Leading by Example

“Go play outside.” Every day, exasperated moms send their children to play outside so they can get a few minutes of peace and quiet while their children expend some energy.

But what about the moms? The fresh air and exercise would probably do them a world of good, too.

I’m what Jim Gaffigan calls indoorsy. I like air conditioning and comfy couches. I’d rather be sitting on my tush doing nothing most of the time. Some perks of this “laptop life” I’ve created are that I get to work in the comfort of my own home, I get to be at home with my children all the time, and they get to see their mommy creating a life she loves and earning an income that allows us to do fun things together as a family. But these perks come with a cost: it sets a really lousy example for my children of what it looks like to have an active lifestyle.

Since I would really prefer to do nothing most of the time (I’m inherently lazy), I have to be intentional about getting them outside and not only making sure they are active, but also making sure they see me being active outside of the gym, too.

This summer, I decided that weather permitting, we’d get outside for at least an hour every single day. Once or twice each week, we’ll venture out to someplace we’ve never been to explore our state and keep things new and interesting. Sometimes we take bikes, sometimes we look for new playgrounds, and sometimes we explore and hike. 

The fresh air and Vitamin D do wonders for our attitudes. Exercise keeps us from snipping at each other we do a much better job of treating each other with kindness when we’ve gotten our time outside.

As much as I love comfort, I’ve come to cherish this time with my children each day. I know it’s vital to the mental and physical health of our family.

CHALLENGE: If you’re feeling down or impatient or just plain yucky, step outside. Take a  15-minute walk, get some fresh air and Vitamin D, and you’ll likely be surprised at how much better you feel. Same goes for your kiddos! If they’re grumpy, take them out to play, and join them for an exciting round of freeze tag. TAG! You’re it!

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