Advertisements, exercise and over-sharing my emotions

I have a bit of a confession to make. I often get a little weepy with any kind of video, advert or film clip in which children are depicted growing up. It started during my first pregnancy. Any advert with a cute cooing baby and I was a tearful, hormonal mess.

the new babies 527_pe

It was even worse with my second, and even now something as trivial as the Robinson’s advert ‘They grow up so fast’ has the power to elicit an emotional response.

I guess it just reflects that overwhelming jumble of emotions most parents have around their children growing up and changing; pride at the new skills and developments; worry for the new challenges they face; sadness or perhaps a teensy bit of relief at our changing role with their growing independence.

Putting away my little girl’s first baby clothes caused a similar knot in my heart.

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But expose me to an advert with any reference to the family life-cycle and a bit of emotive music and I am a blubbering wreck.

Anyone remember the P&G advert ‘Pick them back up’.

I’ve just re-watched it now and am grateful that my husband is out so as not to witness yet another advert induced bawl. The narrative is simple: Babies, children and young adults fall over or fail in various sporting activities. Their Mum’s pick them up and tend to their injuries. The final scene is a grown-up version of these youngsters succeeding at Olympic level. The final caption:

‘For teaching us that falling only makes us stronger. Thank you Mum’

Do watch it and tell me it’s not just me who gets some kind of tug on the heartstrings?

So when one of my favourite exercise-inspiring bloggers Dr Juliet Mcgratten posted this video on her Facebook I was going to have to watch it.

For those of you without time, or my enthusiasm, for more video watching, there are lots of snap shots of Mummies (or strictly speaking American Mommies) engaged in various workouts with their children watching, or taking part with them. At the end a little girl thanks her Mum for inspiring her, she then steps up to the weights saying it is her turn.

Now, we have established I have a weakness for this sort of thing, but I think the overriding message really powerful.

It has completely changed the way I feel about trying to squash a bit of exercise into my busy life.

This Saturday I felt a twinge of ‘Mummy-guilt’ at taking part in the Parkrun and disrupting family time. Mr R took the children to watch. I’m sure they quite enjoyed it, but I still had a worrying niggle about taking time out for myself.

A similar feeling occurs at the weekends when my husband or I try to sneak in a quick home workout. I have many cute pictures of Sunflower joining in with tiny hand-weights but I worry about the 20 minutes that I’m not engaging her in crafts, reading, play-dough or other educational activities.

After watching this video, I no longer feel so troubled by taking a bit of adult time to exercise.  In the ‘Ten Minute Spare’ household, home workouts and running are part of every week. I am no great athlete. I’ve never run marathons or anything close to a sub-20 5k, but I hope that my children will unconsciously absorb the importance of, and joy in, physical activity.

It might be that running or organised exercise is not your thing. But perhaps you’ve struggled to do a bit of gardening or housework whilst multi-tasking with the kids? Maybe worried that you are not giving them undivided attention? I think the message of this video is still applicable. The daily routines would perhaps not make for such a glamorous video, but pushing a lawn-mower counts as ‘moderate aerobic activity’ and heavy gardening or shovelling counts towards muscle strengthening as recommended by the NHS.

Health benefits can be derived from both formal ‘exercise’ or lots of daily physical activity. So if you’re not into running, but instead you have a child helping you with the gardening, they might just be inspired to make it part of their life when older.

As parents we have an enormous responsibility, knowing that our children watch and absorb so much of our everyday lives. I could do without my children emulating my overly emotional response to advertisements. But I truly hope that I can inspire them with enthusiasm to enjoy a range of physical activities and to care for maintaining their health as they grow.

The Twinkle Diaries
Fitness 4 Mamas

18 thoughts on “Advertisements, exercise and over-sharing my emotions

  1. DrJuliet May 16, 2015 / 9:28 pm

    Sorry for making you blubber but pleased it helped you rethink how you feel about exercise and kids! I know exactly how you feel in terms of guilt but I’ve learnt that I’m a more patient, attentive mum if I take those minutes for myself. So, it’s better for them and you and they really do copy what you do. As discussed on FB though I would never lift those weights right next to the toddlers for fear of squashing them!

    Liked by 1 person

    • tenminutesspare May 16, 2015 / 9:37 pm

      ☺️ absolutely, I’m not much a weight lifter really but would definitely not trust my strength or co/ordination that much. Just sent you an email actually as worried I’d been a bit inconsiderate using your video inspiration without checking. Was just about to make this post private now – but nice that you’ve read it first!

