Monday, April 29, 2013

I want to be a good role model for my kids

Before I had kids, I always thought I'd have a gym membership; I'd take time for myself to do healthy things and that it'd just be a priority. And then I had kids, and it wasn't. I know not everyone has Mama guilt (and you shouldn't), but I did. I don't have Mama guilt about working, because I know for ME, it is the best decision...but I feel guilty working AND going to the gym. I wish I could somehow figure out how to connect my logical brain and my heart (my brain tells me it's good for my kids to see me being healthy and working out and making myself a priority), but my heart tells me when I'm not working I should be home with my babies, snuggling them, loving on them, and giving them my undivided attention (and you know what? Society tells us the same thing! Hello, stupid "Dear iPhone Mom" about guilting us into thinking we shouldn't ever do anything for ourselves. Ever.).

On top of having the guilt of not being home with my kids, I have other logistical problems that prevent me from going to the gym. The first? Money. Technically, we can afford a gym membership. But I feel guilty. Oh goodness. There's that guilt thing again. There are a million things we need for the kids, for our home, for our sanity (like date nights) and I feel guilty taking the money I could be spending on buying carseats for the kids, or clothes and shoes for them, on something that seems selfish. To be clear: I am not saying that going to the gym is selfish; I'm just saying it felt selfish to spend family money on something only I would use.

Lastly: time and daycare. I already feel like I'm cramming 9,000 things into 15 hour days. I barely have time to do the kids' laundry - let alone cook dinner, read to my kids, and teach them their colors. And somehow I was going to find time to go work out? When? My husband's schedule is also SO unpredictable that there are weeks when he isn't home in the evening until after the kids go to bed and other weeks when he's home a lot. We also now currently manage three different therapies a week (speech, occupational, and development) with three different therapists for two children. So take those few minutes I had to my self and divide them now by even more - and you'll have my schedule.

It's been a struggle. Maybe some of you can relate?

I know that every Mama has to make the decision that is right for her, but for me, I couldn't justify it. And honestly? If I could go back and do it over again? I think I'd make the exact same decision.

But, now that my kids are getting older and are much more self sufficient, it's getting easier to let them play while I get things done. I can actually somewhat do laundry while they're playing...I can even do dishes now while they're running around...and sometimes I can even sit down with a magazine while they cook each other food in their play kitchen (I'm going to use the word "sometimes" loosely. Because usually it's for a minute or two until they're crawling on me and asking me forty questions). It's been such a breath of fresh air for my sanity. And it's making me feel like I can start to add in things that I felt I needed to give up when I had young children.

When the opportunity came up to organize a fitness class/boot camp after school with a group of teachers, I thought it would be the perfect time to start to do a little more to get me back on my journey of working out. So, I brought it to my staff to get interest and when everyone said they'd LOVE it, I organized it! We're doing a 6 week, twice weekly boot camp with about 10-15 people and a personal trainer who does a sort of boot camp/cross fit training.
It has been so hard and I have been more sore than I can ever remember. But you know what? I am happier about it than I have been in a long time. There is nothing better than working your butt off and accomplishing something you didn't think you could do! That's pretty much my relationship with burpees and mountain climbers. I hate, hate, hate them - but when I do them and push through my arms and legs shaking uncontrollably and do 100 of them, I feel pretty darn good. Let me rephrase, I don't feel so great in the minutes afterwards. In the minutes afterwards I'd like to give some obscene hand gestures to the personal trainer who just told me he's not moving on until I finish 50 more, but then afterwards when I calm down, I feel fantastic. And realize he was right. I COULD do it.
So, I'm going to make myself a priority from now on and find a way to stay active and healthy. More important than losing weight, I want to be a good role model for my kids.


Anni said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

I'm right there with you. The twins will be 11 months soon and I am desperate to lose weight. I've started running at night after they are asleep but that means I miss out on time with my husband. I was just in the process of joining a gym as I read this. I'm doing it in the short term. I know I'll be out of school for the summer and around the kids 24/7 so that gym will be my "me" time. My plan for now is to go 1 hour a day 3 days a week and put them in childcare at the gym.

Crystal Campbell said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Nic and I were just talking about how to fit in working out today. We are going to sit down tonight and try to come up with a plan. We have been paying for gym memberships and not using them so we are going to try and change that, but it is tough with young kids. I'm glad you are finding time for yourself. :)

Mrs. Howard said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

That's exactly my plan this summer too. Since I'll be home with the kids, I won't feel guilty getting out and going on a run several times a week. It's so hard to fit everything in!

Mrs. Howard said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

So tough!! I'm glad you're going to come up with a plan. It's important to find the time; I have felt so much happier and I have SO much more energy (it's AMAZING how adding in something else to my day makes me feel like I have so much more time, but it's true). I'm going to really try to make it a priorty from now on. I'm also running/walking a half marathon in October and I start a training program in August - so that'll force me to walk/run several times a week.

tesha said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

That is so Awesome good for you!!!!

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