Gym on Weekends – Working Mother Sticky Situations Videos

You like to go to the gym on weekends, but that's also time to spend with kids! So what do you do?Back in April, I recorded several videos with Working Mother magazine about the “sticky situations” working parents face. I was sharing them for a while, then the website crashed. Now it is time to continue sharing them!

This particular sticky situation – You like to go to the gym on weekends, but that is also time to spend with kids! So what do you do?

Here are my tips. I welcome yours too!

23 thoughts on “Gym on Weekends – Working Mother Sticky Situations Videos

  1. Love it!
    Sometimes it is just nice to hear from other people that it is ok to take time for ourselves, your time logging idea is a great way for people to look at everything in a new light. I’m currently reading ‘I Know How She Does It’ and I am absolutely loving it and enjoying your perspective of parenting and just daily life in general!

      1. It is one of the best introductions and overall beginning of a “self-help’ style book that I have read. I enjoy similar ‘self-help’ (self betterment? ) topics and like the ideas in this genre of books but sometimes reading them is not as enjoyable in book form, (articles, blogs, and podcasts seem easier to digest,) BUT I am looking forward to reading the rest of this book and your others. There is just something about how you convey your message. You do not make the reader feel as if they have been wrong to think about time management differently. Instead you are a complete cheerleader of your message, and I love it. I’m not far into it, but I am hoping to read most of it this weekend. I just wanted to let you know how amazing I think your book is.

  2. hmmm. I have NEVER felt guilty going to the gym on the weekends, I go Saturday & Sunday morning most weeks. The weekend has a LOT of hours in it, and spending 1-2 at the gym still leaves many many (sometimes too many? just me?) hours of kid-time. If anything, I feel guilty about being away on weekday evenings, since that is the only time I spend with them on those days.

    1. @Ana – I’m with you here. The weekend does have a lot of hours. Many, many hours. Copious kid hours! I suggested some of the questions and the editors suggested others, and this was one that came from them. It never would have occurred to me.

  3. I remember when my kid was born, I felt overwhelmed with all of the things I was “supposed” to do to raise a happy and healthy child. I’m talking about special laundry procedures, special cooking procedures, house cleaning, art projects and scrapbooks, different types of play, and on and on and on. If I were to do have everything, I would never be able to leave the house or have any time to myself! Thankfully, at a certain point I just let a lot of it go and regained my sanity.

    1. @CNM – I’m very curious where you think the “supposed to” idea came from. Something you grew up with? Mommy forums you were reading while pregnant? I’m always curious where the stories we tell ourselves originate.

      1. There are a number of Mommy blogs that are awful for this as well. I had to give up reading them. Too many stories about how I was going to miss all the important moments and needed to cherish every single minute. Might work for some people but it caused nothing but panic in me.

        1. @beth – I’m just not that sentimental, really. I mean, yes, all moments eventually pass, the good and the bad. Such is the nature of time. We should enjoy and cherish the cute moments. On the other hand, a lot of the sentimentality is not based in reality. My kids didn’t have “first steps.” Walking was a process that took weeks. I might have been in the shower when the first shuffle took place. It could have happened when the kid pulled himself up in the crib. I mean, who knows?

      2. Yes to all of the above. Online articles about parenting, parenting books and magazines, birthing classes, forums and so forth. As a first time parent I was certainly more susceptible to suggestion and was overly concerned with doing everything that could be done.

  4. I would probably feel guilty if it were the middle of the day, but not in the morning when not much else is going on! Often one weekend morning I’ll go to Flybarre (8:30 class, so not too disruptive of the day!) and then the other morning we will run as a family (Josh will push stroller & does a shorter run than I do but we all start together & end at the playground.)

    Works for us 🙂

    Longer runs I have hired babysitters on occasion when Josh is working. I can’t believe how countercultural it is for a woman to take an hour or two for herself. (But it is!)

