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Monday, December 10, 2012

Mama Style - Guest Blogger Lesley

When I started thinking about this series, I thought about other women I know and how they, too, can inspire. I certainly can't give advice that will work for everyone, so I asked different mamas to contribute. Some are working mothers, some mostly stay home. Some have a newborn for the first time, others are doing it a third. Today's guest blogger is Lesley, who I met in 2009 when I started working at Welch Randall Realty. She trained me before she left to have her first daughter and we've stayed in touch since.
When I was asked to participate in the series "Mama Style," I thought long and hard about any style advice that I had to offer. I am a stay-at-home mother of two little girls (3 and 1). I am grateful to spend all day with my girls, but just like any other job that we may love, sometimes you need a break!. I don't think of myself as a stylish person, but I do like to look nice and I do love shopping for new clothes. But what makes me feel fabulous as a Mom? Making sure I have time for me.

I think that as moms, we feel selfish and guilty taking time for ourselves. 'Me time' can be as simple as blow drying your hair and putting on some makeup, even if your kids are tearing apart the house, or staring at the TV in the process.

What makes me feel even better is making time to exercise. Who doesn't feel better after a run or an at-home workout? It makes me feel healthy and prepared to take on the day. A must-have in our house is a running stroller, and this time of year requires a lot of effort to get both girls bundled up and strapped into the stroller with drinks and snacks for a jog. Most days I don't feel like putting forth the effort, but every day that I do, it makes my day better. Do I feel guilty making them sit in the cold while I workout? Sometimes. But the rest of the day I can devote my thoughts on them and what they need, because I have taken care of what I need.

If you don't have a stroller, at-home workouts can be just as effective. When it is 20 degrees outside, they are even more practical. At-home workouts are everywhere on the internet, apps, and dvds you can get at the library. My girls love exercising with me and we try to do the workout together. You will even be surprised at how well they entertain themselves when they know that you are 'exercising' for a bit.

Take the time to take care of yourself, and you will overall feel better about yourself and your appearance. Your children will learn the value of exercise and taking care of their bodies by your example. And you might even fit into those pre-pregnancy dream jeans in your closet....(still working on that!).

And don't forget, after you workout, take an afternoon and spend that birthday money that has been burning a hole in your pocket. Leave your husband with the kids for a few hours. He will survive and it is good for everyone.

Lesley, I love your advice to exercise. Since moving to WJ, I no longer have opportunities to get out of the house and do Yoga, so I'm struggling to find balance and do it at home instead. It makes a huge difference in how I feel about myself, and how I feel about my day (endorphins are amazing). Aspen loves doing her own version of Yoga, so I know from experience it is possible to exercise with kids underfoot. You're setting a great example for your girls when you show them your love of running!

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