Before you judge a working mom for claiming she doesn't have time for the gym, take a look at life from her perspective.

Excuses, Excuses: A Working Mom’s Case Against the Gym

Before you judge a working mom for claiming she doesn't have time for the gym, take a look at life from her perspective.

Ugh. I hate the battle of the bulge. When you’re a mom, it feels like a never ending fight. When you’re a working mom, it’s Mission: Impossible. Hence, my case against the gym. Let me explain.

I track my diet. I work out as much as my schedule allows, but yet and still, my body holds onto the extra pounds like magnets to a refrigerator. I’m not the only mom who faces this problem.

After months (and I do mean MONTHS) of working out, tracking my calories and drinking ONLY WATER, I lost only about five or six pounds.

“You need to work out more.”

“You need to get more rest.”

“You need to stop stressing.”

Gee, really?! THANKS, Captain Obvious.

You wanna know who this helpful “advice” comes from? Friends who don’t have kids or full-time jobs. When they’re busy doling out this well-meaning, albeit, naïve advice, I just nod and smile, but on the inside, I’m fantasizing about choking them because I’m tired, cranky, sore and HUNGRY.

When I tell them that my schedule is too busy or that I’m not really able to make it to the gym for two hours a day, five days a week, they just scoff a little and tell me I’m making excuses.

EXCUSES? Ok, friend, let’s pick apart my excuses and relate them to your wise little nuggets of wisdom (mmm chicken nuggets…).

“You need to work out more.”

Really, childless friend? You think it’s just THAT easy to “work out more”? Let me describe my working mom morning routine to you. My 4-year-old wakes up at approximately six o’clock in the morning. From there, my 2-year-old gets up. We, as a collective household, begin a mad dash to eat breakfast, do hair, wash up, get dressed, and get out of the house before 7:45. Don’t think that’s hard? I’d like you to bring your butt over to my house in the morning and observe that routine. I guarantee you’ll be tired and frazzled by just watching.

Oh. Don’t forget to take the dog out before you leave the house unless you’re ready to come home to a “surprise” on your already-abused carpet.

Thanks to the fact that my job is one hour (that’s right, ONE HOUR) away from my house in traffic, I don’t get home until close to 6pm. My kids get bathed and put down for bed around 7pm. During that brief time that I’m home in the afternoon, I’d like to spend that time WITH THEM.

You see, my young children have just spent 90% of their waking time with someone else. That brief hour and a half of the day that I get to see them is kind of important for us…so no. As a mother, I can’t spend that time working out. I won’t allow my time with my kids to dwindle down to nothing just so that I can work out more. The one thing people without children don’t understand is that being selfish isn’t a luxury parents have. Yes, childless person, you are selfish. No one is faulting you for that. You’re supposed to have the luxury of selfishness when you don’t have kids. You’re allowed to be because you’re the center of your known universe. My kids are the center of mine. Chew on that.

“What about after the kids go to bed? Surely having both kids in bed by 7:30 means you have time to work out.”

Well, yes. That’s the time I normally attempt a workout. If neither of my kids wake up and interrupt (due to teething, bad dreams, a cold, an ear infection or general fussiness), I can manage to make it through MAYBE a one-hour workout on my half-broken elliptical, but one hour is my limit.

One hour is all I can manage.

“Why? You don’t go to bed that early, do you?”

Well, no. But I have two very active children who make it a point to tear my house apart every day. There’s dishes that need to be done, food that needs to be stored, toys that need to be put away, floors that need to be mopped/swept, clothes in need of washing, folding and ironing, bathrooms that need to be sanitized…oh yeah, and I have a husband that might want me to pay attention to him for a couple of minutes a day too.

I get up early, get kids ready, fight through traffic, work, fight through traffic again, come home, bond with kids, then work out for as long as I can before it’s time for me to start trying to put my house back in order. You see, when you become a mother, you and your body get bumped down on the priority list. In fact, I doubt I’ll meet a mom who puts herself within her top four list of daily priorities.

I once went 15 hours without eating simply because I FORGOT. Who does that?

A mom, that’s who.

Let’s get a head count from the amount of moms who read this blog who have literally been so busy they honestly forgot to eat and couldn’t feel hunger….

I wish I could be a superwoman who gets up at 4 a.m. to put in a two-hour workout before her household wakes up, but I’m already barely managing 6 hours of sleep per night. Don’t you get sick if you sleep less than that? Besides, I doubt being that tired would be conducive for my 1+hour commutes to and from work…

I know this post sounded like a huge rant…or maybe it just sounded like what it is…a giant list of excuses. Yes. I have excuses for why I don’t work out. My case against the gym is valid, but that doesn’t make my excuses anything more than excuses.

Somehow, working moms across this great land manage to shed pounds by eating better and moving more. Although I’m stumped as to how they’re able to remain cheery while obviously tired and hungry, I’m sure they’re out there and I want to learn from them.


Once you have kids and go back to work, losing that baby weight can be tough. How can you get motivated to go work out and burn off those extra pounds?


82 thoughts on “Excuses, Excuses: A Working Mom’s Case Against the Gym

  1. I sneak out of the office at 4:00 and go running. Just a quickie. I come back to my desk to finish up emails, and grab the kids before 5:30. And I’m already in my play clothes. Give it a whirl.

    1. Try it as a single Mom with 2 teenage boys. I commute about 40-45 minutes each way. Drive my youngest to school at 7:15 and pick him up from aftercare just before 6pm. Cook dinner, clean up, help with homework, do laundry, make sure they shower, etc. The odd school project and field trip clothing requirement and packed lunch adds more fun. I sit at a desk 8 hours a day. Try to walk during lunch, but am required to spend about 9 hours per day on my ass. I try to walk at night, but by the time everything is done, it’s 8pm and I’m usually arguing with the kids about getting off the computer and getting ready for bed as we all get up at 6am. We are set up to fail. We are literally working ourselves to death in this country. Abandoning responsibility for the gym is not an option. I now have hip issues after years of this routine. I am going to be 51 this year. These ladies in leggings preaching can suck it as far as I’m concerned.

