We love them so.
We can’t remember life before them.
We can’t imagine life without them.
But, they sure do take up a lot of our time. Right?
How in the world is a woman supposed to get healthy and fit when her children are constantly needing her attention? Throw in taking care of the house and perhaps a job, and fitness seems like a far away dream to be achieved when the kids are grown up.
I get it. I totally do. I have a child of my own and I choose to stay home with him and homeschool him. So, I am Mom, Teacher, Wife, Housekeeper, Chef, Chauffeur, Social Secretary, and Doctor all wrapped into one giant burrito. It pretty much takes up my whole day from dawn to after dark.
Then how in the world do you have time to work out? I do it because I make my workouts on the same level as any other appointments. I don’t cancel doctor appointments or school activities unless I absolutely have to and I don’t cancel workouts unless I or my son are sick or something comes up that is of greater good than exercise (Yes, there are such times. Ha!).
But, my schedule and how I do it isn’t the point of this post. We’ll discuss strategies later.
The issue I want to address here today is the guilt that comes with taking the time to exercise. That time is often done apart from your children and I have found that many women feel some guilt over that. I have spoken with stay-at-home Moms with young children not in school yet, Moms with kids in school during the day, working Moms, and homeschool Moms.
I have heard quite often,
“I don’t workout because I just don’t have the time with all the stuff going on with the kids.”
“I don’t workout because I feel so bad about dropping them off in the childcare room.”
“I don’t workout because I can’t get away from the kids to workout.”
Okay, here’ s the thing. I totally understand your kids pretty much hung the moon in your book. I think my guy is awesome and pretty much rules the world of “almost seven year olds.”
I workout and focus on my fitness BECAUSE of my son. He is my REASON. I want to be around for his entire childhood and well into his adulthood. There are tons of things that can happen to cut my time short that are out of my control. I choose to not worry about those. But, I can do everything in my power to stay healthy so that I don’t succumb to the preventable, chronic diseases that permeate our society.
Exercise is good for my mental health. It truly helps level out my moods. For that reason, exercise makes me a better person and that makes me a better Mom. My son needs me to be available mentally and emotionally.
For too long I didn’t exercise because I felt guilty about putting my son into childcare or leaving him at home. I suffered greatly from that because my weight was too high, my health was bad, and my emotions were horrible. I was depressed and a bad Mom.
Now I do set aside time each day for ME so I can be that better person for HIM. I am healthier, happier, and more confident. I am a better Mom. Spending an hour or two each day focusing on me is worth it if I am more present the other hours of the day.
Please do not use your children as an excuse to not get healthier. You need to take control of your health so you can be around for many years for your kids. You need to take care of YOU so you have more to give to your children.
Now think about what you are teaching your children when you exercise. You are teaching them that taking responsibility for your health is important and they should do it too. Fitness becomes normal in their world. You want to model a healthy lifestyle and give them the tools to do it themselves. Living healthy is quite a legacy.
I know everyone has unique situations. My access to a gym and the fact I have one child makes it easier in some ways to exercise. I know other people have unique situations that make exercise more complicated. I get that. But, my job as “That Annoying Fit Girl” is remind you that exercise is still very important. You can make it work. It just takes creativity. YOU CAN DO IT!!! Resolve and commit to make it happen.