I have mommy guilt. Serious, deeply-rooted mommy guilt. Other than those seldom moments where I really feel as though I’m rocking this mom thing, mommy guilt is alive and eating at me. I could have fed my kids better food today. I should have spent more time with my kids today. Did I really need to raise my voice to get them to stop fighting (again!)?
The reasons why I feel mommy guilt are never-ending. Even when I go on vacation, the mommy guilt comes with me. I should let them swim longer. Am I letting them eat too much ice cream? Isn’t this vacation for me, too?
Often, on vacation, I like to stay active (not always, put me at an all-inclusive or on a cruise and I’m not lifting a finger). However, with little ones vacationing with me, it seems to be just as difficult to find time to be active as it is at home. I want to make sure I’m there with them to experience everything vacation has to offer. I want to be the super mommy I promise to be when I’m on vacation (these promises often come after a long day of work where my mommy guilt is at its highest). I want my kids to understand that it’s just as important to relax and unplug as it is to work really hard.
We’ve been on two beach vacations so far this summer (the benefits of living in Florida) and yet, it wasn’t until one of our last days during the second vacation that I had my activity/how I can minimize my mommy guilt epiphany … instead of trying to fit in a run in the morning or leaving the kids with their dad for a run during the day, I can be active with them during the day. As Oprah calls it, I had a major “Ah-ha” moment. Looking back, I want to smack myself on the head and scream “DUH!!!”
This is so simple which is why it baffles me that it took me this long to make this realization. I can cross train and PLAY with my kids! I got out there and helped them build a sand castle, we went on a hunt for sea turtle nests, I threw them in the pool, we jumped over waves, we had races in the sand, we threw and kicked balls, if it involved moving our bodies, we did it. The beautiful thing about this, instead of my kids begging me to do it and me trying to find excuses because I was tired from my morning run, I happily and eagerly joined in. They loved it. I LOVED IT! We made some amazing memories and I even got in some amazing workouts. The evidence was in my sore muscles the following mornings but it was the best kind of soreness because I realized it was a result of making those lifetime memories with my kids.
I encourage you to do the same thing. Participate in active play with your kids. Make it a part of your physical activity for the day. Not only will your body thank you, but I can 100% guarantee your kids will thank you as well.
Today we feature OWG guest blogger and childhood obesity consultant, Melodie Griffin. Melodie’s passion lies in the prevention of childhood obesity through the school and early learning settings. All programs Melodie promotes are fully approved by her home based lab rats, five year old son, Howie, and two year old daughter, Hope. You can connect with Melodie on her Facebook page, WellConnect LLC.