  2. Amen! I want to work like I did before the baby but I’d rather spend those couple of hours at night with him. There just isn’t enough hours in the day. Glad to see other women with same problem. If I didn’t have to work, I would probably be doing better losing the baby weight.

  3. A-freaking men to this: “The one thing people without children don’t understand is that being selfish isn’t a luxury parents have. Yes, childless person, you are selfish. No one is faulting you for that. You’re supposed to have the luxury of selfishness when you don’t have kids. You’re allowed to be because you’re the center of your known universe. My kids are the center of mine. Chew on that.”

    I get tired of hearing people say, “You need to be more selfish, take some time for you.” Usually this comes from a childless friend or from someone who, frankly, I feel doesn’t spend enough time with their own kids. (Yes, I’m judging, but I don’t get parents who work all the time then are constantly in the gym or having “date night” or meeting friends out for drinks every single weekend while their kids spend yet more time with sitters.) I definitely take “me” time when I can get it, but the reality is that it’s not that often, and someone telling me to do it just adds something else to my to-do list.

    Also… per my point above, going to the gym requires child care – either a spouse at home or a gym that looks after kids. After my kids are in daycare all day, I’m not going to put them in another childcare setting so I can work out. And once they’re in bed, I’m not going anywhere unless my husband is able to stay home with them, and he works a lot of evenings so… yeah.

    One thing that I have seen work is when parents exercise with their kids. Now that they’re getting to be old enough, we take bike rides together. And I know moms who run with their kids. That’s probably something I’ll try with my daughter.

    1. “Also… per my point above, going to the gym requires child care – either a spouse at home or a gym that looks after kids. After my kids are in daycare all day, I’m not going to put them in another childcare setting so I can work out. And once they’re in bed, I’m not going anywhere unless my husband is able to stay home with them, and he works a lot of evenings so… yeah.” TOTALLY HOW I FEEL gosh i dont feel so alone anymore. Thank you for that!

  4. I can so relate to your story. Here’s how I fit it in.

    When my kids were really little (0 -3 years old), I didn’t. I found it too hard to leave to go to a gym.
    Then when they were 3 – 6 years old, I would fast walk alot. I live in California so finding something physical outside is easier and our house is really small for workout equipment. I would also jump rope and youtube all sorts of short workouts with no equipment.

    Now my kids are older (7-9), I go to the gym 5 days a week, I leave work on time everyday (it’s amazing how understanding people are when I leave to workout and not care for my kids). And I found a fantastic 30 minute boot camp and I love it. I find 30 minutes of intense.

    I would suggest you try lots of different things and see what works for each season of the year and life in general. I have found exercise is a lot cheaper than therapy : )

  5. I am a mom who trained for a marathon with a one year old and a full time job. It is possible, but very difficult to do. I completely understand how difficult it can be juggling everything. I was lucky enough to have a husband who is very supportive for my Saturday runs, and the rest of the week, I lugged around the litte guy in my jogging stroller, which he loved. It can work, but it is hard! Good luck!

    1. Single Mom of 2 kids says:

      This is for single moms. You say it’s difficult even with a husband.! You really don’t know the daily struggles of doing it ALL on your own unless your a single mom. There is absolutely no comparison.

      1. This is for all the single moms out there that have no help whatsoever or can’t afford a babysitter or additional daycare. I’m a single mom of a one year old. I work 9 hour days and overtime when I can just so I’m able to make my bills and not struggle from paycheck to paycheck. I get up at 6 a.m. and don’t get home until 6:30 with my son. After that I played with him for two hours, also includes bath time in that two hours. For those two hours I’d rather be playing with him teaching him shapes and colors and reading books to him then working out. After that I make myself some dinner which usually is not done until about 9 930 ish. Usually there’s some kind of additional cleaning when there’s the bathroom or laundry dishes from dinner Etc. So I’m actually not done with my day until about 10 o’clock maybe 1030. I don’t have time not even an hour to work out when I’m done because I do have to get sleep so I can get up and function at my job properly. So for all the single mothers that go through what I go through please give me advice on what I can do to lose my 50 pounds that I gained while I was pregnant one year ago.

        1. Dawn, what kind of job do you have? Is it possible to walk the stairs at lunch, or do squats in your office for 15 mins? Working out before or after work will not work (I understand, I’m a single mom of 2 under 5 and I work full-time), but finding 15 mins here or there at work may be the answer. I bring my lunch, so I can work out at lunch and eat at my desk afterward.

        2. For me, weight loss had to happen in the kitchen. It may mean suffering at first through simple meals: an omelet and salad (no carbs, clean meal), some shredded chicken, rice, beans and salsa; same shredded chicken again on a salad or in a veggie-filled soup. You may feel hungry til your body adjusts. I gained 45 lbs with my boy and am down 35 lbs. I really don’t have time to work out until Saturdays as I work and hubby works 6 days a week. The kitchen is the first place to make changes. You can do it!

      2. I’m not a single mom but I have 3 little kids and a little business. Husband is gone 12 hours a day. It’s so hard to get up early or do it after they’re in bed. I know people who have in laws who help a lot for FREE or lots of money for child care. We don’t have that. Sometimes it just feels like something’s gotta give.

      3. This is not just for single moms. This post applies to all moms who are struggling and all moms need to support each other.

  6. I can 100% percent relate to absolutely every word! Literally, my schedule is exactly the same… and if i am lucky i workout at night after bedtimes!! That is, if i have enough energy after an entirely full day. If someone comes up with 25 hours in the day, let me know the trick!

