Wow, you have my sympathy. I think Russell is right, get the kids to help out with chores (easier said than done, I'm sure) and then make the play activity a fun reward for everyone. You'll have to find some way to make exercise fun, because if you don't, I don't see how you could possibly stick with it. The last thing you need is another chore.
Do you have a friend that you can swap babysitting time with so you can get out and walk or bike? Maybe every other day you can switch off. I'm a single mom of 2, although my kids are grown now, I know how hard it was with 2, let alone 5. Hang in there mom - you're doing great! Dont' know how old the kids are, but maybe take them for a walk to a park and have a picnic - make sandwiches and cut up veggies. Then play with them! Any movement is better than the couch. Wish I had that awareness when my kids were younger.
Fitness Minutes: (3,530)
337 8/2/13 12:26 P
You don't need a gym. You can hula hoop, jump rope, bike ride, dance on the wii or other system. If you have five kids, you already are probably burning a lot of calories.. Wear a pedometer, when I did stay at home I wore one, and exceeded the steps...
Many people find exercise DVD's a great and fun way to work out at home. Others walk or run around their neighborhood.
Bodyweight strength training (eg. squats, planks, pushups) can be done without any equipment. And resistance bands are a great first purchase - cheap ($10-20), versatile and portable/storable.
Fitness Minutes: (1,061)
21 7/31/13 1:05 A
I can relate to being a single mom (tho I only had one child) and feeling like there is no time. One thing I can tell that made a big difference time-wise for me was the crock pot! The crock pot is a single mom's friend!
Dinner being done by the time I got home was a life-changer for me. It afforded me at least an hour (usually more) in the evenings to spend time with my child, do homework, etc. As others have noted, starting with 15 mins a day can make a world of difference. You can even make it "family time". Get a workout DVD that requires no equipment (Zumba, for example), pop it in and have a family dance party. You don't even need a DVD. Just pump up the music and for 15 mins, you and the kids just have fun! Or you could make it the way you wake the kids up in the morning - turn on the music and start dancing around waking them up.
If you need your exercise time to be "alone time", wait till the kids are in bed and do your 15 mins. or do it before they wake up.
Or as suggested, you can use the videos here on Sparkpeople. Either way, make it FUN whether it's just you or the kids.
One thing I know - the stress of being a working single parent can suck the joy out of parenting. Remember to enjoy your kids and have fun with them. If they see you exercising and enjoying it, they will like more likely than not see exercise as fun as well.
Last piece of advice - get your kids involved as soon as they are able in helping around the house. It builds responsibility, family unity, and takes stress off of you. They don't have to do things perfectly, but if they are helping out, it will mean less for you.
Do your 5 kids have gym memberships? Of course not. Only adults are dumb enough to use videos and torture themselves to become fit. Kids play.
I am sure that your kids would love to have Mom play with them, so why not have them help with the work, and then you agree to play with them for 30 minutes. Give each one a chore, and when it is all done, go play ( exercise ). It can be swimming, or just tossing a ball around in the back yard. Plus , it will give you and them more time together, which is always tough on a single Mom. With a bit less work around the house, and better health due to some exercise, and hopefully a little weight loss, you may find you are less tired.
Fitness Minutes: (49,619)
1,751 7/30/13 2:27 P
Wow. You have my sympathy. Get the kids to help you with household chores.
When I had a crazy life like that, I got up in the morning before the sun and the family got up and walked outside or put on a DVD exercise video. Followed up with a hot shower.
Fitness Minutes: (36,520)
2,235 7/30/13 2:25 P
I exercise on my lunch break. I can eat lunch at my desk while I'm working, so I take my lunch hour for a run. So you could just start walking on your lunch break and it will be a lot better than doing nothing.
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