Getting past the mom guilt to make time for your health

After I had Liv and was cleared to work out again, I was surprised to find that I didn’t want to.

My world was crumbling because I was so sleep-deprived (take my sleep away, I drive the struggle bus), and I was still trying to figure out the logistics of caring for another human. I also had undiagnosed PPD, so I didn’t feel like myself for quite a while. So, I waited.

I slept whenever I could. I read books. I got ahead on work so I wouldn’t feel stress and pressure of procrastination.

And then, a couple of weeks before I was supposed to go back to work teaching fitness classes at a resort, I finally felt motivated to sweat again. Even though I was loving what I was doing, I still found myself feeling guilty whenever I was away from Liv.

Mom guilt is real.

You always want to make sure you’re doing the best things for your baby and family, but it’s easy to doubt yourself along the way.

Here are some of the things that helped me with the mom guilt in regards to working and workout out:

-I know I’m a better version of myself when I take time for myself. Even though I was only working part-time away from the home (almost all of my blog work is done at home when the kiddos are sleeping or when a sitter comes over for a few hours), it refreshed me to be around other adults. It was SO nice to talk about fitness (we were all fitness instructors), pop culture, and random things (aka nothing that had to do with breastmilk, baby sleep, or teething). Being around friends and other adults made me feel supported, and actually helped me in my PPD recovery. I didn’t feel so isolated.

-I thrive on workout endorphins. The second I’d leave the house to get a quick workout, I would feel a rush of sadness, missing Liv. I was tempted to turn around and go home so many times. Instead, I thought of how great I’d feel after working out, even for just 20 minutes. Usually once I got started, I wanted to complete my workout. Afterwards, I felt so happy from the endorphins and it also energized me to do what I needed to do to take care of her, and our house/family. 

-It gave me other goals and accomplishments. Being a mom is my greatest accomplishment, and something that makes my heart filled with love and pride Getting back to work and fitness gave me other goals to work towards. I found that it was really motivating to teach a class of active men and women, and also to strive towards new work endeavors. I found that it’s all a circle, and when something is going well and makes you feel good, that floods into other aspects.

All of these things were learning points for me, but it made if much easier to do it after Penelope’s birth, despite some medical hurdles.

So tell me friends: what’s something that made you feel mom guilt? What’s something that made you feel awesome and more like yourself again after baby?



Exciting news: the NEW post baby bod and advanced plans will be available next week!! Sign up here to be the first to find out and get your free postpartum core guide. 

I’ll also be hosting my first ever online accountability and support group. Spaces will be extremely limited and I’m so excited to help you accomplish your 2017 health and fitness goals. 

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  1. Katie @ Live Half Full on December 29, 2016 at 2:16 pm

    I could not agree more with this! I have a lot of guilt around how little time I’m able to spend with my son with working out, work and overall managing our household. But doing all of those things supports my family and helps me to be a good example for him. Looking back I admire my parents for working hard and I don’t think I have ever thought about how little time they spent with me. Instead I think about the invaluable lessons they taught me!

    • Fitnessista on December 29, 2016 at 9:16 pm

      that’s such a great reminder. growing up, my parents worked a lot, but they were also there for us whenever we needed them, and i have so many awesome memories from that time. it also inspired me to work hard, so i hope our kiddos feel the same way

  2. Liz @ Justanotherblogaboutmomlife on December 29, 2016 at 2:26 pm

    Needed this today. Mom guilt is so real. I stay home with my 14 month old full time so basically anytime I leave him to do anything (rare) I feel so guilty. I need to get out more!

    • Fitnessista on December 29, 2016 at 9:15 pm

      once i just got over it, i felt so much better. i would get a babysitter during naptime occasionally, so i didn’t feel like i was *missing out* on anything, and it made me more comfortable doing things on my own

  3. Bo on December 29, 2016 at 7:48 pm

    All the mom guilt all the time. Gym, work, solo grocery shopping. Everything I do is worked around a nursing schedule. Or my toddlers nap schedule. It’s hard.