  7. I am completely impressed that you manage to find an hour to exercise. Some days I’m happy if I can squeeze in 10 minutes (hey, that’s better than none at all, right?). I just try to push myself to make the most out of whatever time I can carve out. As my daughter gets older (she’s two now), I also try to find exercises that she can “do” with me. (She does a pretty mean downward-dog!) I figure that way we both get some exercise now, and she learns that it can be fun.

  8. Catherine says:

    Reine, this is so good, despite the fact that I’m old enough to be your mother. I go through the same thing in terms of trying to lose weight. I have worked out, ate less caloric meals, got some rest, and drank nothing but water and where did it get me? Ten pounds heavier. I do get tired of people thinking I’m not doing all that I can do, just to do all they do (it has the potential to work). Although, I have two older children, I also have two younger ones (not quite as young as yours) and it seems something is not working to pull the weight off. I am at my wits end (but not for long), and I have decided to do something again; particularly after seeing a picture of myself on vacation in Baton Rouge and one of my arms looking like Nemo (short next to my chunky body). I guess what I a saying here is that I clearly understand not having the time to workout and everyone else think you do. I even looked up “Extreme Weight Loss”, b/c I need some help.

  9. Mary Sanchez says:

    I so love this! I’m nit a working mom anymore (going on 5 years now) but I can’t find time to work out. Between getting up and getting kids and husband off to work me school (during school time) and trying to keep my house in order I have no time workout let alone eat. I usually don’t say till dinner. I had a c-section and have not been able to loose the weight. No matter what I do so then I get discouraged and go back to drinking sodas. I don’t eat bad it’s the sodas, I know that.

    Thank you for having the guts to say this! LOVE IT 🙂

  10. I couldn’t agree more.
    Well, and you forgot to mention you also would like to spend your time with you husband, extended family, friends, and your kids may want to spend time with their friends too. They may get sick and you need to take them to the Doctor. You need to go to the grocery store, and sometimes you want to read a book!
    It’s very hard. It may sound like just whining, but we just can’t pretend it is easy.
    Plus, your kids will be teenagers someday. They will be adults someday. And the precious time you are spending with them now it’s of inestimated value.
    In short, I think you (and I) have one of two options: either find some creative ways of exercising without putting more pressure on your schedule, or, just give up without guilty and wait until a better time comes. I am still thinking about it.

  11. I get up at 4:30 to work out before work. Before kids, I never imagined getting up that early, but once you get into the routine it’s not too bad! My husband also works out in the morning, which helps, so we are on the same schedule. Weeknights we just make sure to go to bed between 9pm and 10pm. That way, you get your workout done before any of the other stress and tasks of the day get in your way. As a bonus, there is no mom-guilt because your kids are sleeping at this time so you’re not missing out on time with them. Before kids I worked out for at least an hour 6 days a week. Now I do 1/2 hr. to an hour approximately 5 days a week. I just make sure that time counts! If there is a day I can’t make it to the gym due to a child who is up all night, having to work late, etc. I don’t worry about it. Instead, I try to eat extra healthy and sneak exercise into the day. For example, you can take the stairs at work, take a quick walk during lunch, or take the kids to the park after work. Finding the time to work out when you are a working mom is definitely a challenge, but you can do it 🙂

  12. I am way more concerned that you put your children to bed one hour after you get home? That is not enough time to bathe kids, feed them and have any sort of social interaction with them. I feel very sad for them.

    1. Wow how incredibly rude of you. My 5 yo son goes to bed at 730 pm as a school aged child. If he doesn’t he is a nightmare at school because he is tired…. I get off work at 430, make it to soccer, basketball or flag football , make it home at 645 and we have enough time to do homework with dinner, take a bath and go to bed. That’s life…

    2. I feel more sad for selfish people who make their obviously tired children stay awake when they are ready to go to bed. If your kids are tired at 7pm, you let them go to sleep at 7pm! You don’t keep them awake just so you can play longer. I assume you aren’t a parents anyways..

  13. I love this!! My time with my son is precious, I can’t waste it working out!

  14. I have five kids ages 1 to 12. My husband has a very demanding job as an IT in the military and often comes home exhausted. I am a stay at home mom. I work. I get tired. I do Zumba, jog when I can, eat clean when I can and only drink water. It’s hard but I guess as they age, I’ll be able to work out more. For now, my time is full. It’s not an excuse it’s life.

  15. Neshia S. says:

    I completely understand the author’s point of view in this article. I can completely relate and totally understand your frustration of the opinions, comments, and feedback from your friends who are not in your shoes…The article makes me feel like I’m not alone.

  16. I totally relate to this! The “no excuses” thing drives me nuts. My “excuse” is that spending time with my baby and being good at my job are more important to me than having visible abs. My 11 month old son just started sleeping through the night but still wakes multiple times between 4:30 and 6:30 (when I actually get him up for the day) so I struggle to do anything in the morning. I guess there’s some opportunity there to work out in my living room during that time, but I haven’t figured out how to make it work yet. Sometimes I try to do a 30 minute workout on my lunch break and just shove a sandwich or granola bar in my face when I’m back at my desk. On the weekends I try to do something active with my husband and/or son. One tip that I have that might help someone else is to try doing shorter, higher intensity workouts that incorporate some weights. With a TRX type suspension trainer and a heavy kettlebell, I can do a full body circuit in 20-30 minutes. I miss running a lot but it doesn’t fit in my life right now as a regular thing. The short high intensity stuff seems to be slowly helping my jeans fit a little better… and it also assuages some of the guilt of not being a super fit uber mom with 15% body fat. I just try to remind myself regularly that I’m doing the best I can and I’m a good mommy. Hang in there fellow busy moms!