      Like

  2. Lindsay @ Newcastle Family Life May 17, 2015 / 8:25 pm

    I get so emotional at things too such becoming a mum. I really need to start being more active to show a good example to my own children xx

    Like

    • tenminutesspare May 17, 2015 / 8:34 pm

      It’s funny isn’t it how it changes emotional reactions to things! You know my mum has never done any organised ‘exercise’, but she is always active; Walking, gardening, helping with DIY, jobs in the house. She also always encouraged me with whatever sports I fancied trying out. I think these things set just as much of a good example, even if you’re not into fitness as such.

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  3. NorthEastFamilyFun (@NEFamilyFun) May 18, 2015 / 12:51 pm

    I don’t get too emotional at adverts but then again my hubby says I have a heart of stone at times ! HAHA! There is the occasional one that will get me (Like last years John Lewis advert)

    Liked by 1 person

  4. travellinghopefully May 18, 2015 / 8:49 pm

    Very glad to see that I’m not the only one who can be blind-sided by adverts – The SMA one “you’re doing great” had me more than once. It took me ages to accept that I could do ‘me’ stuff once I became a mum and I am much happier (and saner) as a result!

    Liked by 1 person

    • tenminutesspare May 18, 2015 / 10:01 pm

      Ooh I’ve not seen that one… Will have a watch next time I need a weep. You’re absolutely right a bit of grown up time is so important isn’t it.

      Like

  5. Art by Rebecca Vose May 18, 2015 / 9:50 pm

    I get emotional at adverts too. I never used to but since being a mum I am guaranteed to be the one crying my eyes out a the hint of sadness in a film or an advert on tv x

    Liked by 1 person

    • tenminutesspare May 18, 2015 / 10:03 pm

      It’s funny isn’t it how much it changes things becoming a mum. I was a little worried about admitting I cry at silly stuff now because I guess my pre-baby self would have wondered why on earth I was getting so emotional.

      Like

  6. Stephanie Robinson May 20, 2015 / 12:33 pm

    Oh I can get blubbery at all sorts of things that surprise me, a kind of “yes just something in my eye” kind of moment – I’m sure your kids are inspired by you but it’s true they need to be inspired by a mix of things – we all do, good luck! #fitnesstuesday

    Liked by 1 person

    • tenminutesspare May 21, 2015 / 9:40 pm

      Yes it often takes me by surprise too to be emotional at something so trivial. Absolutely I think variety is important. Thanks so much for your time to comment.

      Like

  7. Christine Jaureguiberry May 21, 2015 / 6:35 pm

    I’m not a fan of the last advert but I absolutely know what you mean! I’m a big fan of yoga and my daughter is always watching me and trying to join in. I was so proud today when she was teaching the downward dog position to her friends at the childminder’s! Nearly made me cry 😉 x

    Like

  8. Sadia May 22, 2015 / 9:07 pm

    Advertisers certainly know how to tug on our heartstrings. Yes, I too have come to the realization that my weekly workout class is enriching my parenting rather than taking away from it. My girls are seeing Mommy (yes, they’re American, although I’m thirds British, American and Bangladeshi) taking care of myself now so I’ll be around to play with their grandchildren. Makes me heart sing when I hear my daughter say, “Let’s walk to school instead of driving.” A one-mile walk as a family sounds like fun to her. And she knows it’s good for her too!

    Thanks for linking with #TwinklyTuesday.

    Liked by 1 person

    • tenminutesspare May 24, 2015 / 7:50 pm

      I suppose that’s why advertisements work so well, when they are able to tap into our emotions. I’m glad you find time to yourself enriching, I certainly appreciate all the little things with my kids once I’ve had a brief time out. It sounds as if your daughter has a wonderful role model and inspiration in you.

      Like

  9. doctomum May 23, 2015 / 8:09 pm

    I’m glad someone else cries at adverts. I keep blaming it on breastfeeding hormones but I think I’ve actually genetically morphed into a soppy sod since having children.
    I just read Juliet’s piece on exercising and encouraging your children to pick up the habit – and combined with yours – I’m going to get more physical with the kids.

    Liked by 1 person

    • tenminutesspare May 24, 2015 / 7:56 pm

      Oh thank goodness it’s not just me! It has been a bit embarrassing at times as it doesn’t take much to set me off these days! I think I might have giggled at myself pre-kids writing this…. A juice advert made you cry?!? Juliet has become one of my exercise inspirations lately…. I’ve even started dreaming of doing a marathon. Eek!

      I think even just doing lots of everyday active stuff is good, doesn’t have to be formal ‘exercise’ and I’m absolutely sure your two don’t let you sit around much.

      Like

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