How to Exercise With the Family in the Pandemic and Beyond

With the coronavirus still a serious threat, it’s more important than ever to exercise regularly and stay fit. Not only that, but exercise has also proven to be a godsend during the pandemic as it certainly helped ease the monotony of isolation. There’s no question that working out remains a worthy pursuit for the entire family, including yours. Fit Dallas Mom explores how you can make movement an indelible part of your family’s routine, now and always.

Prioritize Safety

When working out with the family, at home or otherwise, you want to take certain measures for safety’s sake—not only to reduce the risk of injury, but to keep your workouts a pleasurable family activity.● Prevention is better than cure, especially in a pandemic, so make sure to observe safe workout practices to prevent injuries when exercising at home.● When you exercise outside, continue to take safety precautions against the coronavirus.● Wearing a mask is a real necessity as you venture outdoors, but learn how to use masks when exercising safely.

Stay Motivated

When it comes to working out, getting off the couch and on your feet can be the most difficult part. But with sufficient motivation, you can get everyone moving and, in turn, keep everyone healthy.● There are some great ways to motivate yourself and your family to start working out.● Streamline your day, starting in the morning, so you’re not forced to squeeze in a workout when you’re tired.● It can be a great idea to start a family fitness challenge to get everyone moving.● Investing in workout gear and clothing can also be amazing motivators.● Make sure to reward yourselves to keep you going.

Activities to Love

Working out with the family is a lot more pleasant with fun physical activities that everyone will enjoy. ● Observing a solid morning routine will give you and the family more room and energy to exercise.● Make use of online fitness programs that the whole family can partake in and love.● Yoga is a particularly wonderful exercise for the entire family as it not only serves the body, but it helps reduce stress, too.● Choose activities that allow social distancing as you take your workouts outdoors.● The whole family can even stay fit by playing video games that get everyone moving. ● A 5G internet connection can ensure smooth game play

Indeed, there are plenty of reasons why you must make exercise a part of your family’s daily routine—and zero reasons not to. It’s a healthy habit that will truly serve your family—not just in the pandemic, but for life.

Written by guest writer Janice Russel of Parenting Disasters

Image Credit: Pexels.com

Survival Tips for Work-from-Home Parents With Young Kids

Written by my guest writer, Janice Russel of Parentingdisasters.com

Working from home has many benefits. You can eliminate commuting, saving valuable minutes, and leaving more time to spend with family. If you have a toddler or baby at home, however, managing child care alongside a busy workday under one roof can be a challenge.

Rest assured, this juggling act is a test of patience for anymom or dad. You are not alone. The great news is that there is a supportive community out there offering plenty of tools to help you manage a home office plus parenting. Fit Dallas Mom Blog is one, with a blog full of tips. A couple of other blogs run by parents who work from home that are worth checking out are Single Moms Income (which has great advice for dads and married folks, too!) and Catherine Alford’s site.

Read on for some additional tricks and tools you can rely on to help make working from home as a parent with young kids easier.

Set aside a dedicated workspace.

Creating a dedicated work zone increases productivity. It also lets you keep your computer and papers in one place, away from baby bottles or your toddler’s sticky hands. Having this separate space will also make it easier for young children or spouses to recognize when you’re working. You can even use colorful tape to mark off mommy’s or daddy’s workspace. This kind of visual indicator is easier for toddlers to recognize.

Follow these tips from SHAPE magazine for creating an ergonomic workspace that is comfortable and healthy. Invest in a proper desk chair and desk, and set it up correctly. In addition to configuring your office furniture, make sure your workplace electronics are configured for home office use.

Consider a career change.

If you’re at home with young kids, you may want to start thinking about a new career once your kids are old enough to attend school. Fortunately, there are many online degrees you can earn which allow you the opportunity to learn from home at your own pace so you can still meet your children’s needs. For example, if you’re interested in becoming a teacher, you could work to earn a bachelor’s degree in education.  

Create a kid-soothing zone.

Create a kid zone with your little one’s amusement in mind. If your baby has that one rocking crib that always seems to soothe them, place it here. If your toddler has a favorite stuffed animal that stops the crying, make sure it’s there. Set your kid-soothing zone up near your workspace. As a work-from-home parent, it’s impossible to avoid interruptions during the day. By setting up this space close to your office, however, you can hopefully minimize the amount of time every disruption takes.

Take advantage of nap time.

As a work-from-home parent, nap time is your best friend. Take advantage of these quiet moments. For example, if you know that your child usually goes down for a snooze after lunch, this is the perfect time to schedule conference calls. Of course, nap time isn’t a guarantee. It can seem like the moments when you really need your little one to sleep, they simply won’t. The website Parents has great tips on helping your toddler nap, for example, by laying them down with some gentle music.