  17. Completely understand! Its not easy being a working mom! What i do is two days of the week I wake up at 4:50 and get a 30 min workout done right at home, there are a lot of 30 min workout videos out there for every fitness level. So you dont necessarily have to hit the gym. Believe me before kids i used to go to the gym a looot, now there is no time for that, so 30 min at home and in my pjs is just perfect. On these days I need to run to take my daughter to her taekwon do classes after work, the other days i just wait till she is asleep and do my 30 min workout at 8:30 to 9:00, I guess a lot of it has to do with planning your week, for example I cook and freeze everything for the week on Sundays, that way i dont have to worry that much about dinner, dishes… Thats what the dishwasher is for. Try not to sweat the little things, my house is not on the cover of a magazine, so if its a little messy thats fine on ocassions too. At least this works for me… Good luck!

    1. Julia Prajapati says:

      Hi Marsha,
      I am so interested in trying the while cooking on Sunday’s. Any tips for getting started?

  18. Wow! This is my exact life. My new elliptical arrived last week and I want to do make the 430-5am workouts work for me. I am not a morning person at all and hope I can do this! Super exhausted in the mornings from all the work the day before.

  19. Have you thought about looking for a job closer to home? You may really like your job and it pays well…….but you are choosing to spend your time that way. You only live once! This is your chance to spend time with your kids. If you had some more time you could take them for walks 🙂

  20. Jordan Kroell says:

    It may seem like you have no time to workout, but in the time needed to write that article, you probably could’ve done 5 squats and 5 pushups, every minute for 10 minutes. That’s 50 more squats and pushups than you would’ve done if you hadn’t been making excuses about how you have no time to workout.
    I understand that it may seem like you have no time, but as a fitness professional, I help people FIND TIME to workout. 5 minutes of activity 3 times per day is 15 minutes. 15 minutes per day is better than nothing. That also adds up to 60 minutes of increased activity per week. It all adds up after a little while. Less time complaining and more time generating strategies to FIND TIME to workout and you’ll be much happier, so will everyone around you, INCLUDING YOUR KIDS!!!!!!

    1. Wow if this is your sales pitch to working moms you should probably find a new profession.

      1. Jordan Kroell says:

        How much are you working out these days Caasi?

  21. Single Dad says:

    This is an older post but I figured I’d put in my two cents.
    I use to drive 87 miles to work each morning. Same on the way back, with added traffic. What I did, and still do 8 years later is go to a close gym during lunch. Yep, people have different schedules so it’s not possible for everyone. Here’s what I did: Told any new boss that I go to the gym at such and such time, barring meetings (let idiots that schedule meetings through lunch know how try-hard they look). 10 minutes to the gym, 35-40 minutes (intense) training, 5 minutes cleanup with packed baby wipes (you want this, right?), 10 minutes back taking in a recovery concoction. Sneak a meal on a break (hey if smokers can do it…), shower at home.
    I’m in great shape.
    Just an FYI, I learned that your commute and sedentary job decimates muscle gains and fat burning, so look into working on reducing one of those if you can. I have 2 young children. Weekend workouts are called play outside.

  22. Love your article! yes sure we all want to look like Victoria secret models and baby weight is frustrating. But you know what? It’s OK! So we have a little bulge here and there, why isn’t that ok? Embrace it! Your kids don’t mind trust me! They’ll be older soon enough and won’t want to hang out with you bc it’s not cool so work out then! For now just go with it and forget the guilt. There is nothing wrong with some extra curves. Why kills yourself? I read some comments of moms who wake up at 4:30 just to get a workout in before the kids wake up… Are you kidding me? No thank you, I’d rather be curvy, rested and accepting of myself!

  23. Surely a lot of moms can relate to this setting. It’s reality. Many doesn’t know about the stresses a mom goes through and I love the fact that you are presenting the world a few. I hope a lot of people, especially the childless ones, mind what they say to us now because of this. I’m loving your post and I wish you are happily getting back on track!

  24. After reading your pity me article, I have one thing to say to you women who have kids and no free time. WHO IN THE HELL TOLD YOU TO HAVE KIDS IN THE FIRST PLACE??? Then don’t whine about it either. If you can’t find time to exercise than DON’T!!! But don’t attack someone else because they don’t have kids and you decided to get pregnant. I have two of my own and I found time to exercise without having to whine like a feminazi does. Ever since women lib came into being we have all of these cry babies yelling about how bad of life they have. Well most of you made your life the way it is so live with it. GROW UP!!!

    1. Joe, who is she attacking? It wasn’t an attack against people who don’t have children, more of an explanation that if you aren’t in this situation, it’s difficult to understand the conflict in balancing something that’s necessary for personal health against spending quality time with your family. It doesn’t sound like you are a working mom either, so I doubt you could understand, even if your comment gave me more confidence in your mental capacity for appreciating a different perspective than your own. If you’re going to rail against evil “feminazis” (which I guess is what you call any woman who doesn’t want to be a stay-at-home mom), maybe go find an MGTOW forum where you can complain about how awful the “women’s lib movement” has been – these silly broads wanting the same options as men, so stupid, right?

    2. Estefania says:

      I don’t think she is attacking others. It seems like she is tired of people thinking she is too lazy to workout and she is giving her reasons why she can’t and why they wouldn’t understand. Not an attack, an explanation, a well written one, one she writes for others to attempt to understand her situation.

  25. Are you a single mom, too? Maybe have your S.O./husband pitch in a help with housework. Or… take the kids to a park nearby and run around and play. Bonding AND exercise. I’m a mom, too, and have tried the gym thing… but it takes me away from my little ones and my guy for an hour. If you are single, get a sitter and go for a run around the block. Maybe teach your little ones to be more responsible: clean up after themselves. Rinse and put their dirty dishes in the dishwasher. Put their toys away (establish play “boundaries”). And maybe do some exercises together in the yard or living room on the weekends. It’s all time management. Sometimes, it’s best to take a break, relax, rest, and just live life as it is.

