If Mama’s Happy, Everyone’s Happy

It’s Spring Break here in sunny Florida, which means I haven’t exercised in a week. We’ve been to a hockey game, the zoo, an Easter egg hunt, painted pottery and there’s still a lot of excitement ahead (including having a friend sleepover for the first time. Eeeep.) but it probably won’t include a trip to the gym for me until the end of the week.

Each night, I’ve planned to go at 6am the next day-I’ve even laid out my clothes- but then the baby is up at 1 and 3 and 5, and my youngest girl wakes at 6, and it’s time for Spring Break Entertainment. And coffee. Obviously. That’s okay though. I’m not very happy about it, but I’ve accepted it. And the kids and I are having a great time together.

That said, I still have plans to work out with my trainer on Friday morning. We meet for an hour at my community gym, and I bring the little dude with me. (He sleeps in his stroller.) Bringing the girls will be…interesting. There is a playroom with windows, so I’ll be able to see them, but they’ll also be somewhat unsupervised. Which could mean some not-so-friendly sibling playtime, you know? I feel a little anxious about that.

Crunching in my neighborhood gym. The playroom (and sleeping baby) are nearby!

Crunching in my neighborhood gym. The playroom (and sleeping baby) are nearby!

I also feel guilty about bringing them with me. I tell myself I’m being silly. I think nothing of running with them in the BOB for an hour, or stroller walking with friends, and this is basically the same thing, right? And how is this different from me doing an hour of cleaning while they play in their own playroom? But those feelings are still there. So much so that I’m considering just canceling. I guess I feel that it’s their time with me, their break, and we should be having loads of fun the entire time.

One of my Facebook friends posted something last week about mommy guilt and exercise. She said that she’d feel guilty letting her kids watch her live a sedentary lifestyle, rather than watching her make time to stay fit. That taking care of herself makes her feel confident and happy, and then she’s a more positive influence on everyone else in her life. Regular exercise makes her a better mom, so she’s let go of the guilt.

Isn’t that an awesome perspective? Of all the things we mamas feel bad about, should maintaining a healthy lifestyle, even if it cuts into their time with us, be one of them?

Meri and I have talked a lot about setting a healthy example for our kids, and she’s also said that they regularly ask about her running. My friend Sara recently ran her first marathon, and the thought of showing her kids what could be achieved with hard work really motivated her during her training. My own kids love to do yoga with me and one of their favorite games is to pretend to race each other in our driveway.

My girls practicing yoga. In costume, natch.

My girls practicing yoga. In costume, natch.

We’re all definitely influencing our kids- but how much exercising is happening on their time? For me? Not much.

I think I like this new attitude much better. I need running. It makes me feel good. It calms me in a way that nothing else does. It’s also going to help me fit into my old pants again. While I’m not ready to bring the kids to the gym for every workout, or even every week, I’m going to try not to stress about bringing them once in a while. An hour of their time is definitely worth a happier, more focused mom.

Parents, do you bring your kids with you when you work out? How do you make it work? When is your Spring Break? Anything fun planned?

0 thoughts on “If Mama’s Happy, Everyone’s Happy

  1. As you know, I’m sort of dreading next week because the kids are off and I have a half on April 7th and HOW WILL I TAPER PROPERLY? I mean, I feel a little selfish thinking that way but I do. And running helps me stay sane, it’s that little slice of the day that is solely mine (even if I hate it sometimes). So yeah, I definitely hear you.

  2. Fantastic post B! If you are happy and setting a good, healthy example for your kids, its definitely positive for everyone in your house. (love the costumed YOGA!)

    And Mer, it will be ok, the good news is your kids are off when you taper vs a really heavy running week. So if you only get 1 or 2 short runs in (early in the week is better) its really ok.

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