The Yummy Mummies Survival Guide 2.0

This addition of The Yummy Mummy survival guide has been inspired by The Fierce and Fantastic Females Company who asked us to provide some guidance on how exercise can improve a toddler’s behaviour and help tame their tantrums.  We hope you find it helpful and it shines a light on what can seem like an endless dark tunnel of screaming, snot and red faces that no one told you about or told you how to deal with.  There is no magic wand to wave and we certainly can’t change your toddler (sorry about thatJ) but there are some proven tools and techniques that can help soften the blow and help you enjoy the process rather than fight the fight every day.  So lets get started….  Here are our top tips on how exercise can help your toddler not seem like the Tasmanian Devil.

1 – Exercise your body – Mummy and Toddler

I was told when I was pregnant that a child is like a dog….as long as they have a run round a field every day and have regular food then you will be alright.  As strange as this advice seemed at the time, it was true for both me and my son at the time and it still is to this day. You don’t need to be an expert to know the benefits of exercise on any human (a quick Google search will do that), but the question is, are you actually doing it?  We all know how hard it can be to exercise with our children (at least in the conventional way of hitting the gym) which is why we have built our business around the whole families fitness.  Ensuring you and your toddler get to sweat it out on the daily is essential to both of your current and future happiness.  We were not told enough about the benefits of exercise at school and that’s not changed so to ensure your current health and happiness (and that of your child’s future health and happiness) we need to make it part of our lives in whatever way we can.  Working out is NOT just something you do when you want to lose weight, despite what the magazines tell you.  It is a fundamental part of life that needs to be embraced, even when you have a screaming toddler hanging off your leg.  By exercising now, you are helping yourself and your toddler release the stress of your day and you will also be setting a shining example to your little one of how to manage life in the future.  Don’t wait till you have more time (it never comes), don’t wait till you have more energy (that also may never come), don’t wait till you have the right clothes or have lost some more weight, JUST DO IT!  If you don’t know where to start then come along to one of our family friendly bootcamps.  First session is always FREE.  P.S The regular snacks are also true so make sure you have your handbag packed!

2 – Exercise Your Mind – Mummy & Toddler

When you’re a mum to a toddler, you can feel like someone who should be locked up in a padded room at times and your toddler will often behave like someone who should be locked in the room next door to you!  Although there are many reasons for this, we believe that a large contributing factor to this is a busy mind…. That just won’t SHUT UP!!

Mum – I have shopping to do, the house is a mess, I’m tired, I hate my body, I’m no good at this, I feel like a failure, the dog shit on the carpet again, I have to get to work, no one listens to me, I can’t cope, I want to give up…..

Toddler – I want to get up at 5am, why doesn’t mum want to get up? I want to play, I’m hungry, I am NOT tired….what if I miss something while I’m sleeping, I want to play, I want that NOOOOOWWWWW, I want to run around the shops, I want to chase that car, that dog, that cat, that leaf! And so the story goes one…..

As you can see (and can probably relate), here we have 2 heads filled to the brim with demands and activity…..is it any wonder we are struggling??

Our advice here is to find a way for both you and your toddler to just CHILL and clear some space in them busy minds.

When my son was small I described my head as feeling the same as an indoor soft play centre.  It was packed with noise and chaos so when my toddler decided he wanted to add to that with a need…I literally didn’t have the headspace for it.  I couldn’t give him the time and space he needed and he couldn’t give me the time and space I needed soooooooo…..it would end in a tantrum from both of us.  He would scream and kick and I would shout and cry….it was very dramatic and no fun for anyone.  As time went on I learnt many lessons, one of which was that I needed to empty my head and switch off at least once a day if this was ever going to work, and he needed the same.  His way of switching off would be creative expression (drawing, kicking leaves, playing on the floor together or sometimes just laying down with nothing to do and just being happy together) and mine would be literally switching off from the overwhelming responsibility (mediation, journaling, counselling, talking, reading, a warm bath or sometimes a good cry).  Whatever you choose, just remember that your mind is just as important as your body and you MUST give it the time it needs to recharge, refuel and refocus.  Believe me when I say, both you and your little one will benefit hugely from this as long as you recognise its importance and make it a priority.

3 – Exercise Acceptance

The biggest gift you can give to yourself and your toddler is acceptance.  There is a comforting peace that can be gained from stepping off the treadmill of life and stopping the constant need to control what is going on.  In my experience, when a toddler wakes up in a bad mood and has decided he or she is not going to do as you say there is little you can do about it…so why try?  Sometimes you just have to hold your hands up and say Hey, you know what, my house is a mess, my body has changed, my hair hasn’t been brushed and I am honestly not sure if my teeth are either.  This is a moment in my life where I am not at the top of my game and things aren’t what I thought they would be, BUT I’m cool with that.  Time passes, things change and for now I am just going to have to roll with what I have.  I’m going to sit here with my snot covered clothes and my teething toddler, who looks like he might explode at any time, and enjoy this cold coffee I made for myself 3 hours ago.  Yes that mum at toddler group is making it look easy and yes I wish I had her hair, but I don’t know what’s going on for her and maybe some days she looks like this too. Nothing in life is permanent and I’m sure there will be a day that I will look back on this and wish I didn’t put so much pressure on myself.  With that in mind, I choose to take that view today and enjoy a cuddle with my child who has dried food on their face and refuses to have a bath and just enjoy this moment as it’s the only moment I truly have.  This moment is a gift, which is why it is called the present, so lets try to receive it with gratitude and hope that the calm I am now feeling makes my toddler want to have a nap.

And that’s it.  As you can see, exercising is important.  Its important to exercise your body, its important to exercise your mind and it is important to exercise acceptance for what is.  The Feel Fabulous Project has many other tools and techniques that can help but if you take on these tips alone and never see us again, we know they will still make a big difference to your life and your experience of being a mum.  If you would like to stay up to date with what we do and the advice that comes from our army of mums who we work with then please feel free to visit our website or follow us on Facebook.

Lots of Love

Hannah and Stacey x x

The Feel Fabulous Project

Helping Mums Find Themselves Again

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