In honor of Mother’s Day today Habitude Fitness has dedicated the topic of moms and how they maintain healthy habitudes our focus. Today’s article was a response to Friday’s post by a dear friend of whom I value and look up to as a wife, mother, woman, professional, fitness buff, and friend. When it comes to fitness, faith, and family, Marsha gets it done.
I don’t know that I can answer each of your questions because, well, I am a mom. And bottom line Cassie, they come first. If they need me, I will drop what I am doing and be present for them. Does that sound over the top? Maybe. It’s one of my most important jobs here in this life though: mother. Being present for them does not mean doing what they want or doing their homework. It means guiding and nurturing their spirits to independence. Just loving on them.
So, health? It’s our lifestyle. Similarly to us worshiping every week, laughing together, and loving each other. Our hope is that by us living this way, our children would incorporate the same daily and weekly routines and place value on these habits.Rich and I have always worked out. When I practiced law full-time (up until number four) I worked out at lunch or right after work. Our boys knew that; they saw me leave in the morning with one hairstyle and return with a ponytail in the evening. Our boys also played sports throughout the year. We not only encouraged that from an activity perspective but also because of the many important life lessons that being on a team sport (or dance shows) can teach.
Once I retired I found a club and began working out. With their schedules, the only time that worked for me was early morning. I returned home to get Rich off to work and take the children to school. Once Ali (my youngest) was old enough for the baby room at the gym, I was able to switch to a later time. This gave her some socialization with other babies and toddlers which was an added bonus.
We always have found time to workout. As the children grew, they always played sports but have transitioned from playing organized sports to playing pick-up games. My husband (in contrast) has signed up for basketball and soccer leagues, although he still works out on non-game days! In terms of our workouts, we have lively conversations in the kitchen! It’s cute.
As soon as the kids were eligible we bought them a monthly membership at the gym. Ali can hardly wait to turn 16 and talks about her membership frequently. When Ricky moved to LA or Brussels, one of the first things he did was find the right gym at his right price. I think that because we have made it part of life, so no questions asked they will too. When the boys are all home, we have so much fun working out and playing basketball and soccer in the summer. It’s just togetherness.
Food: Sometimes when all three boys played travel soccer we would eat with the team at Culvers which was not what I would have chosen. Panera worked a lot of the time too and had healthier options! Our practice at home is to always eat “clean”-all grass fed, wild caught, and organic. Everyone can identify each ingredient and name it or, they may not eat it. Breakfast is cereal; lunch is sandwich (bread less often); and dinner is a protein, fruit, vegetable, and salad. There are desserts in the freezer or cabinet that people can grab but it was never a daily must. We only allowed pop for the kids on for special parties. Now, none of them drink it! Ricky (my son who is living in Brussels) has gone European on us-he has espresso every morning. Peter, since his mission to Nicaragua, has coffee every morning as well. Water is huge for all of us-as well as skim milk from Oberweis. When Rich and all the kids are home they will go through eight gallons in less than a week!
Balance: If you look up at the start I said I would cut this short if they needed me. The thing is, is that early on they each were given jobs to do for themselves and the family. For example, in 3rd grade (after I had made their balanced lunch box for a few years) they were to make their own. Yes, I had individual pb&j whiches made, individual chip bags, individual fruit, individual dessert and drink all ready to pop in, but they had choices to make and were responsible. They helped with chores too – garbage, dishes, cleaning – but they all knew/know their number one job is school work! Further, in terms of balance and creating independent people, at 13 they started washing their own sheets; in high school their own laundry; in high school balancing their needs & wants out of their own monthly account. That means I am no longer “twentied” (can I have money for a movie? Dinner? Sandals? Nope. Your budget.) In summary, I can keep my balance – calm- by requiring each to do something that they are able to do.
When did they grow?
I love my children. All and each. I love my husband and his charming childlike behavior in diet and working out! And, I just look up, and I say, Wow! Thank You. I love You. Because, when all is said and done, I have been blessed by God with these children. He chose us, He chose me, to nurture them for Him. That is a huge responsibility and honor for me. Thus, I will drop all to do just what is needed for His Children.