Exercise and Parenting: Is it a Fit?

Are fit moms truly choosing exercise over time with her children?

Photo by Shari Murphy on Unsplash

Her underlying message? Fit Moms were choosing exercise over their children.

Right beneath that post was one from another mom about fitness and motherhood. This mother of 2 posted a picture of her 6–pack abs. She posted that she loved being a fit mother and that she felt like being in shape made her a better mother.

She did not do so at the expense of her time with her children, she simply worked out in the morning before her kids woke up or during her lunch break.

So one chose to continue working out once the kids arrived and one chose to stop (more or less). Both seemed to agree that time spent exercising was time away from their children.

It raises questions in my mind:

  • Does Exercise Benefit Moms?
  • Can Exercise be considered Self Care?
  • Is it Really an Either/Or Proposition Children OR Fitness?
  • What about Stay-At-Home Moms? Are the social “rules” different?

Let’s explore.

Does Exercise Benefit Moms?

1) Exercise creates endorphins.

Are these desirable traits for a mother?

In a world where Mother’s battle postpartum depression, there is HUGE value in endorphins and the ensuing happy feeling they create. I believe any mental health professional will tell you that working out is a great prescription for bouts with depression.

What About Self Care?

First, let’s address the idea that self care is important. I get that the “helicopter mom” style is very popular (the mother who is consistently hovering over her child). That doesn’t mean it’s healthy.

Is it an Either/Or Proposition?

Is it really a choice between fitness and our child? Do our kids really lose if we elect to work out without them present?

Stay-At-Home Moms and Exercise

To this point I have only addressed the working mom population, but I would be remiss if I left the Stay-At-Home Moms (SAHMs) out of this discussion. (As you can see on my byline I am a SAHM.)

Some gyms offer childcare for no additional cost.

I have found gym childcare to be hugely valuable for our son. He lives as an only child (older siblings, not at home). We started taking him to the gym at 3 months old.

That idea is pure BS. More importantly, we, as moms, need to stop perpetuating that BS by behaving as though it were true.

Come on, ladies! Enough already. Let’s get out there and reclaim our bodies and a little bit of time!

Working Mom and Wife Still Trying to Figure it All Out

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