I’m a mum of two young kids and I can tell you, I find balancing all my different roles and my chores quite challenging.
I’m sure most parents do.
So, when I found out that Kalm Pilates member Gloria from Canada is a mum of 7 children and is able to fit in exercise (including Pilates) into her routine most days, I was just so impressed. I mean, how does she do THAT?
To find out, I asked Gloria if she would be able to answer a few questions – to which she kindly agreed. (Thank you, Gloria! 💖)
Time is the one thing no parent ever has enough of, but if a mum of 7 kids can find time to exercise daily, then well… maybe we can all do it!
Let’s find out what Gloria’s secret is…
What is the age range of your kids (youngest and oldest age)?
We have 7 children. Our eldest is 20, married and has a little baby girl who is 4 months old.
Next, is our son, 18 who is in University studying for a bachelor’s in business. We have one son in high school – Grade 9 and he is almost 15.
In elementary we have 3 children. One son – 12 – Grade 6, one girl – 8 – Grade 3 and one girl – 6 – is in kindergarden.
Our youngest is 3 years old and he stays at home with his mummy, with an outing once a week to Story Hour.
As a mummy of 7 kids, what is the secret to making it work for you and the children? Any tips or routines you swear by?
Our “secret” if I would call it that is that we all work together. My eldest was always a big help when the youngest 4 were born.
All the children have to help with dishes and we have always had a ‘washing up schedule’ of some sort to take turns with that.
Someone gave me the advice years ago to make chores more fun. So on Saturday mornings, we write down everything that has to get done and then then we roll the dice to see who gets to pick first.
There are different variations you could try with this to make it different every week. I try to work it out that everyone gets an even amount of chores (2-3 , but sometimes it has to be 5 because people are missingJ) and usually pair up the younger ones with Mum or Dad. That way within an hour or two we are done and we have the afternoon to go on an outing like a shopping or a hike.
When you have such a busy life, why do you prioritise exercise?
Pain has made me take exercise seriously. After my third baby, my back was very weak and would go into spasm easily. I did not want to be on painkillers or muscle relaxants for the rest of my life.
I saw a physio therapist to get an idea about what exercises would be best and she also helped me to work on my pelvic floor and strengthening the muscles around my tail bone.
I slowly learned that the benefit of using my time to exercising far outweighed the risk of running out of time. Overall, I would end up “ahead” because I would have the energy to get the final things done for the day (I used to exercise at 6:30pm).
Having gone through 7 pregnancies, how has it changed your body? Did your body struggle at any point?
I would have to honestly say that my body is healthier and stronger than before I even had children!!
Yes, I did struggle after each of them, but especially with the last 4 babies, I knew what I needed to do to get my muscles strong again.
Exercise also has a mental component that I really like. Getting my endorphins (the happy producing hormones) released with movement has given me the gift of more energy (when you feel like you have none left) and a better mindset and mood.
How did you discover Pilates and how has it benefitted you?
After baby 4, I started to exercise regularly at the local CURVES gym but needed something on the days I couldn’t get there.
I found a book and used that to teach myself the main Pilates exercises. Later, I used videos I would find on YouTube – the Kalm Pilates Back Care video being one of them!!
How do you get Pilates to fit in with your weekly routine?
Because I am a stay-at-home mum, I have the flexibility to do it right away in the morning once the older kids are off to school. I like the mornings, because I can stretch out my hip from lying down all night. This routine really works for me!
Why do you like Kalm Pilates?
I love Kalm Pilates for the ‘Kalm’ in it!! Sarah’s teaching style is very composed and encouraging, quiet and strong at the same time. The exercises never hurt and the progression is intuitive and I’m never bored with it.
I’ve been using the Kalm Pilates free YouTube video how to relieve back pain and they were so helpful to me!! I immediately incorporated some of them into my every day routine.
When I injured my back 5 weeks ago, the Kalm Pilates back care program was exactly what I needed to slowly recover from the injury, but also continue gaining strength. I wanted to get back into exercising every day and the progressive exercises are keeping my core strong and allowing me to go at my own pace.
I can just sign on when the day works for me and pick up where I left off. I love that. It has truly been a blessing!!
What is the one thing that is surprising about having 7 kids?
That’s a tough question…I have such an overwhelming sense of WOW surrounding the whole concept.
After two children, we didn’t think we could physically have any more. There is a huge back story to that, but I will try to shorten it.
So I guess the biggest surprise of all is just being here in this reality, being given all of these precious gifts.
With each baby, we have felt like we were given a treasure and blessed beyond measure. That doesn’t mean we have a perfect life, with no flaws and perfect kids that always get along. No, no!! Life can be really hard sometimes, but we have been blessed to have such a wonderful family.
Gloria took part in the 7 Day Back Care Challenge and then progressed to the 12 week Back Care Programme (which is available at a discounted price for those who complete the 7 Day Challenge!)