Mommy guilt. Do you suffer from it? I know I do! Mommy guilt is this overwhelming feeling that we aren’t doing something right, like not spending every waking moment with our little ones. In this case I’m talking about Mommy guilt when it comes to taking time to exercise or eat healthy. I often hear Mom’s say they just don’t have the time to exercise or prepare healthy meals. Our kids have activities, homework, baths, special projects, they need to eat, they need to play and they need our attention. It’s a 24-hour job. Fitting in time for ourselves becomes an almost impossible task and when we do find time we surely don’t have the energy to exercise or make a healthy and more time consuming meal, right? As a full-time working Mom of three kids I, too, suffer from the dreaded Mommy guilt.
I’ve come to the conclusion in my own personal life that it’s important for my family to have me at my best. I feel that I’m at my best when I have a regular exercise routine and I eat healthy. I have more energy to play with my kids, I have more patience and I’m a happier Mom and person. I’ve found that when I take a little time to exercise or make a healthy meal, my kids survive and they manage without me. (Amazing, huh!?) I’ve also found that allowing my kids to bond with their father or have playtime in a gym’s childcare center is actually good for them. It’s good for them and it’s good for me. I know that it’s still hard to find time to fit it all in…trust me, I know. The way I manage is to find time to slip in shorter, quicker workouts. For example, I try to get a mile walk in on my lunch break at work. I lift weights while my baby is playing in his bouncer or while I’m cooking dinner. I run around the yard with my kids. Then I reserve those more intense workouts for a couple times per week. I find healthy snacks that are convenient, such as sugar snap peas, hard boiled eggs, healthy granola bars, almonds, fruit and I stock my house, purse, car and office with them. I find dinner recipes that are healthier and that don’t require a lot of time; I try to meal-plan and prepare for the week on Sundays. On occasion I will have a protein shake when I’m on-the-go and don’t have a lot of time to prepare something.
Life is all about balance and as Mom’s we tend to put ourselves last. We tend to use all our energy providing care to our families. Don’t be so hard on yourselves Mom’s…give yourself some time. You will be happier and healthier and your family will be thankful for it!
Update on my progress: Since my last blog, I’ve lost about 4 pounds and several inches all around. I feel more committed to my journey and I have a better routine in place. I did, however, experience a significant setback in my health that has affected my exercising in a major way. Just as I was starting to run more, an old neck injury came back in full force. It left me in crippling pain and ultimately on some medications and I’ll be starting physical therapy soon. Needless to say, I’ve had to stop running and lifting. I’ve been walking more and trying to be more diligent with healthy eating. My hope is that after some intense physical therapy I may be able to return to running, but my fear is that my running days may be over.
TIP: Break up exercise throughout the day by doing several shorter, quicker sessions, giving you more time and energy for your family.