61: Mommy guilt when taking time for you

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Mom guilt it seems to come as a right of passage when you become a mom. We feel it for everything- did I feed my child the nonorganic broccoli, my child fell when playing with their toys it must be my fault somehow, I left my child with my spouse to get groceries, I’m a horrible mother. Let alone leaving our child for an overnight trip! Consistent trips to the gym where I would have to leave my child in the daycare not going to happen. Those are all real feelings and I’ve felt guilt in all of those situations. Are they right no, but that’s what happens. We get in our own heads. So I want to tackle the mom guilt around our health.

 

Mom guilt and the gym

Working out is such a crazy thing once you have a child. You’re dealing with your own recovery process and a whole new issue what do you do with your child when you want a little time for you. I get it we all don’t have the luxury of going to a gym or a gym that has childcare. Our spouse might work opposite hours then us so having someone watch our child and take time for you is a luxury waiting to be found. How can we work through the guilt of taking 30 minutes to ourselves as our child plays? Depending on the age of your child you can and shouldn’t feel guilt about setting them up with toys and working around them. I have a client who works out while her kids have breakfast. They are entertained and she knows she has at least 20 sometimes 30 minutes to do a workout. Other moms get up before their spouse & children to get their workout in either at home or at the gym. A little predawn workout means going to bed an hour early. Finally you could look at getting an evening workout in after the kids are asleep. Now how to deal with the I can’t stand to spend 30 minutes doing something for me syndrome. It’s tough but I’m going to throw tough love you’re way. You need it! You absolutely need to take time for just you. When moms are happier, kids are happier. How many times do you snap at your child a day? Most likely you’ve had a frazzled I need a break moment if you’re with them all day long. If they see you starting a workout routine they are more likely to take interest in one themselves as they get older. I remember my mom lacing up her sneakers and going for runs outside. We would be at home wanting her not to go (I have 3 younger brothers and I was probably 8 when I was doing this). Thankfully she took time for her and we really didn’t care after she left. I remember stretching with her when she got back. Those are things that children see and want to demonstrate and do when they get older.

Self Care

Along with workouts self-care is a must. By self-care I mean meditation, yoga, taking a bath, reading, going for a walk, having a cup of coffee by yourself in the morning. Whatever you enjoyed doing before you had kids. Taking time for your favorite hobby whether it be daily or maybe monthly depending on what you enjoy. One thing I like to do is go to a yoga class once a week. The only days I can are Saturday afternoon or Sunday evening when my husband is around to watch our son. I find when I don’t make it to class my trip to Target is the only self-care act that week. Not that I don’t love Target but a Target run doesn’t seem all that satisfying in the self-care check box.

Make it Happen

Schedule, schedule, schedule. We all know kids thrive on routine so do adults. Put it in your calendar and make it happen. The appointment with yourself needs to be taken as a non-negotiable. The first time you make an appointment don’t break it. As soon as you break it you’re training yourself that it’s okay to skip that appointment with yourself. Don’t find every excuse as to why something won’t happen. Instead make it happen.

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