  26. I can’t say I agree with the way this article is written. I am a full time working mom. My job often requires 8+ hour days. I spend a lot of time with my daughter; however, I also know I am a better mom and wife when I take the time for myself, and that includes exercise. I used to spend a good hour at the gym nearly 5 days a week. It is not just about having visible abs, it is also about feeling better and having more energy. Now, I workout at home with online workout options and DVDs. And, I have found some great 30 minute workouts. My daughter loves to watch me and join in. Getting in exercise does not have to mean 2 hours at the gym. There are plenty of ways to make it work, in any busy, working moms schedule.

  27. I dont like people judging saying i have tons of excuses well i work full-time at night from 8 to 10 hours i get home at 4am sleep till 6:30 wake up to get my daughter ready for school take her,come back do my Shores sleep for 2 hours get up get ready to pick her up ,we eat together, after that i help her with homework we read and i leave to work it is not easy,on the weekends i catch up with my sleep and take her out to the theater, park,store, out town im not fat im not super skinny i feel good with my body im 5’5 and 150lbs and im not ganna put my body through more or take away our little time together.

  28. I’m a full time working mom of a a 14 year old son and 3 year old daughter with a husband that travels 90% of the time or works very late. When my son was little, I used to feel so guilty about putting him in daycare at the gym or letting him stay in daycare a little longer so I could get in a workout. So I stopped working out but still felt like a loser. And then he got older, and you know what? I got the me time I’d been craving. He started activities so I could take a walk while he was in a swim class, or at Tball practice. I am trying so hard not to beat myself up about getting in a workout while my daughter is little. It’s ok moms — we are totally on the bottom of the priority list right now. But it changes. Right now, my workout consists of taking a few extra turns going up/down the stairs while tidying up or a walk to the park with my daughter. But that’s ok. I really don’t need ONE MORE THING to beat myself up about. And guess what? I found that it was much harder to keep the weight off when my son got older and I found time to get to the gym more consistently. All that moving around with little ones actually does count for a lot. SO STOP BEATING YOURSELF UP. Slowly, you will find little stretches of time for yourself.

  29. Thank you for saying what I feel. When people ask me if I go to the gym or try to tell me I can find the time, I always say I’d rather spend that time with my baby. I know one day I’ll feel ok leaving my kid(s) to work out a couple times a week , but for now, that little 15 month old is all I care about. The one way I try to get exercise is to take a long fast walk on my lunch break when I’m able to and during nap time on the weekends if we’re not busy. That’s enough for me for now. Priorities.

  30. I get it, I do. I am in the same boat. But as I read this I am walking laps un my house as my kids are sleeping. Just do little things and they add up. Tabata training is great… Using your own body weight to do push ups, squats is quick but you will feel stronger. In the end, I will never look like a supermodel, but I will appreciate taking some me time. I certainly couldn’t have a gym membership,or spare much time between homework, speech therapy, life etc. But a little chunk of my day doing something feels like progress. Push back at work too. Bring your runners and go for power walks or see if you can instill some corporate wellness program. We have 45 minute classes on the lunch hour where a trainer comes in and kicks our butts. It is literally the best thing ever (well not as good as saying goodbye to diapers, forever!!). Hang in there mommas! Much rather have love handles and babies than a set of abs.

  31. What I find concerning are the number of people who put their kids down at 7:30 or so…my bedtime as a kid was always 8:30 and when I had kids it became 9:30…even as toddlers, yes that’s right. they are well-mannered, extremely smart and have never had behavior problems. There is no way I could put them down that early…we watch cartoons together, play games (you can join the Kinect with them, Just Dance is a great exercise!), do the dishes, talk, etc…those extra 2 hours mean the world to us and we are so very close as a family I feel as a result of a later bedtime. When they got older we all pitched in to help with dinner, dishes, etc. They did their own laundry starting at age 10. We all clean the house together on Saturdays. They clean their rooms, eh, lets not get into that one…I think there are lots of other unconventional ways to get exercise so don’t worry about going to the gym. Start Just Dance!!

  32. Girl I needed this! Just a few years ago I would post fabulous photos of my wine glass by the bubble filled bath tub, now I’m lucky if I get a 10min shower a few times a week. I would probably unfriend my former childless self now. I have a 9mo old, who sleeps horrible, and working out is the last thing on my mind. I also flat out forget to eat on the weekends when I’m cleaning house and running errands. Maybe someday I will learn to balance it all and can add a health regimne, but at this point I’m just lucky to get through the day.

  33. I HATE the advice people try to give me about working out and why I say it’s not as easy as it sounds, and I have it some what easier then most.

    1. I have three kids at the ages of almost 4, 20 months and 6 months.

    2. In the last 24 months I was pregnant for 19 of them. After my last child I was at 200 lbs in July 2015.

    3. There are no gyms near me that offers child care, as I’m a SAHM leaving them in a daycare setting for a hour or two dosent bother me but the closet gym is a hour drive one way. So we are talking 4 hours every time if I went.

    4. I will not go to the gym after my husband gets home because we are a military family. The kids are lucky if they see him for 30 minutes during the week. Some days he dosent get home until 10-11pm every night.

    5. I have insomnia so I am lucky to get 4-5 hours of sleep at night, providing none of the kids get up because they are hungry or need a diaper change.

    I agree they are excuses but for most mothers there is just no way to go to a gym, and spend time we want with our family’s. I am 26 and have three kids under three and there are days I have to force myself out of bed in the morning. I don’t have the luxury of being selfish to have me time. I basically see my husband on the weekend because of his work, so how can I be selfish and get me time, when we never get us time. Like I said a lot of people have excuses but most of us mothers have valid excuses in my opinion, yet we still get criticized, saying you can make the time you just don’t want to, or my favorite that I am being lazy and setting bad examples to my kids because I don’t work out more. I’m down to 170 lbs, but I was being lazy around the house. Yep sure

  34. Girl, you absolutely do not need to workout more!! You need an effective workout in 30 minutes. At home. Forget the elliptical, you will work hard and sweat and build every muscle group with simple exercises and LITS if support and encouragement from busy moms just like you! We will celebrate the journey with you every step of the way. Check out my page ( message me for details on how I can help you like I’ve helped others. Together we can do this. Bee are ONE2WON!!!

