There was a recent question posted in a fitness-focused Facebook Group, “Momma guilt squad.... am I a terrible mother if I leave my kiddo an extra hour at daycare so I can workout? Or do you mommas have any advice for how you get it done?”
How do you think this community replied? With kindness and support. One mom simply stated, “Not a bad mom AT ALL. You need to take care of you.” While another shared the same compassion with the added suggestion, “If you continue feeling guilty though, maybe you can workout from home during nap?”
“Mom guilt” isn’t necessarily a new term, but it’s become an all-too common emotion as millennial moms feel guilty for even having the desire to take time for themselves, while also juggling their family’s needs and career. This guilt can build over time, especially during the early years, and lead to this group of women devaluing their role and their worth. So, let’s be clear:
You are an amazing mother!
Caring for yourself shows appreciation for what your body can do, whether it’s through exercise or slowing down to relax... for once. Your children will learn the importance of self-care through your actions, so it’s important to inspire them, as well as other moms around you, to feel proud of who they are without the mom guilt. If you wouldn’t want them to feel guilty for needing time to themselves, then neither should you.
Here are a few stories from our Legacy Moms who also aspire to be the best “fit mom,” minus the guilt, proving it is possible to feel motivated to get that workout in and still have fun with your kiddos.
I can remember my mom's health struggles through her fad diets (because it was the 80s). Fortunately, I now think of being healthy as eating right and working out. I I love how my sons have come to appreciate health through my dedication to exercise every week, so they understand what’s considered to be a “healthy” lifestyle. Plus, the boys love to feel my muscles after my workouts! Our youngest son hits them as we pretend they're made of steel. - Nancy
For several years I cycled through the feelings of guilt as I chose to go to the gym for some uninterrupted “me time” on Saturday mornings. I started waking up earlier and earlier so it wouldn’t interfere with what I thought should be mandatory family time, until I was waking up at 5 o’clock… on a weekend. Then one Saturday last summer, my gym hosted an open house, so I opted to bring my (at the time) 3-year-old son along, not knowing how he’d respond. Well, he freakin’ loved it! I had wasted a lot of time incorrectly assuming how he would feel, but over the past year it has become a part of our Saturday routine. We wake up at a normal hour, eat breakfast together, go “play” at the gym, then come home to have lunch and refuel our bodies after our hard work! - Erica
Working out makes me a better person and, more importantly, a better mother. Since I’m a single mother helping steer my teenage daughter in the right direction, working out is like therapy for me because it keeps me sane! - Norma
So, here is a special shout-out and, “Happy Mother’s Day!” to everyone who has accepted the role of motherhood in some form or fashion! Hopefully you can look forward to celebrating this day by slowing down to take time for yourself, guilt-free.