    • Fitnessista on December 29, 2016 at 9:15 pm

      it’s so hard. i found that i wanted to be with them all the time, but also when i was home, i craved adult conversation. it’s a tricky balance

  4. Elissa on December 29, 2016 at 11:00 pm

    I’m struggling with this with 2 kiddos now! Is the advanced plan sequential to the first post baby bod or something people can jump into? I’m 10months pp.

  5. Justine Mckenzie on December 30, 2016 at 4:34 am

    The mom guilt is so real. I was blessed with a year-long maternity leave (yay Canada!) And I found I was able to work out alot cause it was my only time away from my baby. I looked forward to my long run days (I trained and ran a half marathon 8months post pardom) which was so new to me cause in training for past races I use to have to really kick my butt out of the door. It was my me time. But now that I’m back to work full-time (baby’s 15months old) I’ve pretty much stopped working out completely cause of mom guilt. I just get a few hours with him on weekdays and I am trying to protect it and cherish it. He goes to bed at 7:30 so I should really start using some of that time to workout out.

    Well that was a long rambling comment but I could take about this topic for days.

    • Vera on January 2, 2017 at 6:38 am

      I had the exact same issue – I started working out on my lunch hour – I found I could get a solid 40 minute workout in and then go back to work and eat at my desk while working (my work was totally cool with that). Maybe you could so something like that? I didn’t care if I went back to work a little sweaty – I would bring baby wipes with me and quickly wipe off and then change back into my work clothes before I went back to work. I found it was also a great way to decompress if work was a little stressful that day as well 😉

  6. Debbie on December 30, 2016 at 5:17 am

    I feel mom guilt all of the time also, even if I want to jump on the elliptical for 15-20 minutes while my husband is with our son or take a shower! My baby is a real mamas boy so I am constantly conflicted. He is 10 months old now and is going through separation anxiety whenever I leave the room even. I try to make a little time here and there for myself because I do find myself longing for a nice long workout but then I tell myself, once he’s bigger I’ll have more time for that again and he’s more important. Just happy to see I’m not the only one feeling guilty!

  7. Angela A. on December 30, 2016 at 5:42 am

    The mom guilt is so horrible. I have two kids, a 3 year old and a 10 month old. I work full time, commute in Houston, TX traffic (it’s a nightmare!!!), basically take care of the kids by myself in the evening since my husband is in school. I feel like this past year has been a blur and it’s going so fast. I feel the mom guilt especially with my 3 year old because the baby requires so much of my attention. And working out, forget it. The only time I can squeeze in a workout is if I can get away on my lunch break.

    Just trying to remind myself that this period is difficult but it will pass. Good luck to all you mommas out there. We’re not alone.

  8. Fiona MacDonald on December 30, 2016 at 10:29 am

    Oh man all the feels on this post. I was diagnosed with PPA/PPD 6 weeks after I had my son and it turned my life upside down ( it still does). I had to relearn my life as it was but with a baby that needed me 24/7. Throw in, not being successful at breastfeed ( a HUGE mom guilt that I still carry, but less and less) and then being told I had PPD/PPA…just brought out all the guilt in me..I knew exercise was a huge part of my life before my son and I knew I felt better just even getting up and going for a walk every day, outside in the fresh air. Once I was cleared to work out again, I was so grateful for group exercise classes and gym daycare, because I knew that at least for one hour a day I would have ‘me time.’ It saved my mat leave. Now being back at work, it’s a different kind of balance but I know that me time and down time is something I Need to make me a good mom. Mom guilt is CRAZY and I don’t think we ever stop having it, I just think we get more confident in ourselves and trust our own judgement better. We are all great moms and just trying to do what we can for our kids, that’s what should really matter . xo

  9. Sarah on January 6, 2017 at 2:42 pm

    I have had such a hard time getting to the gym now that I am back at work full time! I feel so guilty if I go to the gym after work instead of picking my son up from daycare (he’s 10 months old). My goal for 2017 is to get back in the gym! I am hoping to start squeezing in lunch time work outs!

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