I was just curious if there are any other moms of larger families out there? What are your tips and challenges? How are you balancing a workout/diet regimen?
I have 5 kids ages 5-12. All are homeschooled. In addition we have a farm with Horses, Chickens, Goats, Pigs and Rabbits- not to mention the indoor pets.
Anyhow, I find it difficult to relate to or get advice from people who have 1 kid or no kids at all. My challenges are simply different than theirs. Trust me it's easier to stick to a diet plan when the only person you cook for is yourself . Also, lets face it, their bodies haven't stretched to heck either - none of my kiddos were under 10lbs.
My time is often more restricted than those without kids or with just 1 or 2. This is partly a function of homeschooling I know. Gym childcare is not available when I am and it's too expensive to put 5 kids into anyhow. I get about 1.25 in the gym and that is it. Cardio is done at home on the spin bike.
I have taken off 50lbs (my goal is another 20) and dropped my body fat by 10 percent in a little over a year. I'm lifting 3 days a week and doing cardio another 2-3 days per week. Diet wise I am low carb. I simply serve the family what I can eat plus something that I can't- an example would be a dinner of burgers & fruit salad. No bun for me and I'll fix a small green salad instead.
Just wondering if there are others out there like me. How you have found solutions to the challenges of having a large family and maintaining or achieving your fitness goals?
02-13-2013, 08:16 PM #1
Just Curious- Any Other Moms of Large Families Out There?
02-14-2013, 04:49 AM #2
I only have 2 My youngest is 3 months, both of my boys were also very big so my body is just destroyed, lol. Just wanted to say you are doing fantastic though, that's an amazing amount of improvement for someone with 5 in homeschooling and caring for a farm. I'll be looking to you for advice!
I can think of two girls here who have quite a few kiddos, ilovethe80s has 4 very young ones (correct me if I'm wrong 80s but I think yours are all under age 5-6??), and another has 6...not sure if she's posting here anymore though.
02-14-2013, 05:03 AM #3
- Join Date: Dec 2008
- Location: New Jersey, United States
- Age: 47
- Stats: 5'0", 100 lbs
- Posts: 15,418
- Rep Power: 50003
These posts kinda irk me.
Instead of searching for ways your situation is so unique and therefore so much more difficult to achieve, how about looking for ways that we're all alike?
I don't have 5 homeschooled children, but I have interests in a fully self-sustainable farm that we will be moving to this summer to live on full time. Homeschooling may be how we end up because the public grammar school is 3 rooms and an hour drive down windy dirt roads.
I certainly don't plan to stop training, although with all the extra work I will have to adjust my calories way up.
My point is, we are all more alike than different. You may have challenges, sure. But think of the challenges one with one child has, but the child is extremely special needs and that (single) parent works full-time outside the home, in addition to being committed several nights a week to social activism.
We all have roadblocks, and must find ways to work around them.***toughcookiecrew***
02-14-2013, 07:51 AM #4
- Join Date: Aug 2012
- Location: Kentucky, United States
- Stats: 5'2", 127 lbs
- Posts: 2,134
- Rep Power: 2619
I kind of agree with discdoggie. We all may have different challenges that bring us to a certain point, but the resulting problems if you want to call them that, a lot of time ending being very similar. I don't have 5 kids and I don't live on a farm, but I do have a full-time job, I'm an MBA student, and my boyfriend and I are remodeling our house which is like having a 2nd full time job since we are trying to get it done by mid-March. I know what it's like to wish there were at least 2 more hours in every day and at least one extra day in every week too. I would be willing to bet finding the time to train is a challenge for majority of the ladies here. We all have our time constraints and challenges, and I think that's why most of us are here, to find support and encouragement, not to mention advice and new ideas for how to manage nutrition and training, meet our goals, and work it all around our super busy lives.
