The parent guilt is real!!
After having a baby over 2 years ago, for some reason I feel like my entire life should be dedicated to my son. I should forget everything I did previously, including all of the things that made me happy and made me, me, and simply be a mum. Somehow, doing things for myself and spending time alone, suddenly seems selfish. Anyone else feel this way?
Up until recently I was a stay at home mum, spending everyday at home with Odin. We would spend about an hour at the gym each day, then go to the park or go swimming, or just hangout. Then when I became a single mum, Odin had to go to child care full time and I had to go back to work. Suddenly I was dealing with a really sad toddler who didn’t want to go to child care, working full time hours and trying to find time to train, something I love. Luckily I work in the gym, so its a bit easier, but I still have to sacrifice time with my son to get a workout in. This left me feeling like I was prioritising myself over my son… Hence the guilt.
However, I needed to change my way of thinking… Feeling guilty doesn’t achieve anything and has no real purpose. So I started go think about the positives as to why I choose to spend 5my time training….
Sets a good example
When Odin comes into the gym with me, he understands that this is where mum workouts out. He instantly tries to do squats, stretching and even tries to lift the weights. I don’t think there is a better gift I can give to my son, than the gift of health. Allowing him to grow up with a knowledge of health and well being and the important role exercise should play in our lives, is invaluable. I always want exercise to be apart of his life, and I can’t expect that if I don’t lead the way.
Makes me a better mum
Not training has a negative effect on me. Not only does it aggravate my arthritis, but it leaves me feeling sluggish and unsatisfied. I find myself being short-tempered with Odin and lacking energy. When I train I feel instantly better. Ready to take on the day and go out and explore with Odin. No matter what happens in that day, I know I have trained and had some ‘me time.’
Keeps me healthy
If I go down with sickness, who will look after Odin? I don’t have anyone to go to work for me, make money for me or look after me. I have to do it for myself…. Leading a healthy lifestyle isn’t an optional extra for me, its essential to my life. I also work in a gym, so my ability to stay fit and healthy is literally what pays my bills.
It makes me happy
As parents, we dedicate so much of our time to keeping our kids happy. We work hard to pay the bills, do the mad dash to sports days, try to think of healthy food options that wont get eaten, do the washing, cleaning, shopping and everything in between. Generally our own happiness is so low on the list, we often forget about it. Why don’t we deserve to feel happy? Isn’t that the whole point of life, happiness? My son makes me unbelievably happy, but so do other things. Gaining one, should not mean you lose the other. I am determined to continue to do what makes me happy and brings some stability to my life. So should you!