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mommyness

go mow the lawn

While mowing our yard yesterday, I had a thought: I think a lot when I’m mowing.  I’m not naturally a contemplative person and don’t typically think about things once they have occurred or the moment has passed.  But while I’m pushing our little mower around, I find myself thinking about a past conversation or what plans I have coming up or even what I should write on here.  Kinda strange for me.

And I also realized the benefits of mowing the lawn so I decided to compile the ones I could think of.  Yes.  While mowing.

  1. The obvious – the grass gets cut.  As a home owner, a freshly cut lawn makes me happy.  The fallen leaves get mulched up to help fertilize the grass and a smooth looking yard is simply beautiful.
  2. You get a work out.  Even though you’re “only” walking, you are pushing that mower up those inclines, around that tree, moving lawn chairs out of the way and if you’re yard is like mine, picking up endless amounts of sticks.  It IS a work out.  You can take this one step further, put on your heart rate monitor and try to keep your HR up.  I did this once, trying to maintain a 140 HR and burned over 400 calories in an hour.  Score.
  3. Alone time.  Despite the fact that cutting the grass is manual labor, you are also by yourself.  And as a mom, it’s nice to have that time free of screaming, whining, complaining children.  Or are mine the only ones like that?  And trust me, you can’t hear much over the sound of the machine.
  4. One chore done.  If your husband is like mine, he’ll be relieved that someone else took care of the job.  It’s a tasking one that he might be very willing to hand over to you and probably won’t complain about having to be on kid duty instead.  Just don’t tell him how much you enjoy this alone time.
  5. Thorough exam of the property.  We bought our house about eight months ago and boy was it a mess and the yard still is.  It seems like garbage, especially glass, was just thrown all over.  I take this time walking every inch of the yard as an opportunity to spot the dangers.  I am a mom on a mission to make our yard as bare feet friendly as possible.
  6. Fresh air.  Simple enough.  You’re not likely to go mow in the rain, so chances are it’ll be sunny, which also means getting your recommended Vitamin D intake.  Sunglasses could be helpful with all the sunny rays as well as fashionable protective eye wear.
  7. Look what mom can do!  I think there’s something to say about a woman taking on what is considered a traditionally daddy job.  Even though I probably won’t always be the one mowing the lawn, my children will see that men and woman can share in the same things. Nothing has to be gender specific.
  8. Children entertain themselves.  Several times I’ve mowed the lawn while my two kids are wandering around outside.  Of course I’m ever mindful of where they are in relation to the lawn mower, but they do a wonderful job of finding ways to entertain themselves while I’m busy.  For example, yesterday my daughter was digging up seashells that were stuck in the dirt (remember I said the yard was a mess!) and collecting them in a bucket.  Since I am busy working, they are forced to fend for themselves if you will, a great way to encourage independence.

These are only a few of the many reasons why you should immediately head out to cut that grass!  Don’t forget to drink plenty of water afterwards, you’re working out remember, and enjoy a snack with the kiddies for a job well done picnic style on your freshly mowed lawn.

Go bust out that machine now!

4:30am

True story.  Both of my kids were awake at 4:30 this morning.  And were back in bed by 8:30am, fed, bathed and freshly dressed for nap time.  I was tired and frustrated that one, they woke up so early.  What’s wrong with them!  And two, they were both incredibly cranky because they had decided to wake up at such an unreasonable hour.  Myself included because well, they obviously woke me up and I could have used at least one more hour of zzzzzz’s.

It was quiet in my house by 8:45am and I was lying in bed reading a chapter in my current book entitled “Emotional Eating.”  Ha.  If you happened to be reading my posts, my last one was about emotional eating and how negative feelings such as frustration and stress lead me to cookies.

Can you see where my morning was leading me?

You got it right – cookies.  I closed the book out of annoyance that someone was trying to help me work through these feelings and show me better ways to deal with my emotions.  I have already have a great way to deal with them – cookies!  So I jumped out of bed.  Went to the kitchen.  Poured milk into the 1 cup measure cup that was sitting on the counter from breakfast (I used it to measure my spinach for my omelet) and proceeded to dunk cookie after cookie into it.