I can also definitely sympathize with feeling like you have to fix two separate meals for dinner and buy all kinds of separate groceries. I did that for the first couple of years my boyfriend and I were together (we've been together 7 years and he has 3 kids from his previous marriage) That got old pretty quick though and I decided if I was going to be the one in charge of groceries and meal preparation people were either going to eat what I bought/fixed, or they were going to have to figure out a way to get other things themselves. They complained about it a little at first but they actually got over it faster than I expected them too (maybe because they can eat as much crap as they want at their mom's house because from what they tell me, that's all that's available). Once they learned that vegetables, whole grains, and lean meat can taste really good, they were perfectly happy to eat whatever I made because it tastes way better than anything their mom makes (poor woman can barely boil water) or any fast food they'd get. Not saying this is the right route for everyone, but it's worked for us. When I first started living with him all any of them would eat was hamburgers, pizza, and tacos. Vegetables were the devil and so was any kind of bread, rice, or pasta that wasn't white. We still get pizza every now and then and I still make tacos or burritos sometimes, but it certainly isn't a weekly occurrence anymore. I don't make anything with white anything anymore and they've gotten to the point where they actually prefer the whole grain version. And they all really enjoy vegetables now. I definitely think it's perfectly acceptable when you fix burgers to not eat the bun if you really want to do low carb. You shouldn't feel bad about that at all. I do that most of the time when we have burgers, not because I do the low carb thing but because I'd rather save the calories from the bread for something awesome, like dessert . Most of the time when I do make tacos/burritos, I skip the tortillas (the one thing I do not buy whole grain is tortillas, the texture is completely wrong and they taste like feet to me) and put my taco meat on top of a pile of greens and other fresh veggies with a little bit of cheese and a load of homemade salsa. I don't miss the tortilla at all. My boyfriend's daughter does this now more often than not too because she says she likes it better that way.
All that being said, your kids are extremely lucky to grow up in the environment you are providing for them. I'm actually extremely jealous of them. My grandparents had a farm when I was a kid and some of my best memories are of my summers spent there taking care of the animals and learning how to take care of the crops. Nothing teaches responsibility and respect for hard work like time spent on a farm. In my opinion, taking time to take care of yourself is one of the most important things you can do for your kids. They need a happy and healthy mom and you are doing the best you can to give them that. I also think seeing you doing whatever you can to be healthy and take care of yourself is a great example for them and will end up teaching them what it takes to be healthy physically, nutritionally, etc. I got my love of vegetables of every variety from my mom because that's what she fed me as a kid. They way I grew up, you ate what was put in front of you or you didn't eat. What was put in front me most of the time was chicken, some kind of rice or beans because they were cheap and we were broke, and a huge pile of veggies. I also thing that's where my love of cooking and finding ways to make foods that kids are naturally averse to taste fantastic to them comes from. In the end we all have our struggles, some will have the same ones you do, some won't, but our differences really aren't all that different because in the end they produce a lot of the same issues. We're all here to support and encourage each other and offer advice and help where we can. Keep doing what you're doing to the best of your abilities because it's working. And if any of us (especially the ladies that have been here a while and do have kids) can offer you any advice on nutrition or training or just life in general, all you need to do is ask. I haven't been around here long but I can tell you that everyone here is very supportive and encouraging and there will always be someone with a suggestion or advice that's going to be end up being very helpful.
02-14-2013, 09:34 AM #5
02-14-2013, 10:04 AM #6
I didn't see a problem with this, I thought she was just looking for others with a larger brood to relate to. Sometimes it's nice to relate to others in similar circumstances. Yes, we all have different challenges, but they aren't the same. I get frustrated trying to get in a workout with a 3 month old baby, sometimes it's nice to talk to other moms who understand. I have friends who are in college without kids and think that if I just put him in a jumperoo to cry for 1 hour, I can easily get in a workout.... whereas their biggest challenge is how to not get fat while binge drinking on the weekend! Different challenges, but it's nice to relate to others too
02-14-2013, 03:03 PM #7
I have a larger family. We have 4 kids and I have a husband who is a Drill Sergeant in the Army so he's just about never home to help. I am finding it easier now with 3 in school though. I have 1 at home and I have been very lucky to have a gym that allows children to come and sit while you workout. They even have a mom/child room with treadmills, ellipticals, bikes, and weights as well and a gated in play area so you watch your kids while you get a workout. I did find that when the youngest was a baby it was harder, but I did programs at home such as p90x or Jillian's the shred. I also run a lot so I'd put them in the jogger and still get out there. I even would run laps around our property while the kids played in the yard if I had no other way to get a workout in. I think we all find ways if we want it bad enough.
My biggest struggle is feeding everyone. Planning ahead has helped me with this. I will cook 3-4 days worth of chicken or salmon for me and keep it in the fridge. I don't expect them to eat what I do every day so I will cook their meals each day, but try to have mine already prepared so I am not cooking 2 meals a day.
Oh and another idea for you would be to head to a track. Your kids can play while you run sprints, or do lunges w/ weights etc. Just bring hand weights and create your own routine. They can get some outside time while you get a workout.
02-14-2013, 04:38 PM #8
I actually cook chicken ahead of time and have pre-measured bags in the freezer- it helps for the nights things aren't going as smoothly. We've always eaten a healthy diet (no fast food and very little packaged food) so the kids are pretty good with a simple meat, veggie and salad.
Your gym sounds very parent friendly! My husband works 12-14 hr days which means I'm on my own a lot. We're fortunate to have grandparents and good friends nearby!