Monday, August 31, 2009

Thinking Mama Monday-Sharon Bodon

I wanted to get to know better the Mamas that inspire me everyday. Some are readers that I've met via blogging. Some are friends I've met after our recent move to San Diego and some I've known for years. All are women that are in the trenches of motherhood, striving to find balance in their lives. When talking with today's mama, I was struck with her philosophy that the little things add up. There are small things we can do everyday to maintain our overall body/mind fitness, helping us keep up with the kiddos. She really walks the talk, so I've asked her to share a few of those tips with us.
Ladies, I present Sharon!

A typical day for me, pre-children: Wake up rested after 8.5 hours of uninterrupted, deep-REM-cycle sleep; a leisurely breakfast of slow cooked oatmeal; off to whichever job I have at the time, which always involves either teaching exercise classes (yoga, pilates, water aerobics, kickboxing) or running a wellness program for a corporation, putting on health fairs, etc; Leave the jobsite after 8 hours, feeling satisfied, thinking I really made a difference for those I taught or educated; Happy hour with friends (pre marriage) OR nice peaceful meal in candlelight (post marriage); watch a good movie; Blissful sleep again....
A typical day for me, post-children: Wake up after about 7 hours of interrupted sleep; leftover pizza for breakfast; stay in my robe for half the day, getting the kids dressed, fed, played with, nursed, diapered, (repeat cycle 3 or 4 times); get stir-crazy at home and venture out to a park or store; return wiped out, wondering why I can't just be happy staying at home all day; attempt a home-cooked healthy family meal which no one really eats much of; order pizza so they won't starve; wonder if the kids/husband really will ever appreciate anything I do; finally get the kids to sleep after many failed attempts; 10 loads of laundry; quick kiss for husband in the hallway as I head off to bed....
I am sure many moms can relate to my pre and post-kid scenarios. I can definitely say that I really never thought parenthood would be so all-consuming! Of course those little angels are worth every bit of effort I make and even without accolades I will do it every day until they are grown. One thing I am not, though, is a martyr. I do find ways throughout my day to retain some semblance of the independent, fitness-oriented woman I want to remain and refuse to blame motherhood for insanity or weight-gain.
Acquaintances with kids have asked me how I stay fit and seem to be pretty sane. I'd like to share some of those fitness and health tips with other moms who feel that they just don't have the time or energy to focus on themselves.
So to add a few details in the post-children scenario:
That less than perfect night of sleep could have been much worse (I think all moms just have to accept that they will not sleep like they did pre-kid for a LONG time). Hubby and I take shifts: Me: 8pm to 2am, Him: 2am to 8am. This works out pretty well for allowing each of us SOME uninterrupted sleep-time.
That leftover pizza is thin-crust, light-on-the-cheese, heavy on the veggies pizza. In regards to all food intake while stay-at-home-mommying: grazing on leftover kid food all day is a bad idea. Make yourself a real plate of food at least twice a day so you can really focus on the quantity and quality.
Playtime with kids: usually involves doing something really physically active: dancing, sports, gymnastics, actually getting in the play structures at the park and climbing gym WITH them. People really won't think you're nuts, just young at heart.
Also, it is possible to do Pilates and Yoga to maintain muscle tone and flexibility even without heading off to a class. The key is to learn several yoga poses and Pilates movements and perform them ALL THROUGHOUT the day. For example, before I even get out of bed in the morning, I do 3 Pilates exercises, then as I play with the kids on the floor I'll hold a yoga pose, like bridge or downward dog for example, and tell the kids to make a game of going underneath me. Then I "teach" a fitness class to the kids, and while of course they are not following along well, they are having a blast just trying. I'll hold a yoga balance pose and tell the kids to throw soft pillows at me to try to knock me over which fun for them, good for challenging my balance. I use the crib rail as a ballet barre: while comforting the baby as she's trying to go to sleep, I do plies and barre work.
I know that this daily routine of mine is not keeping me at triathlete levels of fitness. It is a basic maintenance plan, which is so important as we get older especially. It's also really good for the kids to see you being so active, as it sets them up for a lifetime of physical fitness themselves. If mom and dad do it, they probably will too. Even that evening laundry session might seem tedious, but I have convinced myself that this is my opportunity to zone out, or "zen out" and do a sort of meditation. I repeat a mantra and practice deep breathing exercises as I fold those mounds of clothes. I hope at least one idea will inspire another mom to take a little control back of her health!
Sharon Bodon

Thank you Sharon! I am off to downward dog into a bridge for Mo~

No comments: