The term #fitmum has been making its rounds on social media for a long time. And often, the popular hashtag is accompanied by pictures of in-shape mommas who can lift, bench and curl, all with a gorgeous baby on their hip.
But is fitness the only important factor in being a fit mum? Not really, according to these awesome mums who share invaluable advice on how they balance the tough job of motherhood and their overall wellbeing.
“Being a fit mum has to start with mental and emotional. To me, there’s no point looking all sassy and on-top of your game when deep inside you’re stressed, frustrated, unhappy and down. We have to be emotionally and mentally strong for our kids.
hereafter we look into taking care of ourselves. Mums often put their families and everyone above them, but don’t forget that we have to feel good and look good too. Have self-love for yourself, so you are ever ready to take care of your family.”
Cheryl @weecheryl, 33, is mum to Marc, two years old, and Emma, eight months old.
“A fit mum is one healthy in body and mind. I have, over the years, gotten better at taking time to do things that remind me of who I am and who I was before I became a mother. It’s important to not lose that sense of self because when the kids grow up and leave the nest, we need to be able to identify ourselves in a capacity of being more than just mummy.”
Kelly @kellylatimer, 33, is mum to three-year-old Sienna.
“Being a fit mum means being confident and being able to be a role model for my kids. It took me a long time for me to realise that you need to have self-love to be a good mother. I’m a full-time working mother of three and it is important to me that my kids see that I have a career and that I can provide for the family – and at the same time, be healthy. So I try as much as I can to lead by example.
“Self-love for me means focusing on myself, taking care of myself and, for me, it has always been in fitness and nutrition. So as much as I can, I always try to put away time in the morning to go for my workouts, whether it be a trail run, lifting, yoga etc. I try to participate in multi races a year – obstacles racing, half marathons etc – and I make sure my kids are part of it, whether in the training or at the finish line with the rest of my team. And in time, hopefully, they will develop a healthy habit of being active and what it means to put in effort to achieve something.”
Jennifer @jlipose, 40, is mum to Cooper, nine, Logan, seven, and Elysa, five.
“Being a fit mum means giving your 100 per cent. I try to push myself to go further every day and that makes me happy.”
Melissa @melissackoh, 30, is mum to 11-month-old Noah.
“To me, being a fit mum doesn’t necessarily mean setting aside consistent time slots for proper workouts, but figuring out how to blend strength or cardio training into other daily tasks or bonding time with the kids. You might be quite as effective as getting yourself to the gym or clocking a full workout, but there’s the added benefit of encouraging kids to enjoy physical activities together too.”
Natasha @gonatgoh is 39, and mum to two boys aged nine and six, and a two-year-old girl.
“Being a fit mum, for me, means staying young at heart. I’m open to trying new things and to play along with the kids. Mental fitness means being open-minded and embracing joy.”
Tjin @tjinlee, 46, is mum to Tyler, seven and Jake, four.
“A fit mum to me means a mother who is able to handle the physical and mental challenges that come her way during her motherhood journey and inspires her children to be strong, independent and caring individuals. She is resilient and resourceful and inspires others to be the best versions of themselves too.”
Dawn @thatmomoffour, 41, is mum to four girls aged 14, 12, eight and four.
“A fit mum means taking care of myself well to ensure that I can also care for little Starley to the best of my ability. And in terms of physical fitness, carrying and chasing my little one around is probably good enough to count as a workout?”
Debbie @debbwie, 23, is mum to eight-month-old Starley.
“Being a fit mum to me basically means being mentally (or emotionally) and physically fit. We are our children’s pillar of support and being physically fit will mean we can be there 24/7 for them without a day of downtime. Also, being physically fit will translate to being mentally (and emotionally) fit.
“What does this mean? To me, my life after work is the most important, for that is time for my family, my kids. So the only time left on weekdays is lunchtime and it is reserved only for my passion, that is, yoga practice. I try to practise yoga daily whenever possible. To me, this precious daily one hour session is not only a time for me to stretch and sweat it out but more purposefully, it is my me-time, the time when I get to unwind, de-stress and a precious outlet for me to let go and let it be. This is what I mean by being mentally fit.
“Practising yoga, for me, is a precious time-out or an avenue for me to let go of whatever unhappiness or stress I may face at work or home. This way, I feel less tensed or edgy when I get home to face my hubby or kids.”
Fiona @fionacai, 36, is mum to two girls, aged three years and seven months.
“A fit mum needs to keep up with the kid’s development in all aspects! Apart from learning, health and mental wellness, I try to listen to the stories that Miley wants to share, be it a good read or anything she finds funny and important enough to make her want to tell me. I think children loves it when adults listen to them.”
Ripple @ripplesim, 36, is mum to nine-year-old Miley.
“Being a fit mum means setting the example for and being a role model advocating health and fitness to my boys.”
Limaran @limaranagustina, 33, is mum to two boys aged two years and seven months old.
“I think being a fit mum is all about prioritising and ensuring that time is well spent. I plan my days out because I find it works well for me and helps to reduce my anxiety. Also, I don’t watch television, because I just feel like there’s so much else I would rather do!”
Pearlly @PearllyLuo, 31, is mum to a four-year-old boy.
“It’s gotta be both physically and emotionally fit! When I was pregnant for the second time, I’m more adamant about having my me-time, which translates to heading out to nature for a run and a trip to the supermarket.”
Kareen @kareenlai, 37, is mum to 10-year-old twins and a six-month-old boy.
“First and foremost, being a fit mum allows me to be a better mum. It is my time to use not only to physically train, but also mentally destress. It also teaches my daughter that it is important for all of us to take time out of our day to be healthy and to do something for ourselves. This isn’t being selfish, rather it is helping us to grow and discover ourselves. Now that she is starting to get older, we exercise together as a family to share that experience too.
“For me, staying fit means I train at least once a day, but it is almost always when my daughter is at school. This includes an early 5am start to get some work done, then getting her up and ready for school and I will then go and do a training session. It’s about prioritising what you want and need and working out a way to balance that.”
Natalie @rockstararms, 48, is mum to 11-year-old Lilliana France.
“To me, being a fit mum means being a good role model for my daughters in terms of leading a healthy lifestyle – eating well, exercising and taking good care of our bodies.
“I do so through my daily routine – the girls see what I do, especially when I come back all perspiring from my morning runs.”
Yvonne @lovelivelaughrun, 40, is mum to Lea, five, and Eva, two.
“Being a fit mum means being able to cook or do chores while carrying your baby on your hip! Hahaha. I am so lopsided because of this.”
Dipna @dipnalim, 28, is mum to a 10-month-old boy.
“When I started working out, my intention was to lose weight and gain fitness so that I could keep up with my kids. Now, I want to be a role model for my girls. A ‘fit’ mum that not only embodies physical fitness, but has true health in all aspects – physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. This is because ‘as within, so without’.
“I lead an active lifestyle, adopt good eating habits and I take time out daily to meditate and to recharge the soul. It may be a tough balancing act for most mothers, but it is not an impossible one. I will constantly remind myself to take baby steps towards becoming that healthier version of myself.”
Jasmine @go_jasminegoh, 40, is mum to Cherish, 13, and Faith, 11.
A version of this post first appeared on Young Parents.