Working out is my favorite form of therapy.
I say this all the time. All the time.
Making time to workout and take care of yourself makes you a better person — and a better parent. I really believe this. Moms who aren’t as addicted to working out as I am don’t quite get it. Those who do workout know this is the truth. You spend a little time on yourself and come back to your children and responsibilities more clearheaded, focused, and patient.
This is on my mind constantly, since people often question my desire to workout when I could be spending time with my family. Yes, I frequently get asked if I feel guilty about letting my children have fun in the gym’s babysitting room while I sweat. The answer is no, no I don’t. Aside from the fact that, for me, working out is non-negotiable, at this point it’s just routine. I’ve worked out several times a week for as long as I can remember, and I see no reason to stop.
Remember, your children came into your life and not the other way around. Reworking your whole existence around them just isn’t healthy.
I always feel a little awkward explaining to a new potential friend that I can’t meet up at a certain time because I want to hit the gym. I mean, with CrossFit it’s not like I can just wander in whenever I want. There are classes and a schedule. You’ve got to respect that. I need this time, though. I need time to myself for mental clarity. Time to know I am working hard to keep my body healthy. Time to set a good example for my children. Time to push my limits. When I go too long without working out, the domino effect on my whole family is apparent. Truth be told, they need me to hit the gym! When mama is happy, everyone is happy.
As women, we need to learn that it’s OK to make a few sacrifices for ourselves. I’m not advocating being selfish or putting your children’s needs behind yours. I skip the gym on occasion — my family does come first, after all. What I am advocating is missing the playgroup once in awhile, or not signing up for that toddler music class, or enjoying a run with the stroller instead of playing with toys at home. Let your children see you taking care of yourself. They will survive time in a gym babysitting room — I promise that. In fact, they will probably have a whole lot of fun playing with other kids! Make sure they know mommy cares about herself. They’ll love themselves more when they see you loving yourself. Don’t compromise yourself and your time. Be the best parent you can, and take that time for you, whenever you can get it.