How do we balance work, fitness and family?

Wait, hear me out… it can be done!

As parents, we do an amazing job of taking care of our partner and children, but often it’s all too easy to push our own needs aside.

I often get the question “How do you do it all?” So I decided to share what works for me, and how I find my balance whilst caring for a husband (otherwise referred to as my additional child!), children, doing a job I enjoy, and prioritising my health and fitness. I’m sure I don’t always get it right and every family balance is different. There is definitely no right or wrong, but just figuring out what works for each family!

One exception is I don’t think this applies to mummies in the first year of motherhood, between feeding, changing, washing, fighting for snippets of necessary sleep and easing back into the workforce your plate is completely full. Well done if you manage to sneak in some workouts!

Start small

If you start out with small goals and make a realistic plan, balance can be so much more achievable. For example, if you decide that your short term goal is to improve your fitness, start out 2 to 3 days a week with small 20 minute fitness goals, maybe a walk during lunch and then increase the frequency and intensity over the coming weeks.

We make our own time

I often find myself wishing I could add a few more hours onto my day. Sometimes 24 hours just isn’t enough to fulfil my parental role, working role, and to be able to stick to a fitness plan. I decided a 4am start (and with a 2-year-old early riser and periodic night waker) gave me an hour or two up my sleeve before the morning chaos.

As a working mum, I used to struggle with a nagging guilt every time I did something for myself. I couldn’t ignore the nagging voice in my head, telling me I was selfish!  I make it a priority to remind myself that making regular activity choices in the household will normalise it for my sons, as they grow into adulthood. It took me a while to realise that taking time to care for myself is actually the opposite of selfish.

Prioritise the things that are important to you

Making sure you make time for the tasks or things that are important to you is so valuable in work-life and fitness balance.
Prioritising working out has really helped me stay healthier and energised and given me more quality time with my family. On occasion, I have found that my husband and three sons choose to join me for a 5km run on Saturday mornings (although they don’t always thank me for it!).