Getting Past The Guilt And Into The Gym

I turned over a new leaf this week. I’m doing a lot of that lately – must be spring fever. I’ve got a whole stack of leaves. It’s time to make some changes, and I’m seeing what sticks.

Where, in particular, is my focus this week? Well, I miss the gym.

I’ve been pretty active in my 30s. I love to run and I love the stress relief that a good workout provides. Plus, there’s that whole “body after two babies” thing. In 3+ years of having kids, I have yet to figure out how to get my fitness time accomplished.

My workouts never come together as I plan. I’ve tried two time windows:

(1) Working out or running before the kids get up: My son can generally sense any sort of exercise motivation and will make sure to get up at least three times the night before – or demand to come in for early morning snuggles and an extra doze right before my alarm would have gone off.

(2) Attending workout classes in the evening: I have to limit this since sitters are expensive, but I’ve set up a weekly sitter so I can go sweat it off at least one evening. Inevitably, I’m tired and cranky and find a writing deadline or errands I’d rather do without the kids in tow.

Workout fail. And I feel it.

What I’ve never done: Taken my kids to the gym during our “good window,” which is in the mornings. I’ve always felt mom guilt about doing something for myself during that slot of time when I could take the kids to a class, to a playgroup or out to explore the city.

And you know what? I’m burnt out on music and soccer and the kids’ zones. So, we suddenly find ourselves with three whole days each week with nothing scheduled.

So today, I took a risk. I brought them to a nearby gym. I popped them into the daycare.

The whole ride home, Abby told me how much fun she had. She told me after lunch how she wants to go back again.

Maybe it’s time Mom takes a little something for herself – and hopefully, I’ll have more to give them by doing so.

  • Laural Out Loud

    My kids thought the gym daycare was AWESOME.  Now that I’m limited to walking, I need to take the kids out with me.  

  • Kate

    We spend so much time worrying about our guilt that sometimes we fail to miss the benefits of leaving our kids for some “me time” don’t we?

    • ChiMomWriter

       Absolutely – and I forget that my kids generally don’t care where we go as long as they get to play. So signing us up for 100 mom & kid classes does NOT have to be the solution.

  • Susi K

    I don’t like the gym but I love to be outdoors so I go power walking three mornings a week. My little one sit in the stroller and loves watching everything that goes on around her. If I feel like riding my bike she goes into the handy co-pilot. It’s great. During the summer I swim… by far my favorite way to exercise. I think, taking that time for ourselves is imprtant and will make you feel better all around!!! So glad your Abby liked the day care…  

    • ChiMomWriter

       I do the double jogger with the kids at times, but their tolerance of it varies greatly. I do like running her to “school” twice each week – the stroller’s a lot lighter with just her brother in it on the way home. ;)

  • Wendy

    I dread taking my girl to the gym because I know she cries each time she’s there and I’m always wondering and looking over my shoulder to see if the gym-care lady is coming to get me. I can’t focus!
    But today was success!  One whole hour as I busted ass in spin class and she played away.  Phew.

    • ChiMomWriter

       I hear ya – The track I was running on at one point was right next to the daycare and I kept looking over. I cut my run short to get away from it! Glad you had a successful day!

  • Natalie @MamaTrack

    This is so encouraging. I need to do it. I miss working out. But finding the time is hard, you know?

    • ChiMomWriter

      I agree. I’m only in week two and so far this week? 0 for 2. It’s hard to find the right class schedule at times that work for the kids, reasonable child care and days with good windows and everyone healthy!

      We can totally do this, though. I know it.

  • Jen

    Yes! Yes! Yes! I did that too. Shamefully, our local community center is literally across the street from our house. And, every week, I lug the kids over there for swimming lessons, while dreaming of popping them into the childcare room for an hour. But, as a working Mom of two kids who are in more activities that necessary, I felt SO guilty being away from them for another hour.

    I finally decided to give it a try. They begged me to do it again. Plus, my other half comes with me, so it’s sort of like “date night” in our house. And, while that’s kind of sad, all on it’s own, it’s working out perfectly for us!

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