Hubs: I really think you should join the gym.
Wife: WHY? (Blood boiling).
Hubs: It’ll help build up your strength and energy again.
Wife: And lose weight.
Hubs: That’s secondary. You have to concentrate on your health first. You don’t look bad to me.
Wife: (melts into puddle).
Wife joins gym.
Wife NEVER makes it to gym.
Wife feels guilty during every monthly billing cycle for wasting money.
Wife eats tub of ice cream to feel better, while cursing husband.
Wife is right back where she started… or worse.
Everytime someone has suggested to me to join the gym so I can improve my health, my post-pregnancy lingering hormones have wanted to either scream or punch them in the face. As is with all advice we receive from loved ones – going to the gym too is easier said than done. Ask any new mom. it’s this dreaded thing where we obviously want to get back into shape, lose weight, rebuild our strength, tone up, feel healthy again, set a good example for our kids etc. But it is SO hard to get to the gym. It’s not the same for a mom to get up and go to the gym vs a dad. And I won’t even bother comparing to non-parents.
For those people that just don’t get it, here’s why moms have a hard time getting out to the gym:
- You’re deathly exhausted. You can push yourself to care for your kids because you love them and care for their well being – but there’s not enough energy or incentive to care for your own well being too. If you’re going to get a break, taking a nap, a shower peacefully, a mani pedi, a massage – all those rank much higher than working out. Especially because…
- When you do make it to the gym, you’re huffing and puffing in 15 minutes – while the rest of those skinny-a** b-words are clocking in an hour, barely breaking a sweat, and then complaining that they still need to lose 2 more inches of their flat, rock-hard, stomachs. Umm, no thank you.
- It’s hard to get out of the house with littles. I have a baby, a 2 year old and a 4 year old. I have to take into account numerous nap times, meals, nursing/bottle sessions, teething days, sleepless nights also due to teething, separation anxiety, stranger anxiety, weak immune systems due to recovering from colds, ear infections, school pick up and drop off schedules, etc. Some days, if all those factors aren’t enough, the bathroom floods, the garage door won’t open, dinner isn’t cooked, a bank account gets overdrawn… lol… I don’t know. Stuff happens. And you feel like there’s no way you can ever leave the house.
- You actually miraculously make it to the gym, and the kids do everything in their power to force you to go back home. Someone has a poop explosion on the way there. Or you enter the gym and your 2-year-old has the biggest meltdown of a lifetime and decides they will not stay at the childcare center that day. A kid throws up. The baby hasn’t nursed properly and then cries buckets from hunger once you leave them in child-care. You start fuming on the inside wondering why you ever even bothered and convince yourself that you’re okay with being a fat, bubbly, weak mess.
For a normal person, a lot of these issues are mind over matter. But moms are NOT IN THEIR RIGHT MINDS. So that theory doesn’t matter.
Have you tried sleeping through a night being woken up every other hour, and then want to accomplish anything during the day? Especially anything that requires exerting yourself?! Especially when your body is still recovering from GIVING BIRTH TO A CHILD and you’re battling crazy pregnancy hormones? Yeah, so not happening.
So therefore, I have decided that instead of worrying about being physically fit – I’m going to try to be fit-ish. Being healthy is important and an important part of recovering from childbirth. But I’m not going to put unrealistic expectations on myself, because being mentally healthy is important too. As many of my friends have said – it takes ten months for your body to become the way it is during pregnancy, so you should give yourself just as much, if not more, time to help it get back to where it was before. I’ll work out when I can, I’ll take walks with my kiddos when I can, I’ll eat the salads when I can. And the rest of the time, I’m gonna enjoy unwinding at the end of the day, with my tub of ice cream in front of the TV, guilt-free. And if you choose to do this too – be sure to share your fave TV serials that I can become addicted to. 🙂