If you read anything on the internet about working moms, you will quickly see that the topic of finding time for exercise is a big one. Mothers who work outside the home have convinced themselves that using any of their precious time for themselves makes them a bad mother or wife. It’s an understandable feeling. I leave the house at 8am and return around 5:45pm. That leaves little time during the work week to spend with my family, especially when you factor in all of the tasks that have to be done during that time (getting ready for the day, dinner, bath, bedtime, laundry, etc.).
Finding time to exercise IS a challenge. But it’s not an impossible one. I manage two or three runs, a yoga class, and a ballet class each week. I usually end up exercising 4-5 days per week for anywhere from 30-90 minutes each time. This involves missing bedtimes, missing dinners, missing lazy weekend mornings at home, and missing netflix-on-the-couch time with Ben.
But I will not feel guilty about this.
Staying healthy is important. I can be a better mom if I stay healthy and I can show my son that it’s important to make time for health.
I am more than a mom, wife, and lawyer. I existed before I held any of these titles. I am also a woman, a runner, a dancer, a friend, a daughter, a reader, and so much more. Mothers should not be martyrs. Allowing myself an hour to be something other than a mom or a lawyer or a wife is important to me.
When I leave Evan to workout, I am leaving him with his father. You know, the other half of the parenting duo who is just as capable of putting E to bed as I am. The two of them survive. And even have fun.
When I workout during our adult evening hours, Ben gets a chance to be alone, too. He can be whatever he was before he was a father, husband, or teacher. He can watch House of Cards or soccer. He can study for his class. He can grade papers without me interrupting him every 2 minutes. Alone time is important for both of us.
Finally, I like it. It makes me feel good. It helps me clear my head and keep my sanity.
So this is why I will continue to make time during my busy week to exercise. Yes, it requires me to sacrifice time with my family (because choosing one thing always requires forfeiting another). But I will not feel guilty about it.
When I get back from a run, Evan likes to stretch with me.
I’ve been struggling with this exact issue lately. I have been really good about doing Saturday morning yoga and would like to add in another class during the week, but can’t let go of the guilt of not getting home until after L is in bed. I’m trying to work up to it. I know it would be good for me in more ways than one to actually get more than one day of exercise a week.
That’s great, Michelle. I have no kids, but I definitely have lots of friends with kids and I see many different ‘versions’. I have one friend that is expecting her 4th kid and she has to be supermom. She posts lists of things she managed to do each day on Facebook because it’s important to her that she does ‘all the things’, but she also gets depressed and stressed out. I wish society didn’t make many women feel that they are ‘less than’ if they want to do stuff for themselves. I think it makes better parents when you take time for yourself. But, I don’t have any kids, so this is just observations. 🙂
I never felt guilty about leaving, I just always wanted to be around the kids. Last night I went to book club and felt that way. I was there, having fun, but then missing the girl’s track practice. However, I could use any excuse to get out of exercising though because I hate it so. I really do! I try to turn my brain around on that but it is usually a short lived feeling when I do.