  35. I am doing that now a 3 months old & 5 year old .. both girls (tough stuff ) and f/t job!! my biggest dilemma and complaint is that in America today we do not have more supportive compromising gyms! its outrages that their is not at least 2 athletic centers in a town!! & if their is the fees are crazy. I was procrastinating bad with my home work outs kept searching for a gym, they either stop at 5 to 6 yrs old? what do I do with my kid huh huh?? or no sat no sunday. its just not fair!! what century are we in!! no one is supportive yet everyone judges when you are over rate!!! its hard work ladies but we must keep pushing

  36. Christine says:

    You just wrote my life, except I’m a single mom with no family and no help! I am trying to get out of the office at lunch time to walk around the lake by my work but weather hasn’t been good enough. Seriously while all my acquaintances have leisure jobs that they can get to the office, well whenever they want, I’m the lady who’s making the mad dash out of the house, then at night I’ll be honest after a full day at the office, home, taking care of my son, then laundry, dishes and prepare for the next morning let’s be honest here, I’ve fallen asleep folding clothes on the couch with shirt still in hand. Everyone tells me to get up early and workout, you’ll stop complaining and get use to no sleep….REALLY?? Thank you Captain Insane.
    I am trying to start a new plan and work out when I can on my lunch break that is if weather permits.
    I’ll do my best and also working to change the way i eat.
    Main thing is I’m going to do it for me so I can live long life to be around to see my son grow up.
    Good luck to you all!!

  37. Hello Reine,
    Wow, what a schedule! First let me preface my comments by stating that I am a single man with no kids. So I am approaching this conversation with the attempt to learn about the struggles full-time working moms have when it comes to their desire for losing weight. I did make a small observation after reading your post. If you can take this with a hint of “salt” but why not try exercising for 10-15 minutes instead of a full hour. Please don’t let this suggestion make you think that 1 hour is too much. If you’re doing that in the midst of your busy schedule I 100% commend you. However, there are short and quick full-body workouts that can benefit your body and weight just as much as a 1 hour workout can. Because I am starting to realize that working moms want to maximize their time as much as they can. My approach is a quality over quantity paradigm. In this case the quantity we’re sacrificing is time which will help you squeeze other things into your schedule such as sleep or time with your kids. Hope this helps. Good Health to You!

    1. This is very interesting. I came across this article because I’m going through the same thing. I bought a gym membership but i’d feel very silly being in the gym for 10-15 minutes. Do you have any direction for quick 10-15 minute workouts that can be done in the home. I’m thinking this may work-out when I can’t make it to the gym.

    2. Joshua, your suggestion is good; I think the real issue at least for me is that working moms don’t have the energy to do the work out. I have tried to commit to going to bed earlier but without having an extra hand at home it is hard. Unfortunately even when women are married husbands still expect you to do it all and then blame you for not working out; it’s like getting complaints from a person who does not effectively help.

  38. At my last gym, I worked out with a lady who had SEVEN CHILDREN. Yup, seven! She told me she was sick and tired of people asking, “Mel, how do you do it?? How do you do it?” Her reply? Um, I just get off my a** and do it. She also worked part-time but somehow, managed to walk, run, lift-weights, even if for only 20 minutes. Another woman I work out has Lupus and two kids. Another women I see walking nearly everyday has 2 6 month-olds and a 5 year-old. She walks with them every single day. I was never able to have children but I always ask my self how it’s possible that so many are so overweight, with or without children (and some with husbands) who just “can’t find the time” yet I meet weekly, women who MAKE the time. I met a women in November of 2015, mother of two, who told me that once she began this new lifestyle, lifelong journey of healthy habits, two of her closest friends stopped speaking to her. She has gone on to lose 45 pounds, is an avid walker, has an accountability partner and just takes it one day at a time. Did I mention SHE also has Lupus? And so do I.

    1. Do these some work 60 plus hours a week and have families? Don’t jidge. Everyone has different challenges but the working woman plus kids struggle is real.

  39. Amen! I want to work like I did before the baby but I’d rather spend those couple of hours at night with him. There just isn’t enough hours in the day. Glad to see other women with same problem. If I didn’t have to work, I would probably be doing better losing the baby weight.

  40. Cinnabunny says:

    Yes, the struggle is real! I thought I was going to be one of the lucky ones who didn’t have to work hard to lose the baby weight. Boy was I wrong! FT working mom here & my husband has a hard stressful job to where I don’t want to him to stress out more than what he is already (which means I take on more responsibilities with child care). My work offers boot camp classes during lunch hour but i sweat excessively & there’s no way I can workout & shower in an hour especially when there’s a wait to use the gym shower. my kid isn’t sleeping through the night & im usually dragging at work.cant take my kid for runs in the evening because he falls asleep & this messes with his sleep schedule. I guess it’s weekends only. I miss being a size 4 & have never felt so conscious of my body up until now.

  41. Hi… Do you have any direction for quick 10-15 minute workouts that can be done in the home. I’m thinking this may work-out when I can’t make it to the gym.

    1. Umeda Islamova says:

      I love the 7 minute app. Just 7 seven minutes and gets your heart pumping. Or just search for 15 min workouts on youtube. Lots of resources there.

