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Ellen Seidman

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Ellen Seidman is a magazine editor, web content developer and award-winning writer. She blogs at 1000 Perplexing Things About Parenthood for Babble, as well as at Love That Max. Ellen lives in the New York area with her husband, two kids and assorted dustballs.

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Get The Great Mom Body You Deserve: Take The MomME Pledge

By Ellen Seidman |

I got a little winded running to make a train the other day, which unnerved me. It was time to face the huffing-puffing truth: I’m not in great shape. I haven’t regularly worked out in a gym for 10 years. Yes, an entire decade. Ten is how old my son is, and since his birth and his sister’s two years later, workouts have fallen to the wayside. The way-way-wayside.

Sure, I’ve tried—a Zumba class here, a speed-walk to work there. A few months ago, I went on a binge at a fitness gear store and bought all this workout clothing to inspire me. For months the pile of clothes sat on a shelf in my closet, mocking me. Inevitably, all the other priorities of my life took over and I didn’t get around to exercising. As usual, my needs are dead last on my to-do list…including, sadly, my health.

I know, of course, that in order to be the best mom to my kids—and be around for them for a long time and be able to chase after them when they try to escape me at the mall—I need to take better care of my body. It’s just hard finding time. Or, rather, making the commitment to put myself ahead of all the other priorities in my life: child care, home care, boss care, husband care. There’s always something that I could or should be tackling instead of exercising. Some days, taking a freaking bathroom break feels like a luxury. I’m hardly alone here; in a survey of 3,230 women recently conducted by Real Simple magazine and the Families & Work Institute, 61 percent polled said they felt guilty for spending time on themselves.

Losing my breath as I ran for that train was my wake-up call. I am too young for this, I thought. And while I need to be in good health for my kids, I also need to do it for me. That’s exactly when I decided I was going to carve out morning workout time. My husband could help the kids get ready for school as I speed-walked/kinda-sorta-jogged around our neighborhood for 30 minutes. It’s not that I’m such a morning person; it’s just that time of day when I have the fewest excuses.

It’s been two weeks now, and I’ve gotten out there seven times. Aside from the disconcerting wobbly bits that jiggle when I jog, already, I feel a little bit better about myself—and determined to stick with it. But I could use a little companionship, and I’m thinking that if other moms committed to being good to their bodies, too, we’d all be watching each others’ backs (and butts). And that if we moms shared ways we can take better care of our bodies, schedules and car pools and homework and housework be damned—or at least temporarily put on hold—it could be seriously inspiring to us all.

So I’m inviting you to mother yourself and take the MomME Pledge. Leave a comment with one key thing you can do to take better care of your body, and how you’re gonna do it. Like me, it could be about the way you’re going to work exercise into your schedule. Or it could be a vow to eat more whole-grain stuff or veggies; do yoga a couple of times a week to stretch your poor, tired, kid-carrying muscles; start taking vitamins; or finally get to the doc for that check-up you’ve postponed since the last election.

What one thing can you do to better take care of your body? Share below. Feel free to tweet it with the hashtag #MomME. Put a Post-it on your medicine chest if it helps.

It’s a simple way of proclaiming that for once, you’re putting YOU first. If we don’t mother ourselves, who’s going to?

Image: istock/Carey Hope

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More to read from 1000 Perplexing Things About Parenthood:

• 16 Things I Forgive My Kids For
• Kids And Dogs: Why They’re So Alike (Caution: Extreme Photo Cuteness)
• Adults Who Bully Kids With Special Needs: How Low Can You Go?

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About Ellen Seidman


Ellen Seidman

Ellen Seidman is a magazine editor, web content developer and award-winning writer. She blogs at 1000 Perplexing Things About Parenthood for Babble, as well as at Love That Max. Ellen lives in the New York area with her husband, two kids and assorted dustballs. Read bio and latest posts → Read Ellen's latest posts →

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6 thoughts on “Get The Great Mom Body You Deserve: Take The MomME Pledge

  1. Tammy says:

    I’ll be walking on treadmill 30 minutes 4 days a week.

  2. Sara says:

    Can I tell you my story? I started exercising regularly after my first was born (even got in shape to race in a few triathlons). And my diet fell into the not bad but could be better category. A year ago, the baby-weight loss stalled after my second was born. I was tired of wearing maternity clothes, and I refused to buy new, larger clothes. So, I decided it was time to finally lose not only the baby weight, but the 40 extra lbs. I had before I got pregnant. So I kicked it into gear. Now, with daily exercise, and watching what I eat, I have lost 60 lbs, and only have 2 lbs. to go to reach my goal. And just this weekend, I completed my first 100 mile bike ride. If I can do it, so can you!

    I’m at the gym every day (we are fortunate to have a YMCA with an incredible childcare program), and I frequently hear other moms say they feel guilty for spending time at the gym. And while I do occasionally feel those twinges of guilt, I exercise for my kids almost as much as for me. I am teaching *them* the importance of exercise and a healthy lifestyle. Which will benefit *them* their entire lives. By modelling a healthy lifestyle, I’m increasing the chances that they will make fitness a part of their life (and decreasing the chances that they will be in their 30s and realize they have 60 lbs to lose). I am teaching them that exercise and fitness is important enough to make time for. That their health is worth prioritizing. So, not only will you be happier and in better shape, you are helping your kids understand the importance of doing the same for themselves throughout their lives!

  3. Renee J. Ross says:

    After my marathon this Sunday I’m adding strength training to my workout schedule.

  4. Rebecca Einstein Schorr says:

    I am walking between 3 and 4 times a week for 50 minutes a shot. And I am hoping to take my two younger (neurotypical) kids with me on one of those walks. I just did a 5K and immediately signed up for another one. And I have a goal for my 45th birthday (2016) — I want to do the Disney Princess Half-Marathon. I think that having a goal like that will keep me going.

    Thanks for doing this. It is an important thing that we must do for ourselves and sometimes just need a bit of extra support.

  5. Carla says:

    I’ve been strength training 2x week, and walking several times per week. I’m going to start a 10 K training program on Monday. Thanks for the inspiration!!

  6. Ana Flores says:

    Love this. I just started a plan with a friend who´s a food coach. I really just need to learn to feed myself well every day. I skip meals all the time and then compensate by over indulging myself. I rarely cook anymore at all. Having a meal plan is really helping get me back to eating healthy. I´m also fitting in 30 min per day to jog or do the treadmill.
    Thanks for doing this!

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