Call for reinforcements.

Remember, you don’t have to do it all on your own. If you have a partner to help, enlist their assistance. Sit down at the start of the week and compare schedules. What days do you each have critical deadlines or meetings? See if the other one can step up and take over child care during these times. Alternatively, you may have friends or family who can help. Another option is to hire a professional via an online platform like Care.

Be kind to yourself.

Working from home with kids clamoring around you isn’t easy. Don’t be too hard on yourself. Find time for self-care. Taking a hot bath after the kids are in bed is a great way to unwind. Also, take time to nurture your mental health by practicing mindfulness through activities like meditation and showing gratitude. These small acts will enhance your mental wellbeing and make you more resilient to everyday challenges.

Being a working parent isn’t easy. There’s scientific evidenceto prove it, as surveys show that working mothers are more stressed. The above survival tips will help you get through the workday while alleviating worry. 

I’d also offer the advice to recognize when you need to pause. For me, this is when I start snapping at my kids. If I notice myself doing that I try hard to set boundaries and realistic expectations with myself and my family. For example, “Mommy needs five more minutes, let’s set a timer and when it goes off let’s snuggle!”

Photo Credit: Pexels.com

Pregnancy leg day

I’m a little over 6 months pregnant now. My belly is getting bigger which means movements while working out are getting more difficult. However this isn’t stopping me from working out! Workouts are the one thing keeping up my strength and energy for the boys!

Today was a leg workout. 4 sets of 12! 💪🏻

Third times the charm

Third times the charm!! Our third island top went in! Yes I said third 🤦🏼‍♀️ The first one was cracked when it was installed. It was a bit defeating because the first one was so beautiful.

The supplier was able to get us a second slab of the stone. However, while they were cutting the slab at their facility, it cracked too! This isn’t a soft stone so it’s crazy we had two cracking issues. I was beginning to think this slab just wasn’t meant to be. I went out of my comfort zone when I picked it so I felt like the universe was telling me I should have kept it simple.

The stone company was able to get us a third slab of the same stone. We got lucky because this third slab is the most beautiful of them all!! It has so much veining to it compared to the others. It was installed with no issues this time! It’s such a relief because I had my heart set on this stone. The last thing I wanted to do was make another design choice this far in the building process!

Introducing your kids to a new baby

It’s hard to believe this was just 3 years ago! My little guy has gotten so big so fast. In a few short months we will be a family of 5! Fingers crossed Ryder handles baby #3 a little better than he did with Camden.😳

When I first brought Camden home from the hospital, if you were holding him, Ryder would just sit there and give you dirty looks. He would refuse to come near anyone that was holding Camden. He would actually tell me to put Camden down. He was not a fan. That first month was definitely one of the hardest I’d ever experienced. It broke my heart that Ryder had such a hard time.

Hopefully now that he’s been around Camden so long he understands that a new baby isn’t a “threat.” He’s so good with Camden now and even tries to share with him (sometimes).

I did screw up with Ryder in the beginning when I had Camden. I thought after Camden was born I needed to give Ryder a ton of attention to make up for the shared attention that was about to happen. People kept telling me Ryder was going to get jealous and would need a lot of individual attention. I shouldn’t have listened to them.

I had my mom spend a lot of time with Ryder as well thinking that individual attention was needed because of everyone’s comments. That actually made Ryders jealousy worse. When he actually did spend time around Camden and I, it was really bad. He just couldn’t handle it and would have melt downs and be extremely upset. What I should have done is let Ryder spend time around just me and Camden the minute I brought him home. I should have gotten him used to being around Camden right away so he could see he and baby will both get my attention. I think if I’d done that, it may have not taken so long for Ryder to adjust to Camden. By giving him too much individual attention, it’s what he expected all the time and wasn’t getting used to having to share.

Obviously now things are ok. We have our days where one kid needs more attention than the other. But for the most part they both understand they have to share moms attention and that they will both get the attention they need. I definitely learned a lot that first time around. I think I have the hang of it this second time. Fingers crossed!

Pregnancy workout

Im now a little over 5 months pregnant and I’m not supposed to do full on ab exercises. However, my doctor did encourage workouts that include some core! She said this will help with belly strain due to weight of baby as well as strength for labor! So I’m doing legs mixed with core. I haven’t used sliding discs in so long. They’re definitely harder to use when pregnant! I don’t have the stability I had pre baby.

For this workout I did 4 sets of 15 on each leg (30 total) for the toe point balance slides. 4 sets of 20 on each leg (40 total) for the mountain climbers. Then 4 sets of 15 on each leg (30 total) for the plank leg slides.