  42. You are not making excuses, you are making choices! And it sounds like your choice is to put other things first – which is ok. In my life, I choose to spend time with my kids. I choose to work a job that I love and sometimes requires evening emails. I choose to keep my house at least somewhat orderly and clean. I choose to give myself time to relax. Maybe one day I will choose to make exercise a priority, but not today. Today, there are more important things in my life. Maybe if you choose to own your decisions, rather than think of them as excuses, this empowerment will actually drive you to make choices based on what you want and need. There’s too much to fit into a 24 hour time slot, so choose wisely! And that may mean that exercise is simply not a priority right now.

  43. Hello Reine, thanks for sharing such a wonderful tips. Keep up the good work like this.

  44. I would love the chance to help as many of you busy mammas as possible! As a Beachbody coach, and a working Mom of 2 boys, I understand this struggle and lived it for a long time…before Beachbody. Now, I host MONTHLY accountability and support groups that focus on planned out fitness, meal prep and simple, family friendly meal plans.

    This is real friends…let me know if you’re interested because I always have room for more challengers and future coaches!! Fitness IS within your reach, I promise!

  45. Jesus I got tired just reading this. What a life mothers! I read this in an effort to prepare for life as a mom and you just scared me straight out of it. I think gyms at work would help everyone to destress and help their overall well being. I’m sure being such a dedicated person as moms are, there’s much desire to look and feel well both for ourselves and our spouses.

  46. I may be single, but I totally understand not being able to prioritize exercise due to my own commute situation (FOUR HOURS roundtrip). Raising children and raising them well is incredibly important. You’re making amazing sacrifices. That being said, I hope my humble advice on exercise can be considered!
    I think you need to get a more effective workout. When my roundtrip commute was only one hour and 30 minutes, I used to work out strenuously for 30-45 minutes three to four times each week with Jillian Michaels’ DVDs. I found that lifting weights and compound movements were much more effective than anything else I did. I was in the best shape of my life.
    You’re still lucky enough to be able to make the time, I think you just need an adjustment as to how you’re using it. Good luck!

  47. Whitney Watson. says:

    I just got my pregnancy test result that am pregnant with the help of Iya Hindi Native root and herbs,Glory to God almighty finally after 6 years of marriage with no child but with the help of Iya hindi Native natural herbal supplement i finally got pregnant last a week ago i really want to say a very big thanks to you Iya Hindi Native for your help and for other woman out there trying to get pregnant should not hesitate to contact him. .

  48. I usually never comment but I am so thankful that someone posted something like this. For those of you commenting on the easy ways to just wake up or the easy ways tyou find time tand will do out, consider the fact that some of us don’t not have the luxury of taking a lunch because we have too much work and actually have to finish work after we put our kids down and have older kids that need homework help on top of managing life with a baby. I am trying to work out but trying to do it all leaves me feeling just plain exhausted and empty. Thanks to the writer for commenting on just how hard it is. This time will pass but it doesn’t make it any easier.

  49. Trinity Wilson says:

    Oh my god thank you for your post! I can relate! I asked a super fit mother on IG live how she did it when her some was one and she tore me apart saying I was making excuses and taking care of a one year old is easy. EASY!! (Her son was 7 I think) how quickly we forget. taking care of my one year old is hard. HARD. Between teething, getting sick from day care, fevers, sleep regression and working all I want to do is sleep! how am I supposed to do a plank when my joints hurt, my neck and back hurts and I’m exhausted? anyway thank you for your post you are not alone my dear.

  50. Boy, can I relate to this! Single Mom, 2 kids (3 &5) and I work 2 jobs. And I am struggling really bad with trying to find time to exercise. Yes, I can walk the stairs at my work….but as a former athlete and professional ballet/modern dancer, I want to experience the fun of working out. And stairs are lonely and not fun 🙁 I keep telling myself “make the kids dinner, put them to bed, and then workout”….well, by that time, I am EXHAUSTED! Something’s gotta give! And it’s not just because I want to lose weight…it’s because working out makes me feel amazing…body, mind & soul!

  51. Joan Richard says:

    I can’t believe this. A great testimony that i must share to all fibroid patient in the world. i never believed that their could be any complete cure for fibroid with out going for surgery ,i saw people’s testimony on internet on how Dr ODIA prepare herbal root and herbs that shrink there fibroid naturally. i had to try it too i contacted him on: odiaherbalcenter@ yahoo. com. and him told me how to get his herbal medicine, and you can,t believe that in just few weeks i started using it all my pains stop gradually . Right now i want to tell you all that i just give birth to a baby boy last month,and on till now’ i have not had any pain, and i just went for text last week and the doctor confirmed that there is no trace of any fibroid in my system. after 8 year of suffering from fibroid am now free, Glory be to God for leading me to this great Dr ODIA I am so happy as i am sharing this testimony. My advice to you all who thinks that their is no herbal cure for fibroid that is Not true ,just contact him and get cure his email odiaherbalcenter@ yahoo. com and you will be free and free forever, Try it and you will not regret it because it truly works. i hope to see your testimony soon.

  52. I have a friend that has three boys but she lives with her mom. Her mom who babysits. Does the house cleaning and the cooking, etc. and then I’ll see post after post about her workouts. And it about brings me to tears. I can’t take a poo without a kid at the door. I have four and they take turns needing something. Four kids with homework, four separate schedules. You know, all those extra curricular activities. I make home cooked meals EVERY night and work a full time job. It is hard. I feel guilty for not taking care of myself and then when I do have the chance to do something for myself i desperately need rest- or feel guilty for that.

  53. This. I don’t work anymore, but I used to have two kids and a one hour one way commute. That commute is the time you would have worked out. It just is. Can’t get that time back. This is not excuses. This is a list of real actual challenges that you face as a working mom. Not all women can relate, but they all should give you the respect you deserve as a fellow woman who is the only person who intimately knows all of the factors at play in her own personal life. You’re doing your best. Hang in there…this is a season. When the kids are bigger and can do more around the house, you’ll have more time for yourself and might even be able to do family workouts or walks on weekends. It’s going to come together for you, just maybe not now and maybe not as fast as it does for others.