  5. Comments made me laugh a lot because I am typically this woman who can’t go to the gym on the week-ends because I’d feel too selfish. The fact that I’m parenting alone on week-ends doesn’t help probably… But as my husband (who’s working on saturday ad sunday) is free on monday and tuesday, I should definitely feel less guilty. But here I am, juggling during all week to free one lunch so that I can insert a workout that is not ‘hurting’ anybody and keeps me from depriving my children of my almighty presence during the week-end or in the evening. (That is so fucked-up, really…) )I’ve been thinking about your question, Laura, about the origin of the stories we tell ourselves about what’s ok and what is not. And I think that in my case, I’m just trapped into replication (and so is my husband for that matter). Our mothers would never have done that and, although they are not really our role-models, for some reason, it is so hard to let these memories go and set our own standards. The more I read this blog, the more I realize how I am acting like I’ve just been released from the 1950’s. Anyways, in case you were wondering, this post found an audience…

    1. Alex,
      I have this same problem. But I am reading Laura’s ” I Know How She Does It’ and the whole 168 hrs in a week approach is really freeing for me. It is allowing me to see the chunks of time I would normally discount as not really time to do anything as much more valuable. Because that 1 hr in the evening then becomes 5 hrs during the week and I feel like it has a greater impact and now I can be more mindful of how I spend my time. Especially with my kids, getting ready and commuting in the morning is always rushed and frantic, but looking at it from a weekly perspective, this is about 6 hrs I spend with my children. I want to make it count more ( and mornings are becoming easier since they are 3 and 5 yrs old, so that helps too).
      I haven’t done a time log yet, but I have been wanting to do one. I am guessing if you did one as well, you would see the many hours you spend with your children and that 1-2 hrs on the weekend to yourself would be a wonderful benefit to you and your family.
      ( I really recommend reading her book, its such a great way to look at life/work balance, IMO).

      1. Thanks Angela for taking the time to reply. I’m afraid I’m a bit of a hopeless case as I’ve already read the book, underlined half of it, tracked my time and I am still struggling with basic guilt isues. But you’re right, the overall approach speaks to me and I’m pretty sure that I’ll get there eventually.

        1. @Alex- I guess I am not a miracle worker 🙂

          On the exercise front, another line of reasoning is that there’s reasonable evidence that physical activity has longevity benefits. So you may be away from the kiddos for an extra hour or two now, but you’ll live to see them longer. And be physically able to babysit your grandkids! The kids will definitely appreciate that!

          1. Ahah. I love that. Thanks. (I might actually go to the gym this week-end: you see, you do miracles)

        2. Oh, no you aren’t hopeless! I definitely see the struggle to do differently than we were raised. I get it. I think it is helpful to see how it works for others and we can use that information to make changes in our own life that work for us. 20% of this 10% of that and 70% another way. I haven’t made it to the gym in a very long time and I do feel guilty scheduling time to go for a run or walk, I always want to do this when it is convenient for everyone. I am gonna keep working on it for the other reason Laura mentions in her response about the benefits of physical activity- Ive never wished I hadn’t done a workout once it was done!
          If we were neighbors we could make plans to go together, that might help us both!
          Good Luck and enjoy the gym this weekend!

          1. Thanks. Good luck to you, too. (Any chance you’d live in the South of France to go running with me?)
            Oh, and I think that the blog and the books are very complementary. I love that the arguments are solid enough to be developed through the book length; but also that the blog provides daily reminders of what I was convinced of when I was reading the book.

        3. I wish I lived In the South of France! I am actually reading a memoir of a Canadian’s study abroad year in France (one of 3 books in a memoir series) I ❤️ France
          I’m in Baltimore, MD

          1. Well, at least now you know that you’re very welcome here if you want to visit the country(after reading about other people who visited) 😉 That was a nice exchange. Thanks.

  6. I wouldn’t say I feel guilty, exactly, about going to the gym on weekends. It’s just that there is so much else to fit in. For instance this weekend I have to log cases (30 minutes), complete 7 preops (~1h 45min), and I’d like to get some studying in (ideally ~2h). This is in addition to catching up on sleep (11h each night — last week destroyed me), taking my daughter to swimming class (non-YMCA as we are not members, 2h each Sat and Sun), going grocery shopping, bathing. I guess if I made my weekends go-go-go I’d be able to fit it all in, but I also just want some nice low energy time to play legos or color with my daughter, and to decompress. But also, I don’t belong to a gym anymore, and going outside is even less appealing than usual for obvious reasons.

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