Parent Guilt, it's a REAL Thing

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If I had a dollar for every time a parent expressed guilt to me over taking time away from their children to be more healthy...well, let’s just say I would already have scrapped this whole fitness/nutrition coach thing and I would be living in my ocean side mansion sipping tropical drinks.

I can’t even count the amount of times I have heard statements like the following...

1. “I feel so bad leaving my kids at child watch to go to the gym.”

2. “It’s too hard to workout at home because my kids are all over me.”

3. “Between all my kid’s sports and activities, I don’t have time to work on my fitness.”

4. “With all the demands of parenting, I am just too tired to workout.”

5. “Trying to eat healthier is just another thing on my to-do list and I can’t even keep up with the one I already have.”

What is with all the mom and dad guilt, people?! Is this really guilt? Or could it might possibly just a teensy weensy bit be you using your kids as a reason not to make your health a priority? I have some questions to help you really dive into this sea of guilt that you’re drowning in. Let’s think of this sea as the opposite of my oceanfront beach home, let’s call it the Dead Sea of Fitness Goals.

1. Do you NEVER leave your children? I’m pretty sure you are just fine (and so are your kiddos) when a sitter comes over so you and the hubs can have a romantic dinner. Now go let them run around for an hour in childwatch while you get your fitness on. They’ll be just fine.

2. You’re going to tell me your kids are all over you for thirty minutes to an hour if you try to workout at home? That is some serious dedication because most kids I know have very little attention span. They may be interested in you working out for about five minutes for the first few times they see you exercise, but then you will become boring to them. You are not an ipad, my friend. You do not have that kind of power to mesmerize children. At-home workouts may not be perfect workouts with kids around, but they are far better than NO workouts.

3. Are you really going to try to tell me you have ZERO time to make yourself a priority? Are you watching Real Housewives? Now, be honest.  You find time to keep up with their drama, don’t you? You know you do. Now, I love my TV time just as much as anyone else, but replacing just one episode three to four times a week so you can workout is doable. Invest in yourself and invest in DVR.

4. You are too tired to workout...but not too tired to get in the car and go through that drive-thru. Am I right? Parenting is a 24-7-365 job. I get it. There are no breaks for moms and dads. It is exhausting and can be all-consuming. Which is why you should workout! Give yourself time to focus on just you. Give yourself those healthy endorphins. Boost your mood, energy and confidence. I promise you will be less tired fueling your body properly and MOVING.

5. Admit it, do you even put yourself on your to-do lists? To-do lists are all about prioritizing. You write out what you need to do so you can see what takes priority and what can wait. I can guarantee that a lot of parents I work with don’t even put themselves on the list! I may not be winning mother-of-the-year (ya know, the whole Brooks taking the bus thing) but I know one thing for absolute certain, you are no good for anyone else unless you’re taking care of yourself.

So, what are we thinking about all the guilt and excuses? Can we write them down on a little piece of paper and put them in a bottle to throw out to sea. As much as I would love that beachfront property, I would WAY rather see my client’s let go of their inability to make themselves a priority. Guilt is a tide that will suck you under. Let me be your life raft and pull you out of that mindset. Moms and Dads you DESERVE your health!