By:Wardah Hartley

Each year Mother’s Day is a reminder to us all how important our moms are in our lives. As a new mom, it’s still such a treat to now be included in this special group of women. On Mother’s Day, moms are encouraged, no, basically forced to spoil themselves and allow their loved ones to dote on them.

Ask any mom any other time of the year and most would feel guilty to even give themselves an hour for just themselves. Most moms are totally overcome with guilt at the thought of putting themselves first even if it is just for an hour. It’s a vicious cycle, most feel too guilty to give themselves time to even exercise, so we lose our pre-baby bodies and never regain it again and that further affects self-esteem and causes more negative self-talk. This needs to change.

It actually sounds counter intuitive but giving yourself some “me-time” will actually make you better at ‘mothering’. I speak from experience. When I had my son two years ago, I suffered from terrible postpartum depression and the one key factor that ‘pulled me out of the darkness’ so to speak, was exercise – that hour of escapism and departure from my identity as a ‘mom’ and ‘wife’ was exactly what I needed to come back refreshed and ready to be the best possible mom I could be.

This is exactly what exercise offers you, as a mom, our lives revolve around constantly giving of ourselves to everyone around us, be it our kids, husband/partner, work colleagues or boss. Exercise and working out is a way to give back to yourself, recharge that self-love battery and get a renewed sense of vigour for everyday life again.

This is why I love coming to the Switch Playground, it is the ultimate escape for me, whether I am instructing in a class or just participating – I leave all other identities and labels I carry all day every day at the door, and when I step onto the Playground, I am just a girl coming to move her body and have fun, I lose myself in the vibe, and it’s so easy to do so with all the highly energetic instructors, live DJ, lights and ever changing workout circuit. The hour flies by and I feel like I walk out a new person, a little stronger, a little more confident and even though I am drenched in sweat, I am happy and feeling refreshed to get back into my life again.

As for Mother’s Day, if you have never afforded yourself the hour of self-care you so deserve – how about giving it a try at a Switch class – lose yourself in the energy of the Playground – you’ll walk out a new woman.

Wardah Hartley is a Switch Playground instructor, personal trainer as well as a fitness and mommy blogger for www.fabufit.co.za. She is a wife and mom to her two-year old son Esa.