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.
TEACH ME YOUR WAYS!