Exercise is no exception when it comes to this motherly emotion. To avoid it, I usually do my workouts during Ethan’s nap time. This eliminates all feelings of guilt. He’s asleep and it’s my time to do what I need to do.
Now that the weather is nice again, I like to take him in the jogger at least twice a week. Seriously, as soon as I start putting his shoes on during a jogger day the guilt starts. I often think things like “I should let him just play” or “We should be doing something he wants to do.” These thoughts are absurd and ridiculous especially considering he’s often been playing for several hours or we just spent an entire weekend filled with activities devoted to him. Plus, he loves to go in the jogger. We see so many interesting things and it’s where he has a snack and a little rest. It’s a good thing and I know that, but sometimes it’s really hard.
In addition to the jogger guilt, I have gym guilt. Let me start by saying I am not a member at a gym anywhere. Ethan and I go to the Y for his swim lesson once a week, but that’s it. When we are there though, we pass the most beautiful playroom I’ve ever seen. It’s usually filled with kids happily playing with toys and getting lots of attention from the caregivers. I take a peek and whisk my child off to his lesson.
Afterwards though I daydream about leaving him in there for an hour. It would be an hour of stress free, worry free exercise. He would have fun and I would get in a great workout. But then reality, I mean guilt, hits me. How can I leave him in there? That’s not nice of me. I’m his mother and I’m supposed to take care of him, not be off working out and having fun. Again, this is ridiculous and irrational, but I can’t get past it.
This week I’m asking for your advice: How do I get past or cope better with my exercise guilt? I’m a rational person (most of the time) who loves her child and knows he’s getting what he needs, but I can not get past this. Thanks in advance for your help!
Fitting in Fitness appears every other Wednesday. Before becoming a mother to one inquisitive little boy named Ethan, Montco Mom Sarah spent five years working in the fitness publishing industry. She finds peace, and a sense of self through running, weight training and practicing yoga. Questions, inquiries and inspiration are always welcome. To learn more about her parenting style, check out her blog Ethan’s Day.