘Who is that woman?’ and ‘Where did her waist go?’
I’m gasping for air, jumping up and down, worrying about whether I’ve had enough post-natal time to be doing this, and wishing I’d sprung for new gym clothes. The old ones don’t fit like they used to, and bloody hell, I was no skinny Minnie before!
I’m so tired. I left the kids at home surrounded by toys, dishes, discarded dinner and unfolded washing. I flew past my husband while trying to tie a shoelace one handed, said a quick goodbye and mumbled instructions for the three-month-old and the promise that I ‘wouldn’t be long’. I was in such a rush, I forgot to do up the clippy things that hold maternity bras together. Well that was an embarrassing discovery halfway through the class.
Multi-tasking is like breathing to me these days. I never sit still. The weight should be falling off me but since it’s not, I’m giving Zumba a go. What a way to launch myself back into exercise. What was I thinking? There’s coordinated, and then there’s a baby giraffe, and then there’s me. The instructor knew instantly too and said something I’ve never forgotten: ‘Don’t worry about not knowing all the moves, just keep moving and have fun’.
And boy have I been having fun! Buckets of the stuff. I love Zumba. I smile for the whole class, leave the gym buzzing with energy, drive home bopping to music and arrive back to the madhouse a whole new woman. Even on my most manic days, when getting to the gym has seemed impossible, I’ve dragged my sorry arse along and left feeling just wonderful.
Now I’m starting to sound like I own shares in Zumba or something but my point is really that I urge any tired mums to get out and find something they can do regularly which lets them ‘switch off’. Whether you’re an ‘active relaxer’ (thanks, John Kirwan) like me or you really know how to relax the normal way, just do it! They say ‘happy wife, happy life’ and I really believe that a happy mum runs a happy home.
What fun ways have you found to get a little ‘me time’ in?