7 Helpful Ways to Make Time for Mom

mom and toddler walking

Happy Mother’s Day! Here’s to a wonderful day dedicated to the most important job ever—being a mom.

Whether moms stay at home, work part-time, or full-time, being a parent never quits. That’s the thing: No matter how busy you are, someone is always going to be looking up to you. And your temperament will be the thermometer for your household. In other words, if you ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy! So, this is all the more reason for moms to get some workouts in and get away frequently, for their own sanity and the household’s.

I know I know: This is easier said than done. And dads work hard too. But today is a good day to focus on moms, and what we can do to help them prioritize their health.

As a mother of two toddlers, my wife knows a thing or two about being busy. She works a part-time job as a teacher and two full-time jobs as a destruction-of-the-house preventer. So it’s safe to say that she needs frequent breaks. But this is a team effort; I have to do my part to make this happen. So here are a few tips to get your ideas rolling. Keep in mind, most of these are geared toward families with smaller children, since families with older kids or teenagers typically have a little more flexibility and time.

Before we dig in, a little disclaimer to my fellow dads: This is NOT a Mother’s Day gift. It is a year-round act of sacrifice for someone who makes sacrifices all the time. This doesn’t wear out in a few weeks, but should be a team effort that gets ingrained into your habits. Kapeesh? Ok, good. Here we go.

1. Designate some workout days and times.

If this is a “whenever we get the chance” thing, that chance will never happen. I recommend designating days and times. For example, have her work out early mornings Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays while you get the kids ready for school or daycare. Or if she’s not a morning person, cook in bulk during the week so that the leftovers make dinner easier. She can work out after she gets off of work, while you prepare it.

2. Kick her out of the house!

This one is EXTREMELY important. If your wife is anything like mine, she will have a difficult time putting herself first. And trust me, there will ALWAYS be a reason for her to stay behind, because someone will always need something. This is why you have to kick her out. This one’s on you dads; take her health goals seriously, put her first, and make sure she gets out that door. It’s only 45min-1 hour. We can handle it.

3. Organize a nifty gifty clean-up time.

Let her escape while you clean the house. If you have little ones, I highly recommend the Clean Up Pick Up song from Daniel Tiger. It works wonders and is sure to make King Friday proud. Not that we should care. I mean the guy proclaimed himself king over a neighborhood. Like they even needed one. OK, moving on.

4. Take the kids for a stroll.

Load up the stroller and go for a long walk! This one gives mommy the time to get away while you can get some steps in. Win-win. For bonus points: Walk them to the store and come back with a bottle of wine or a little post-workout piece of chocolate. No matter how healthy mommy is, she’ll always appreciate that. ; )

5. Buy her some training (but proceed with caution).

Alright, I’m all about giving her surprises, but personal training is NOT one of them. If you want to steer clear of the “What are you trying to say” conversation, just ask her if it is something that would interest her. Personal training will make her time in the gym more efficient, increase her motivation outside of the gym, and add more accountability in getting her out of the house. If she has a training session scheduled, she won’t find reasons to stay at home. So it may be worth starting the conversation.

6. Get her some company!

Encourage her to find some friends in a group class, and while they’re away, meet up with their husbands for play dates with the kids.

7. Remember every day is Mother’s Day.

Getting mom some free time isn’t just about providing the time slot, it’s about helping her be more efficient around the clock. So remember: You are in this together. Help keep the house clean around the clock. She shouldn’t have to be distracted during her workout thinking about how much housework needs to be done! Cook dinner once in a while, if you don’t already. Lastly, don’t get bogged down with gender roles and wait for her to do stuff. If something needs to be done, do it. Marriage is about sacrifice, not about designating places and responsibilities. Sharing the weight will benefit your entire family’s health!

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Luke Andrus is a certified personal trainer, ACE health coach, writer, folk music drummer, husband, and a father. Most of his writing experience is in poetry and fictional short stories, and he also proposed to his wife with a self-published children’s book. He is a Narnia nerd with a degree in History, a minor in English, and a semi-obsession with the French language. He believes that fitness is not just about vanity, but about lifestyle, integrity, and the ability to take control of your life.