Episode 3

Motherhood Unmasked Episode 3 Engage Your Core

Engage You Core

Connecting with your family, like working on your abs, is intentional. And like it or not, these days we have nothing. but. time. How can our families come out of this pandemic better, not bitter? Let’s talk about it.

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Episode 3 transcript

So with the gym closed and a pantry full of quarantine snacks, I’m trying to keep from ballooning up by the end of this.

But it’s hard y’all, especially since Joanna Gaines shared the zucchini bread recipe we had at her restaurant, Magnolia Table. I can’t stand zucchini but we are tearing up this zucchini bread!

So needless to say, maintaining my waist line takes intention—consistent intention.

Hopefully, you’re doing better than me if working out is even on your radar.

I get it if you say ice cream is getting you through this, you’ll deal with the extra pounds later!

But I did a quick HIIT workout this morning and with every exercise the instructor reminded me to engage my core aka suck your stomach in.

And every time she said it, she reinforced the importance of staying connected with your core.

Because beyond a cute six pack, engaging your core supports the rest of your activity during exercise.

It’s foundational.

And when you think about it, your family is foundational too.

They’re at the core of what matters in life. And some of us are noticing are families are as flabby as our stomachs.

All this time cooped up together during this quarantine has been revealing, hasn’t it?

Real talk, it’s been a blessing and a burden for me.

My oldest is a couple years from college. So I’m very aware how little time I have left with him before he makes his mark in the world.

And it’s been good having our family together.

Because between school, basketball, ballet, and all the things, life didn’t leave us a whole lot of time for family connection.

So we’ve been appreciating each other more—remembering we really do love each other.

But we’ve also had constant exposure to each other’s flaws.

And you know how we give others our best behavior and save the bulk of our foolishness for family?

Well, that’s been magnified by 24-7 family togetherness!

I never realized how much I depend on the built in breaks provided by the school day or a day at the office.

But this time together, this too shall pass, right?

This pandemic will end and lifestyles will resume. So I’ve had to shift perspective and find the silver lining on this Coronavirus cloud.

And it’s the opportunity to engage my core.

Because what this pandemic has done is reduced everything down to what matters—who you trust in and the people in your home.

After my faith in Jesus, my family comes second. They’re a part of the nucleus everything else in my life is built around.

Remember that term nuclear family? There’s a reason for that.

A nucleus is the hub of a cell. It’s what makes all other cell functions work.

And just like a cell is only as healthy as its nucleus, your life and the life of every member of your family is only as strong as your family unit.

What’s the reason workout instructors give for telling you to hold your abs in during exercise?

It protects your back from injury.

Could the blessing in this pandemic be the opportunity to invest in our families and protect our lives and legacies from injury?

And I know you’re baking with your kids and teaching them life skills, I’m doing that too.

But what about connecting through conversation? To address issues you typically avoid with busyness. To reach out and have the uncomfortable conversations?

Did I just make life too complicated?

I know that’s A LOT to ask in a pandemic on top of hand washing and physical distancing and feeling like your preparing for battle every time you go to the grocery store!

And even when our regularly scheduled lives resume and you come home after working a full day and picking up kids from practice to fix dinner and make sure homework gets done.

Connection too? It sounds draining; I get it.

This introvert would love nothing more than to close the door to my room and recharge for hours in the middle of the day.

And don’t get me wrong.

You absolutely need personal space. We all do. It’s harder to come by these days, but you need a moment to just—be.

But when I’m tempted to INDULGE in escape behavior, I come back to a couple things.

  1. When am I going to have an opportunity like this again?

And I don’t just mean being quarantined for weeks under the threat of sickness and death. We hope THAT never happens again.

But beyond that, when will you have as much time to spend with your kids as you do when they’re living under your roof?

2. Since we’re here, how can everyone in my house come out on the other side of this better, not bitter?

Does it mean asking everyone about their feelings all day? No, but it could mean being more observant. For me, I either create or take advantage of time alone with my husband and each child to check in.

I ask how they’re feeling. Who and what they’re missing. How they’re sleeping.

Just trying to engage them and see where they’re at mentally and emotionally.

And along with noticing some cool things about my people, I discovered the real struggle one of my kids has with confidence.

Everything in me wants to fix it and I KNOW I can’t, but there’s something to be said for giving the gift of being seen and heard.

And if your family doesn’t normally connect through conversation, it will feel awkward.

My husband and I didn’t grow up in families that created space to share. And even though it’s something I’ve been intentional about since our family began, it’s a challenge for ME sometimes because I’m processing my own thoughts and feelings.

So it’s not about solving everyone’s problems to earn a perfect score as a mom. There are no grades, just grace as we try to stay alert and open to the most important people in our lives.

And that’s tough to do whether you work in or outside the home with all the activity of modern life.

But like exercise, connection doesn’t just happen. When’s the last time you said, “Oh I have a few minutes let me do some crunches?”

THAT’s not happening unless you prioritize and make time for it.

So what one thing can you implement to engage your core? What small act could you add into your daily routine that builds your family?

If you journal, write down what you come up with. Something about writing things down reflects their importance and makes doing it more likely.

May staying connected help us stay in love with the family God gave us.

Until next time, remember, when it comes to you being the mother of your children—YOU are the woman for the job! Take care.

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