Balancing motherhood and a healthy lifestyle
The day in the the life of a mum differs for each family! Often depending on lifestage and circumstances one mothers day looks a lot different to the next, but the one thing they all share is they are all amazing women who do an amazing job each and every day.
Here we talk to a mum of two, mum of four and a doting grandmother about a typical day for them.
Anna - mum of two
Anna is a mum of 2 boys and also works 2 days a week for an international music promoter touring company. The busy days at work have more structure. At home, Anna finds hat organising food for her boys is and resisting temptation is her challenge.
Susan - grandma
Susan the doting grandmother leads a busy life but understands the importance of 'me' time. Her husband Neil has been battling prostate cancer. The stress of supporting him through treatment means Susan enjoys her 30 minutes a day where she gives herself a 'me-time' voucher as suggested by her Weight Watchers Coach. She says if you're not taking care of yourself, then you can't take care of everyone else.
Tina - mum of 4
This mum of 4 girls has her hands full but makes time to lead a healthy lifestyle. Gone are the days of driving past McDonald's on the way home from school a few times a week. Tina has a Facebook page 'Tina's slowly shrinking' where she shares her journey- something that started as a person weight-loss journal and has gathered a large following!
Tina: My day starts with the school drop off. Three of my daughters – Taya, 9, Jasmyn, 7, and Summer, 5 – all go to the same school, which makes the mornings a little easier. My youngest daughter Lacey is 2 and spends the day with me. Once back at home I'll prepare a quick snack for her and a coffee for me. 10am hits and I change into my fitness gear. Lacey and I head over to our friend's house who also have four kids. They installed a home gym where I workout two to three times a week. Lacey likes to join in too. She does 'gots'- squats!- "like Mummy", its very cute. It’s a chance for us to socialise and the friendly competition helps us challenge each other! When I first tried the shoulder press, I managed to lift 20kg. Two months later I was strong enough to lift 60kg!
Susan: I start my day at 7am and try to knock over some exercise to give me some ‘get up and go’. My go-to breakfast is cereal, low-fat yoghurt and fruit. At 8:30am and my five-year old granddaughter, Piper, arrives to spend the day with me. I look after her three days a week. We go to the park, do craft or spend time in the garden. I wear my Fitbit daily and when I care for her I smash my 10,000 steps without even realising!
Anna: At 6:30am the battle begins to get my two sons Eddie and Miles to eat breakfast before we leave the house. I either drive them to their grandparents on days I work or if I'm home with them, we head out to run errands and visit people. We usually go to the park once or twice a day so the boys don't get bored at home. Being a mum keeps me fit because I'm always mucking around with them or picking them up.
Tina: Lacey and I drive to the supermarket, and she sits in the trolley eating a banana and a ham and cheese roll as we make our way through the aisles. I shop for fresh produce a lot more than I ever did! I unpack the groceries while Lacey has her nap and make myself some lunch. I often have the same toasted sandwich because I know it fills me up: 2 slices of bread, 1 slice of ham, 25g reduced-fat tasty cheese, tomato, spinach and 2 teaspoons of relish caramelised onion. After folding the laundry, I spend a few minutes posting to my Facebook page, I recently found out the women at my greengrocers follow it!
Susan: If Piper and I are out and about, we’ll have sushi rolls or Subway because I know the SmartPoints® value.
Anna: 12pm rolls around and its nap time for Mile. I spend time teaching Eddie about music by watching film clips on Youtube together. I usually make a ham salad sandwich or a salad using ingredients from our garden with Merediths goat's cheese, the single greatest food in the universe, in my opinion!
Tina: When Lacey wakes up, we go for a walk. We’re lucky to live next to a section of the Coast to Vines Rail Trail – a shared path for cyclists and pedestrians built on almost 40km of old rail line. End of the school day comes and we collect the older girls an head home. I prep something for the girls to eat while they change out of their uniforms and start their homework. The girls love freshly-cut apples sprinkled with cinnamon. It’s something my mum used to make for me as an after-school treat when I was little, so it’s nice to pass this healthy habit on to my girls. I make myself a low-fat vanilla yoghurt topped with raspberries – which I don’t mind sharing with them too.
Susan: Piper usually has some quiet time with a DVD and she’ll always ask for one of Nana’s fruit platters so we pick at that together. Sometimes I’ll let her have lollies and I’m a sucker for milk bottles so I will let myself have one – I don’t like to completely deny myself things. After Piper leaves is when I have my 'me-time', I relax and gather my thoughts. I usually spend the time quietly thinking about what’s happening the next day and start planning foods I’m going to prepare.
Anna: 4:30pm and it's time for the boys dinner- I'm usually ravenous by this time so I make something simple that we can all eat for dinner, such as a barbecue, Weight Watchers schnitzel or a healthier creamy pasta salad.
Tina: After homework we all head out to the garden for some play time before dinner. We’ve had our trampoline for years, but I couldn't join the girls for a bounce for a long time because I was too heavy. I remember the look on their faces the day I finally climbed onto the trampoline with them. It was around the time I got to Goal and they were overjoyed! I love that I don’t have to miss out on these kinds of moments with them now. For dinner we love steak with oven-baked chips and salad. I buy pre-marinated steaks from our local butcher. 7:30pm is bed time for the girls and 'me-time' for me.
Susan: I often cook enough dinner for four people then freeze half. That means I can open up the freezer and there is always something healthy and portion controlled ready to go. If I haven't hit 10,000 steps for the day, I'll get onto the treadmill for 30 minutes. At 9:00pm I spend time with Neil watching TV, reading a book or doing a crossword. I also have some adult colouring-in books which I get out when I've had a really stressful time- it stops my mind racing from one thing to another. There are days when my plan goes out the window – if Neil is unwell and my granddaughter wants my attention it can feel like I’m being pulled in three directions. Sometimes I’ll find myself going to the cupboard and thinking, 'stuff it, I’ll just have a chocolate biscuit or a glass of wine' to deal with the stress. You can’t be in control all the time and when you have those days, you just have to roll with the punches and get up the next day and get back to it. I don’t beat myself up anymore.
Anna: If I have personal training Peter takes the parenting reins and I race out the door for some Crossfit style workouts with weights and high intensity cardio. It's so great to do something that's just for me. 7pm each night the struggle begins to get the boys into bed- the goal is to be tucked in by 7pm but often its not till close to 8pm that they're quiet. Once they boys are in bed I can sit down at my desk and check my emails. I'm big on baths, so once or twice a week I kick back for some quiet time. It's usually when I do my meal planning on my phone - I have to be careful not to drop it in the water but so far, so good! 11pm comes and I crash into bed. The hardest part for me at the moment is the unpredictability of my days. If i knew that the boys would have me up at 4am like they do some days, I'd go to bed at 8pm.