The Fit Mom's Back-to-Work Guide
Can we have an honest conversation about going back to work after mat leave? Like really honest?
Going back to work after having a baby is hard.
It’s a big transition to say the least. You’ve just spent the last several months to a year most likely wearing leggings, zero makeup and being woken up at odd hours by your new infant boss.
Returning to work often means a transition to grown up lady clothes,hair and makeup, actual alarm clocks, deadlines, cooking dinner around your new schedule and oh yeah…trying to figure out how fit in a workout!
As a mom, I’ve done the return to work thing twice. As an online fitness coach, I’ve helped countless women set realistic “back to work fitness” goals and provided support and accountability as they figure out their new normal.
I’ve learned what works and what doesn’t. Here are a few of my best fitness/mom-to-mom tips for staying fit while you transition back to work:
1. It’s time to go back to the fitness basics
A lot of us are just trying to keep our head above water when we first return to work after baby. However it’s still important to take care of you in all the chaos otherwise the whole ship is going to sink. As the saying goes “If Mama aint happy, aint nobody happy.”
Instead of aiming for 6, hour-long workouts a week, aim to get 3 “movement” sessions a week. Just try to move your body in ANY way for around 30 minutes or more. Once you’ve settled into your routine a bit more, you can look at increasing this or playing around with duration and intensity.
2. Cut yourself some slack
So many of my clients set really high fitness standards when they return to work. They assume that they will be able to maintain their current 5 day a week fitness regime AND full time gig without a hitch. Then when they are struggling a few weeks in, they beat themselves up for not having enough motivation or willpower. The truth is, it’s not that they don’t have motivation or willpower. They’re just really really tired and have overshot on their expectations.
The good news is that you will adjust. In the meantime, it’s important to have self-compassion when things don’t go as planned. You are not lazy or lacking willpower. You are human and are doing the best you can. Hang in there and be kind to yourself while you figure things out.
3. Reconsider the morning workout thing
OK before you throw your phone at me, hear me out. I’ve coached a lot of moms over the years and the ones who do their workout first thing in the morning typically have more success. This does NOT mean that you can’t do it any other time of the day. I want you to workout whenever works best for you.
However, as the day progresses there are more and more roadblocks that get in our way. When you do the workout first thing in the AM, you are more likely to get it done without child interruptions, phone calls from your co-workers and deadlines from your boss.
Set your clothes out the night before, as well as any equipment you may need to make the whole morning workout thing just a little bit easier.
4. Move your workout home
Your time has never been as precious as it is when you are a working Mom. Anything you can do to save time is a huge help.
Moving your workouts from the gym to your house can save a ton of time. If you’re attending a 60 min fitness class, the whole thing is a 2 hour production when you include travel time and after class socializing (which is a must!).
All you need are some dumbbells, resistance bands, and a stability ball and you’re all set to start your timesaving home workouts.
You can snag 5 Days of FREE home workout videos with my free 5 Days to Fit Jumpstart Program to help you get started: https://jumpstart.myfitcoach.ca/5-day
The good news is that as moms we are one of the most resilient creatures on the planet. While returning to work after mat leave can leave you feeling a bit uneasy, remember all the things you’ve adjusted to since your baby was born. You will figure it out! Be realistic about your expectations, surround yourself with support and be kind to yourself when it’s not perfect. It’s never going to be perfect and that’s what makes motherhood so awesome.
Kim Holmes is a personal coach and the owner of My Fit Coach, where Healthy Moms cardholders can receive 10% off fitness packages and nutrition services. To find out more, check out her listing here: https://gohealthymoms.com/my-fit-coach