I am thrilled to feature Laura Tarbell as a fit mom guest blogger. Laura a lucky mom to two sets of twins. She owns Tarbell Pilates Studio in Hogansburg, NY, is a model and ‘Pilates expert’ for Oxygen Magazine. As a Pilates instructor, personal trainer, and nutrition and wellness counselor, Laura shares her story to influence others to become more healthy. You can read more about Laura at her blog.
“A mother’s head is like the control tower at O’Hare Airport.” – From the movie “I Don’t Know How She Does It”
As a mom, you know exactly how true this statement is! Hi, my name is Laura and I’m the busy mom of two sets of twins – two boys age 3 and two girls age 3 months. I’m also a wife, the owner of Tarbell Pilates Studio, a personal trainer, a nutrition and wellness counselor, a Cathy Savage Fitness Ambassador, a self-proclaimed gourmet chef, and a master of logistics. Oh! And I play piano for our church. Hmm…I think I got it all. 🙂
I love the challenge of figuring out how we are going to work everything in as a mom of twins – double nursing the girls, getting the boys to preschool and their activities, housework, playtime with the girls and with the boys, cooking healthy meals, running a Pilates Studio while on maternity leave, and … big gasp … a little mommy time too!
So how do I get it done? Here are a few tips that keep me sane as a mom of twins…
1. Schedule. Schedule. Schedule. Not only for mommy’s sanity, but for the kids as well. Kids need to know what to expect, i.e, we get dressed for the day right after breakfast, nap time is right after lunch, we take a bath right before bed, etc., etc. Now I’m really not that much of a Type A person, I’m actually a fairly laid back Type B. So if nap time starts a bit after 1:00, its ok. But never fear, it will be happening. I have high expectations for what can be accomplished in a day, or rather what needs to be accomplished in a day. I can get it all in with a solid plan. Scheduling also prevents getting stuck in a stressful situation as a mom of twins, like running to the grocery store when the kids are hungry or supposed to be napping. No one wants to be that mom.
2. Relax. When my boys were first born someone told me that babies can sense when their mother is stressed, and it only makes them more irritable. Therefore, if something goes wrong, stay calm. Don’t add more, unwanted stress or worry to the situation. If your baby won’t stop crying, stressing won’t make her stop. It only makes you more upset. So don’t do that to yourself! Be confident that you are doing your best to help the situation.
3. Plan ahead. I always have a diaper bag packed and ready if we need to hop out of the house in a hurry. Every night I’ve got a plan for the next day. While the boys are eating breakfast, I prep for lunch. While the boys are eating lunch, I prep veggies and marinate meat for dinner. I pick up toys little by little throughout the day to prevent a huge, overbearing mess from building up by evening. I prep afternoon activities during naps. I’m sending emails and researching recipes on my cell phone while nursing the girls.
4. Simple things can make a huge difference. Call me crazy but find time to take a shower! A quick, two minute shower can be energizing and refreshing. Try to continue your beauty routine as well. If you like to wear make up, then do it. If you need to get up 5 minutes early for this to happen, do it. It can set a good tone for the day, change your mood, and save your sanity.
5. Workout early. Get it done and get it over with. If you try to squeeze it in later, it will get squeezed out! One common tip that really works for me as a mom of twins – setting out clothes the night before. Then I can get up, quickly throw them on, and sneak out of the house before anyone else is awake. However, with newborns or sick kids, remember it’s ok to give yourself a break. If you’ve been up all night, you might need the sleep more than the workout. Balance is the key to everything!
6. Live in the moment. Enjoy your kids! They want to engage with you, to play with you, to be important to you. So play, cuddle, wrestle, laugh, have a tea party, whatever! Be creative. It will be more relaxing, and fun, than you might think. And these are the moments that make everything worthwhile. Best wishes! Check out my blog for more info on health, fitness, nutrition, and surviving raising twins twice!