Stay at home parents

One weekend my husband asked me what we had planned for the day. I told him nothing. We actually didn’t have anything scheduled. His exact response was “you mean we have nothing to do and are going to sit in the house ALL day?” I literally thought to myself “yes Chris we are, welcome to my life every day as a stay at home mom.”

Being a stay at home parent is NOT easy. Especially after having spent 8 years in a corporate job then a few years as a teacher. I was used to being around people. So it’s a very different world when you’re around one or two little ones all day, every day. We have our good days and bad at home. Obviously the bad days make it a lot harder on you mentally.

Don’t get me wrong, I love spending every minute of every day with my kids. I love that I don’t miss a second of anything they do. But it is very difficult not seeing adults regularly or having any adults to converse with daily like you would at an office job. For a good two years my oldest didn’t really talk. I would actually leave the tv on all day to Friends just so I had the sound of adults to listen to.

Anyone who says being a stay at home mom is easy has clearly not done it or has stay at home amnesia and forgotten how difficult it is. It takes a toll on you physically and mentally. I’ll be honest, I think being a stay at home mom has been harder on me psychologically and emotionally than either of my previous jobs were.

If you are a stay at home mom(or dad), you deserve the biggest gift in the world. If you know a stay at home mom, remember to have empathy for them. They’re doing a thankless job that they love but also really wears on them.

Toddler meltdowns

My toddler is in a stage of meltdowns. Even though he talks he’s still not able to voice or even truly understand all his feelings. He’s still learning. There’s two main causes for them we have learned.

The newest thing that causes meltdowns is hunger. He gets so busy playing some mornings that he doesn’t eat or will eat just a few bites of his breakfast. I get so distracted with the baby sometimes that I don’t notice Ryder hasn’t eaten or barely eaten his food. By 10am we will have multiple meltdowns if this happens. And it’s all due to hunger. When the meltdown happens, if we sit him at the table and get food in him, it’s like he becomes a different child. His attitude changes and you can literally see him go from mad, to calm and happy.

The other thing that causes major meltdowns is tiredness. If he’s overly exhausted he doesn’t understand the feeling so he has a meltdown. The only thing to fix this is obviously sleep. And of course he has a meltdown when we tell him it’s nap or bedtime. If I keep him on schedule and get him down for a nap before the tiredness hits I can usually avoid a melt down. But there are days that he’s been super busy and even when I stay on schedule, a meltdown is just unavoidable.

The toddler stage is super difficult, for you and your child. You’re both learning to understand their emotions and what causes them to feel a certain way. 💙

Pregnancy Amnesia

Well I’m officially at 17 weeks. But I feel like I’m 7 months. I must have pregnancy amnesia because I don’t remember feeling this big and bloated with my other two kids. When I think about it, I honestly have forgotten almost everything (discomfort wise) when I was pregnant with my first two. I sort of remember feeling achy and having to pee a lot. But that’s all I remember. I have literally forgotten everything. Maybe that’s why I was ok having a third. I had forgotten all the pain and discomfort that came with the first two.

I do understand what they say about pregnancy being more difficult as you get older. One thing I do remember is having more energy with the other two than I do now. I definitely feel like I’m moving a lot slower this time around. Granted I am chasing after two little ones while pregnant so that definitely adds to the exhaustion. I’m also getting up earlier and staying up later than I would like. So I’m getting less sleep as well.

The exhaustion is definitely taking a toll on my body and making it harder to do things like workout. I remember wanting and liking to go workout with my first two. I had no issues working out other than just comfortably moving around thanks to my big belly. The motivation was there. This time around I have zero want to workout. Just thinking about workout makes me tired and I swear I can already feel my muscles start to ache even before I start.

I still have 5 months to go. A long 5 months! Somehow I need to find more energy and the ability to sleep. Definitely sounds a lot easier than it really is.

What side to sleep on when pregnant

An interesting thing I learned in my first pregnancy is that it’s recommended that you sleep on your left side while pregnant. Why? Because your liver is on the right side of your body. Laying on your left side helps keep your uterus off that large organ, which takes the pressure off your liver and also your kidneys. This means more room to function properly, helping with swelling issues in your hands, ankles, and feet.

Sleeping on your left side also improves circulation to the heart and allows for better blood flow to the fetus, uterus, and kidneys. This is because your inferior vena cava (IVC), which is a large vein, runs parallel to your spin on the right side of your body.

If left is ideal, should you avoid sleeping on your right? No. It’s safe to sleep on your right. And depending on where your placenta attaches, it may actually be more comfortable. There’s a very slight risk of compression issues with the IVC when you sleep on the right, but it’s very slight. It just comes down to what’s more comfortable for you.