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Exercise guilt


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#1 taby

Posted 27 June 2016 - 12:00 PM

I am currently looking at beginning gym classes or a program and work every second weekend plus often 4 days a week.  I am also studying and have 2 children (10 and 12).

My question is how do you fit in exercises classes without feeling guilty that you've had too much time away from your family?

#2 ~Nasty_Jodama~

Posted 27 June 2016 - 12:04 PM

I dont feel guilty about exercising. I do it so I am happy and healthy and my family benefits from that.

#3 BornToLove

Posted 27 June 2016 - 12:10 PM

It's a mind set thing. You have to have balance in your life, balance means that you have a healthy amount of 'me time'. There is no guilt because it's something I *need* in my life if I want to be the best I can be with everything else (mum, wife, employee, volunteer etc).

Sometimes you have to make it a priority, other times it works into your schedule nicely. But you really need to be of the mindset that taking time for yourself (ie to work out) is nothing to feel guilty over.

#4 MintyBiscuit

Posted 27 June 2016 - 12:19 PM

I'm a better wife and mother when I'm exercising regularly. My mental health improves, my general health improves, my energy levels improve. The time investment for exercise pays off for my entire family, not just me. It did take me a while to realise this and not feel guilty, but once it clicked the guilt just disappeared.

#5 mayahlb

Posted 27 June 2016 - 12:30 PM

What Minty Biscuit said. In saying that I don't actually do that much, pretty much a 5km run 3 days a week and an 8km walk 3 days a week. And then swimming in the warmer months.

Kids might or might not join me (we live on a property and I have a "running" track on the side paddock).

#6 sandy34

Posted 27 June 2016 - 12:30 PM

No guilt here. When I signed up to have a family, I didn't sign up to become a martyr. Having my own time and being active makes me happy which means I'm a better mother and wife.

#7 Suz01

Posted 27 June 2016 - 12:35 PM

I struggle with balance, so I incorporate gym time before the kids even wake up, it suits everyone although it is a struggle atm with it being so cold in the mornings.

#8 Hands Up

Posted 27 June 2016 - 12:39 PM

Absolutely no guilt here either. Exercising makes me feel great, and the kids are left with their other parent, not a pack of wolves!

#9 AlmondButter

Posted 27 June 2016 - 12:41 PM

Like PPs have suggested, you shouldn't feel guilty about looking after your health OP. If you're keen to maximise family time could you do a weekend bike/jog with the kids & just do the gym on weekdays?
Our DS 3 will happily jog round the block with us now so I'm keeping my fingers crossed we will be able to go running together in a few years!

#10 PrincessPeach

Posted 27 June 2016 - 12:44 PM

I actually exercise with my toddler.

He finds me doing yoga hilarious, so it's a win-win. 20 minutes of stretching and 20 minutes of toddler entertainment.

I also put the baby in the ergo and push the toddler in the pram and power walk around our estate.

#11 MadamDivine

Posted 27 June 2016 - 02:15 PM

I dont feel guilty... I go to the gym for 2 hrs every morning and my child goes into the creche when they need to, I also play sport which takes up two nights a week and a couple of hrs either sat or sunday

I am so much more of a better parent when I am looking after myself

My child loves the creche too... lots of awesome craft I then dont have to do at home LOL

#12 ginmag

Posted 28 June 2016 - 10:55 AM

I hear where you are coming from OP.
I find this a little hard, especially as I have a DH who does not exercise at all - and during the week he does kid school drop-off, pick up and transport to sport activities, so he already feels he does the bulk-of child-rearing.
I know that for him, my exercise is just another thing that takes me away from family (I work 4 days).

I'll be honest, we do battle with this. I play a sport on Sunday and train for it on wed nights, and I go to the gym with a friend 2 mornings a week. To try and lessen the impact on family, I am at the gym and home before anyone wakes up.

I try and hold fast to my commitments though as not only is it good for me, I think that it sets a good example to my children on what an active lifestyle looks like.

Good luck!

Edited by ginmag, 28 June 2016 - 10:55 AM.


