Are Mothers the Ultimate Elite Athletes?⠀

Photography: Polina Downar Photography

By Belinda Haan 

Mothers have to be ‘on’ so much of the day, especially when there are babies and toddlers in the house. They are required to exert a lot of energy just in their every day. And rather than a sprint, motherhood is a marathon! This is why I looked to the performance and sports psychology literature to see what mothers can do to maintain the ‘peak performance’ that is required of them.

Athletes know how to optimise their performance levels. They know that rest and recovery is a crucial part of optimising their performance. They train hard, exerting a lot of energy in their ‘performance’. Then, they go into rest and recovery and create habits and rituals to conserve and restore energy. The rest and recovery are as important to peak performance as the training. ⠀ ⠀ 

If we apply performance and sports psychology to the ultimate athlete – a mother – we can learn that we need to create habits and rituals of rest and recovery.

There is no way to maintain peak performance, or being ‘constantly on’ without there eventually being burnout.⠀ 

And when we burn out, this requires a lot of recovery time. We are out of action. Everything is a struggle. We often need to call in the troops.

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