When MI OLA brand ambassador Jen P. (@piddlepaddler) isn’t running marathons, SUPing her local lake, running her son to and from his activities, or working, she is getting out there exploring our beautiful world. She’s ventured to the Galapagos Islands, Costa Rica (multiple times — heck yes!), Cayman Islands, Outer Banks, and more! To say that Jen loves to #getoutthere and explore with her family is an understatement. We caught up with this busy, active mom to get her tips on how she balances fitness, fun, and family as a MI OLA mom. Check it out below!
Finding the Balance Between Fitness, Fun and Family as a Mom
I’ve enjoyed being an ambassador for MI OLA – it’s really been an honor to be connected to a company that supports women in their pursuit of fun, fitness and adventure. We do a lot to spread the word about MI OLA’s awesome suits, both in person and by creating content that shows MI OLA in action. But sometimes, I worry that the view of all of us out there, having great times and doing all sorts of fun stuff, makes it seem like we don’t have real lives!
Well, I am here to tell you that we MI OLA Ambassadors most certainly are regular people just like YOU (which is why MI OLA is great for EVERY body!). We have jobs, families and real life responsibilities. We love to have fun, be active and enjoy the water – – photos show us enjoying a paddle, or a surf, or a beautiful yoga pose…but I for one, am also married and a mom of an 11-year old boy. I currently work part-time from home, but for many years I worked full time as the owner of a retail store. Talk about crazy hours! So you see the fun pictures of paddles, swimming, surfing, fishing…but I also do laundry, run errands, make dinner, help my son with his homework, drive him to and from school, and sit in front of my laptop working just like zillions of other people.
And just like loads of women out there…I have to find the balance between the fun and the responsibility. Having a child (or several) is next-level in terms of having lots to juggle, and I know many of you out there are living this same reality. Here are a few of the things I try to keep in mind to keep the balance between fitness, fun, and family:
- My children and family are priority #1. ALWAYS. But part of what makes me the best that I can be is making sure I get in my workouts several times each week. So finding that time is essential. Thankfully, my husband fully recognizes and supports the reality that getting in my workout time makes me a happier and calmer human. So by supporting my efforts to fit in my workout time, he is making sure I am able to be my best self for the family (meaning, I am LESS CRAZY, haha!).
- Sometimes you have to REALLY WORK to make the time. As in, set the alarm for 4:30am and just get up and go. For many years, I had to have my workouts completed and be back home, ready for the day, by 6:30am. Getting up was sometimes really hard (ok, often) , but knowing that it was my ONLY chance to get out there was usually what got me going. If you can connect other folks who have the same early-morning workout schedule, it really helps to have others waiting for you to show up. And I promise you that once you are up and out the door, you will always be glad you made the effort – especially if you are outside being greeted with a gorgeous sunrise!
- Accept that there will be days when your plans to work out don’t work out. Even the best laid plans can be foiled by a kid with a fever, or a baby that didn’t sleep through the night. It just happens. Your kids need you and that is what it means to be a parent. It’s ok! Once you are able to get back to your normal workout routine, the days you weren’t able to get out will quickly fade from memory. Even if it means missing being outside on the most picture-perfect, glorious day you’ve ever seen (yes, this has happened to me). There will be more glorious days, but right now your kiddo needs your time. Be in the moment, go with the flow and accept that this is where you are meant to be that day.
- Setting goals, trying new things, and staying active are all healthy examples for your child. Don’t forget that by doing what you do for fitness/fun and the WAY you do it is setting an example for your kids. Even if they don’t always admit it or tell you outright, they see that their mom is a strong person who has drive, discipline, a willingness to try something new and accept challenges. No better way to pass along these values to your child than by walking the walk yourself!
- And lastly, I know everyone always says it, but it is true: the time your kids are with you goes by FAST. Before you know it, they are growing up, gaining independence and coming into their own. So stay fit, have fun, and cherish every minute you have with them!
Interested in joining the MI OLA Ambassador Program?
Know of anyone who should #GetOutThere with us?
Then shoot us an email at info@MI-OLA.com