My advice to mums, whether you’re new to motherhood or trying to keep it together with toddlers or teenagers, is to find that special thing that keeps you sane. Keeping hold of your identity is SO IMPORTANT, especially when for years you’ll be referred to as *insert child’s name*’s Mum while inside you’re screaming, “I’m still me!”
In my experience, having a place to blow off steam, get sweaty, rant and offload or just pretend you’re still a kid yourself is so important. My sport of choice is mountain biking and whenever I’m on my bike I feel like me. Being able to focus solely on a task that is just for me, doesn’t relate to housework or children’s parties or work related targets gives me the focus and energy I need to do all those other things… While having the best fun! When I’m on my bike, I’m ‘Mum: Recharging’.
If you have a sport where you can include your children, then that’s obviously awesome too. Sharing your love of running, hockey, swimming or croquet can bring you closer to your children as you compete with or against them. And an active childhood is a happy childhood, right?
One of the biggest pros for me though, is that if you make time to play sport, your children will see you making time to play sport. They will see you enjoying it and it will be totally normal for them to enjoy it too! Disclaimer: be prepared they may find their own sport though and not just adopt yours (shudders at the thought of my kids not liking biking!).
This is really key though. I love hearing my son telling his friends he’s riding BMX with his mum. If my daughter sees me ride BMX or gravity mountain biking, she’ll know those sports are open to her. And if my son (and his friends) see it, they’ll hopefully encourage their girl friends to ride too. And when they’re older and choose to have kids? They will make sure they (and their partners) will make sure they make time for sport too and we’ll have a generation of fit, healthy people…. Parents: Recharging.