#13 Psiren

Posted 28 June 2016 - 11:08 AM

I go to the gym at 5:30am, so my exercise is done before my kids wake up. I don't feel guilty about needing to go to the gym but logistically, that's the best time for me. It's done before I go to work (I work FT & also study) and DH works late and does martial arts in the evenings. I really love having 'me time' at the gym. When I exercise at home the kids want to do it with me & I don't enjoy it nearly as much.

#14 Ianthe

Posted 28 June 2016 - 11:17 AM

I have never felt guilty when I exercise. That's interesting. In fact it has put some stuff into perspective for me.

#15 lozoodle

Posted 28 June 2016 - 11:20 AM

It wouldn't even cross my mind to feel guilty about doing something for my health and well being - that has a flow on effect and benefits my family.

#16 MissHLH

Posted 28 June 2016 - 11:32 AM

My mum exercised a lot when we were younger.  She was a single mum; we went and sat in a lot of cold stadiums.  When we got old enough, we all took up sport.  I still am active today because my mum set such an example - feel proud that you are telling your children that exercise is a normal and healthy part of life.

#17 heatherbell89

Posted 28 June 2016 - 01:25 PM

Normally, when uninjured, I go to the gym five times a week. I have been overweight my entire life and once I had lost some weight I knew I needed to go. I adore going to the gym, it wasn't always the case though.

I never feel guilty for going because I need this. My kids know I love the gym, they know that I go to be fit and strong, they see me come home happy and determined and my DH benefits from my increased self confidence as well.

#18 ~ river song ~

Posted 28 June 2016 - 01:37 PM

They are 10 & 12, not babies. Surely you can talk to them about activities in your life and they can see how it is of benefit to you and the family - in this case health & well-being.


#19 Team Awesome

Posted 28 June 2016 - 01:46 PM

I have a 10 & 12yo (as well as an 8yo and a 5.5yo) they are able to get themselves up and organised in the morning if it was just them I'd certainly be going to exercise guilt free.

Do it. Your health and well being is important too.

#20 Fright bat

Posted 28 June 2016 - 01:49 PM

At 10 and 12 why not just plan exercise with them. Classes (unless they are incredibly serious) are about the most inefficient way to get fit. Go for a long bike ride with them, or go for a run. Stop at a playground and do some body weights. Jump rope in your driveway. Play tig. Lots of things you can do with the kids.

(I don't think you should feel guilty about exercising, but also understand how it's hard spending even less time with your kids than you have)

#21 HappyTapper

Posted 28 June 2016 - 01:57 PM

I go to Pilates for 45 minutes 3-4 days a week as a work break.

And on the weekends I incorporate exercise with the kids. Lots of walks to the park/around the river. Often I run while DH pushes the kids behind me in the double pram at a good clip which they think is a hoot.

We walk everywhere on the weekend.

My mother is obese so role modelling a healthy and active lifestyle is really important to me.

#22 Raincloud

Posted 28 June 2016 - 02:00 PM

I go to the gym 6 days a week, on 2 of those 6 days I go twice a day. I don't feel guilty at all. It's imperative to my sanity and the kids have me 24/7 anyway (unless I'm at the gym).

#23 Nobody Cool

Posted 28 June 2016 - 02:21 PM

Why would you even feel guilty about that? It's not like you're glued to the poker machines down at the local RSL while you gamble away the last of the grocery money.

As PPs have already said: finding time to take care of your health is a good thing, and a great example to set for your kids.

#24 JinksNewton

Posted 28 June 2016 - 02:39 PM

To be honest, with a 10 and 12 year old, feeling guilty wouldn't even cross my mind. You have every right to take time for yourself, especially when it's something that will make you healthier and happier.
Why would you think you matter less than your kids? Because you don't. You matter and you deserve good.things too :)

#25 mumoffivepoppets

Posted 24 February 2017 - 10:03 AM

I do PT 3 times a week.  Mine all started back at school this year, so I take the time after drop off to do my 30 minute workout.  It gives me more energy to get to work, house duties etc.

I would schedule a workout on your day off work, then maybe a workout on the weekend in the morning before they get out of bed :)

You should never feel guilty for taking 30 minutes out of your day to do something healthy for yourself.




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