  54. Get down on the floor and play with them. Roll, squat and crawl around floor with them. Tumble and cartwheel outside if the weather permits. Just move! Your hips Will thank you for it. Use it or loose it! Be a child yourself when you’re playing with them! I plan on playing on the floor with my grandkids when im 90..I don’t need to pay membership to do that. You just don’t need to waste time sweating in the gym. If you do have the luxury of gym time, then start lifting heavy weights. You’ll become leaner as youre building muscle and burning body fat. Mothers underestimate their strength. We carry kids around all day, while probably lugging baby bags and groceries at the same time, then go to the gym and think 8kg kettle bells will suffice. Think about it! You won’t get bulky, you’ll get strong and lean. But ultimately, just move more, however you do that.

  55. I relate to this post 100%. Before my son was born I ran road races, did triathlons, I did Bikrum yoga, and anything I wanted to keep moving. Then I became a full-time working mom. I haven’t had anyone give me a hard time about not moving as much but I do it to myself. I have seen so many mom’s bounce right back. They post notes about going to the gym, training for marathons, ect. Some get up really early, I can only assume their child is a good sleeper. Others do it during the workday so they defiantly have a more flexible job. Others may go post children’s bedtime if they have someone at home to stay with the kiddos. My world does not fit into these boxes.

    Like you I feel defeated. Envious to a degree for people who seem to maintain fitness despite Motherhood but I am unwilling to give up the little precious sleep I have, or time with my child to make it happen.

    I can’t give you a successful formula but my goal is to focus more on my diet, move more by doing things with my son when I can and trying to get 30 minutes of an online fitness program in 3-5 days a night.

    Keep giving your babies your love and support which is most important anyhow and get your help back by making small changes to get in what you can. In the end I’d rather be judged for my less than perfect body than for not giving all I have to my son. Screw those judging anyways.

  56. I LOVE your post because it’s SO real! I used to struggle with the exact same issue of wondering how the heck I could squeeze in time to workout among working and taking care of the kids…not to mention trying to stay sane and balanced! After reaching over 215 lbs with my first baby, I decided it was time to make some changes. I totally transformed my diet and exercising and have lost over 85 lbs and gained muscle. Now I offer an online program called “Thrive on Purpose” where I help other women do the same. The program will be released for sale end of Jan 2019, but in the meantime, check out my posts!

  57. Love the post and I enjoyed reading the comments (looking for suggestions on how to work it all in). I’m a FTM with a seven week old (who isn’t a big napper). It’s winter so getting outside isn’t always possible (although when it’s warm I do wear her out). Our gym doesn’t have daycare or mommy and me classes, doesn’t open until 5:30 am (spouse leaves the house at 6 so early morning workouts aren’t possible), and closes at 9 pm. I “treat” myself to a weekly yoga class and try to fit in 10-minute Pilates sessions at home but I know my body and without cardio I won’t lose weight. After reading this article I’m going to buy a treadmill and consider it an investment in my health. Good luck to all of you mammas out there!!

  58. I’m a single mother with no help physically or financially. I struggle so hard… plus with the courts because of my narcissistic mother trying to take visitation of my child… can you imagine? As a fit parent, I found her toxicity unacceptable and went no contact. Even with a domestic violence restraining order against her myself, the judge granted unsupervised visitation and she and her husband then abused my son. As if working 9 hours a day isn’t enough time away from my kindergartener, courts want to grant weekends away. Stress… This is a non-stop internal assault on my weight loss. In fact, I believe since this all started I’ve gained 10 extra lbs. Not only do I sit at a desk all day, sometimes no break for lunch… I get home exhausted and try to figure out how I can whip up dinner, no dishwasher so dishes tend to pile up until I spend an hour or two just cleaning… laundry outside the apartment is another time consuming task, never ending… and the court assault. I have to spend time studying my rights and go figure, there are no Parental Rights in this country… so I’ve been following and calling emailing lawyers senators advocacy agencies… grandparent rights just fall in all the cracks. I left the state… and as much as I try to eat healthy I’m definitely not perfect. But if I could work out more I bet it would help.

    I guess I’m ranting now too! During my little 5 mins breather between calls at work. LOL. I am thankful I’m not the only one. Being a single mom is HARD and sometimes unfair, but I wouldn’t change it for the world. My son is my life, literally my entire world and reason for living… his father is a joke. Complete joke. I’m trying to make more friends around here too, but we all work, and before we know it our promises for play dates were made weeks/months prior until an actual birthday or something comes up.

    I don’t think anyone could truly understand what being a single mom is until you have been one. But working mothers who are married have it just as tough, only most often do have emotional and financial support and protection…

    But all working moms can feel this way. We are unable to be selfish, unless we are like my mother… narcissistic evil psychopaths.

  59. Amanda Montoya says:

    I have a 2, 5, 8 year old. The older two are playing one sport or another year round. This is because I was also raised active and often reminded how important it was to stay In Shape since we had family members with obesity related issues. I am at work by 6am because our elementary school district let’s out at 2pm. I rush over to get the older two, then on the preschool. We get home and I attempt to work out. But one kid needs help with homework, another with after school snack that they didn’t want before I started working out, and the baby also had an accident. That’s regular. Don’t forget to start dinner so it’s done before we leave to practice, because we need to eat a good balanced dinner to stay on track, which also takes time. Off to practice, which I end up coaching because folks are so flaky. Unfortunately it’s not a work out that get me sweating, or does enough to feel like I’ve accomplished anything. Back home to serve dinner, bathe the kids, prep all 3 girls hair for the next day because their dad says combing hair is optional. Bed time and then I get to eat, clean, do dishes. Now it’s 10pm and I can’t even keep my eyes open to talk about the day before I pass out on The couch while attempting to watch a show with cuss words in it. Ha but I’m making excuses….

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