This article was guest-written for Gro-To by Steph Claire Smith. Steph is a first-time mum, a fitness powerhouse, entrepreneur and co-founder of Keep it Cleaner. For more from Steph, head riiiight here.
Short & sweet workouts are my go-to
At KIC, we’ve always believed that 20-minute workouts are the sweet spot, but now that I’m a mum, I’ve learnt that sometimes even having 20 minutes to yourself can be an absolute luxury! Majority of my workouts these days are no longer than 15 minutes, it’s just what I need to get an endorphin boost and feel a little bit more like me. I’m the biggest advocate of KIC minis (our latest workouts to have dropped in app), they’re 5-10 minute Barre, Pilates, Bootcamp and HIIT workouts, perfect for mummas like me, or anyone who is short on time!
The mum guilt struggle is real
I was fully aware of the term ‘mum guilt’ before Harvey came along, but I never knew how hard it would hit me. Now that I’m back at work 4 days a week, even though I absolutely love my job, I’m not going to lie, some days can be really tough. When I’m at the office I’ll often feel guilty for being away from Harvey (especially when he’s sick), and when I’m at home I feel bad for not giving KIC my full attention. One of my favourite quotes is ‘you can have it all, just not all at once’. When I feel any guilt creeping in, this is something I remind myself of.
It’s cool to be kind, to myself
Kindness has always been a core value of mine; science shows that when you’re kind to others it actually makes you a happier person. But what I’ve recently learnt is the importance of being kind to myself. This last year has been one big learning curve, from motherhood to juggling work-mum life, so being patient, kind and not too hard on myself is something I’m actively working on.
Trust my gut
Motherhood opens the floodgates to a lot of unwarranted judgement, both externally and internally. I’ve learnt that every family is unique, and there are so many ways to parent. What worked for one baby may not work for Harvey, and even though there’s so many books on ‘how to parent’ there really is no ‘handbook’ to follow. Motherly instinct is real, and it’s something I need to lean into more, rather than second guessing myself and relying on the opinions and advice of others. I’m learning to back myself more, because the reality is, no one knows Harvey more than Josh and I do!
Me-time is so important
Depending on the day, me-time can look really different. The other day I went for a 7km beach walk, something that I used to do so often but I haven’t had the chance lately, and far out, it felt good! If I’m feeling tired or overwhelmed, running a hot bath is the best medicine. My Mum used to have regular baths when we were growing up and now I understand why. Lighting a candle, putting on a face mask, and getting lost in a book is my little slice of heaven.