Such fleeting happiness.

I went back to bed, still tired and frustrated by the morning.  Between struggling to get everyone to eat some breakfast and control the splashing contest during bath time and pick up every last tiny bit of play dough my 16 month old son threw around the kitchen this morning, I was already spent and now 650 calories invested in cookies.  Side note, my son does have a pretty good arm!  Baseball?

I set my alarm so I could wake up with enough time to get ready to head to the gym for my usual kettle bell class and I remembered something a friend of mine said after readying my emotional eating post.  Make hurtles for yourself before you are allowed to eat what your emotions are driving you to crave.  So brilliant!

Okay.  I decided on a few hurtles to try out and see how it helps next time.

One: drink a large cup of water.  Not only is just good hydration practice, but it will hopefully filly my belly up and discourage the cookie monster within.

Two: throw on a sports bra and do 5 minutes of jumping jacks.  This is only possible when I’m home already but worth a try.  Maybe the quick exercise will be enough to boost my seratonin levels to change my mood.  And promote healthy thoughts of “reach for an apple” instead.

Three: I’ll have to think of a good one when I am out and about.  Maybe inclined pushups on the car?  Or drink a whole bottle of water that I keep warming in the trunk?

Now, I am dressed (kids are still napping!) and ready to go to the gym for class.  I am determined to burn at least 700 calories today as punishment for my weakness this morning.  But, it’s not really “punishment” cause I love my class and I have started to embrace the elliptical machine.  At the ripe old age of 27, my knees are shot and the treadmill hasn’t been my friend lately.  But, I do notice I push myself to keep my heart rate high on the elliptical enough that it’s a great cardio work out.

It’s never too late to change your day and away I go to make it better

a mom’s body

Have you ever received this compliment and felt slightly insulted afterwards?  “You have a great body for a mom.”  Thanks, I think.  Well, this was recently said to me and not only am I still trying to figure out if I was in fact insulted but it started me thinking, what is a “mom’s” body supposed to look like?

If you are a mom, I think it’s safe to say a million facts about your body are running through your head right now.  “I have (insert number here) children.  I nursed them for (insert number of months or years here).  I loved late night (insert your favorite food here) while I was pregnant.  I still love (insert your favorite food here).”

Obviously our bodies go through a lot since it is a mom’s body after all.

First, to bring you a few steps back.  One of my motivations for working out is to be able to protect my children.  Like the flood waters are coming or dare I say, a tornado and I am the only one capable of saving them.  If this sounds totally crazy, you probably don’t have children and if you’re thinking “Yeah, I worry about that too” I’m glad I am not the only one.

So now to tie this all together.

I believe a mom’s body needs to be a capable, healthy one.  That as a mom, not only have our bodies gone through so much to just give us our children, but they continue to go through so much on a daily basis…

Lifting children in and out of the car multiple times a day.  Bending over as we endlessly put on toddler shoes.  Running after quickly escaping babies.  Loading ten grocery bags into the car and then unloading them at home.  Carrying a 25 pound diaper bags filled with every possible necessity.  Hauling five loads of laundry downstairs, and of course, back up stairs.  Reaching up into the kitchen cabinets putting away plates, bowls and sippy cups. Pushing the vacuum around the house once a day, if not more.

We do a lot.  And we put our bodies through even more, so shouldn’t a mom’s body look good.  It deserves it!  All the effort it goes through, we should help it succeed.  Fuel it well and exercise it often so it’s strong to handle whatever your mommy day throws at it.  Not only will exercise make you feel good about your body, but it also boosts those energy levels.  Who couldn’t use some more energy?

And not only should you treat your body well for it’s own sake, but also for that of your children.  You are their most important role model.  Showing them the importance of being healthy will help build a healthy foundation for them.  If the frig is full of fruits to snack on because you have decided to eat better, I bet your little ones will want to share in the fun.

So whether you decide to eat more veggies to green up your diet or start training in preparation for the next natural disaster, your body is a mom’s body and you should be kind to it.

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