Yoga raincheck

Well, it wasn’t meant to be my night for yoga.

I was a couple of minutes late to class, since Livi needed a full belly and I pumped before leaving her with her Daddy. Class was completely PACKED and they had already started the opening talk and meditation. I walked into the room, saw that there was virtually nowhere for me to put my mat without interrupting someone, turned around and walked out.

People walk into class late all the time, and even though I’m pretty punctual with classes –it’s distracting for the other participants and the instructor- in the rare occasion that I’m late, I’ll wait until meditation is over, sneak somewhere in the back, and find a spot for my mat. Tonight, I didn’t think there would be room for me and I felt awkward and uncomfortable, like it was my first yoga class all over again.

As I left, my mind started to wander to all of the other things I should be doing instead:

taking care of the thin veil of dust that now covers our house



write thank-you notes and catch up on emails

get birth announcements ordered and a gift for the midwife

go to the dentist

get my crazy mop of hair cut

fix the eyebrows that are now a single eyebrow


I felt selfish for taking an hour to go to yoga when I have a beautiful baby at home –the girls started to hurt as soon as I started driving to the studio- a house in shambles, and lots of small to-dos piling up.

I felt guilty.

As I drove home, I thought about the conversation I had with Tom earlier about getting cleared to workout again. I’m so excited about it, but making fitness a part of my everyday life is definitely going to be more challenging than ever. While Livi naps, I’ll use that time to write a blog post, because it’s something I enjoy, or throw in a quick load of laundry, if even that. Usually I’ll just hold and snuggle her, even if she’s crashed out.. there’s nothing better than feeling a snoozing, happy baby sleeping on your chest.

Did any other moms out there feel guilty for taking time for yourself?

I know the saying is that you need to take care of yourself before you can take care of anyone else, but as a new mom, finding balance is challenging. Tonight was my first time venturing out on my own, without Livi, in 10 months… she’s either been in the belly, or with me. My first yoga class back in action will be right around the corner, and when it happens, it will feel amazing.

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  1. Ashley on February 7, 2012 at 8:09 am

    it will get easier!! You’ll be amazed in a short time how much easier it is.

    And just remember…Happy Mom = better Mom to Livi. So when working out makes you happy, then do it. When taking a break makes you happy, then do that too!

  2. mountain girl heidi on February 7, 2012 at 8:09 am

    I’m not a mom, but the two running partners I’ve had (one with two kids and the other with four and one on the way) both have kids. I can tell you that the time they have at the gym or out running is like a sanity re-set button. It might be only for an hour, but I think it’s perfectly fine to give yourself that time to recharge your mind and body. I have some friends whose husbands aren’t as understanding about them leaving the kids for working out, and I can see the difference. And my running buddies consistently say how grateful and thankful they are to their husbands for giving them that time, since both of them are stay-at-home moms.

  3. Ann on February 7, 2012 at 8:10 am

    I completely agree, I have a 5 week old and struggle with mommy guilt in the same way. Plus, I really do just want to snuggle and stare at my baby all day, so I rarely put him down. Good thing for the Baby K’Tan wrap! I know it’s important to maintain some sense of self, but it’s so hard. We’ll find the balance eventually…

  4. Natalie on February 7, 2012 at 8:43 am

    Ummmm my son is 2.5, and I still feel guilty when I leave him. Working and is so much harder when you have kids!

  5. Sarah S. on February 7, 2012 at 9:01 am

    Mommy guilt will be with you forever. I have it all the time. Sometimes I feel guilty when I’m doing a workout DVD and the kids are playing with toys around me and think I should be playing with them. But then I remind myself that they need a healthy, happy Mommy more than anything!

  6. Angie All The Way on February 7, 2012 at 9:07 am

    I completely 100% understand. When Cameron was a newborn, and even in the first year before going back to work, I’d get the “you need to take time for yourself” comments from well-intentioned friends/family, but what they weren’t considering was that it would actually increase my anxiety being away from him. Even though I never had any “me time” other than 2 hair cuts, 1 brunch and one dentist appointment (which hardly qualifies! lol) during the first year, at that stage, he truly needed me (he was a high needs baby needing Mama 24/7) and it simply stressed me out being away from him. I just followed my instincts and eventually it became much easier to make time for myself without feeling so strongly about feeling like I “needed” to be with him 24/7. Mom guilt is a given, but it’s a process of time to when it eases up a bit 😉

  7. Melissa on February 7, 2012 at 9:18 am

    It takes time. My twins were born at 27 weeks and my other son was born full term. They are 8 and 6 now. It’s so hard in the beginning but it does get a easier. You do need that time to renew and refresh your mind body and soul. It’s like refilling your gas tank… it gets a little low from being everything to everyone and when you get that time for yourself your tank comes back full!

  8. Roxanne on February 7, 2012 at 9:34 am

    I have a 9 months old and I feel guilty when I go out 10 minutes without him. Finding time for workouts is hard. When he’s taking his nap I just feel like taking a nap with him instead of doing anything else.

  9. Jenn D. on February 7, 2012 at 9:40 am

    OK, I have to agree w/all posts! I have an 11 year old and your time is never really your own in many ways. You’ll always be thinking about them, ALWAYS! However, I think you need to go easy on yourself and what you’re feeling is very normal. You’re in love and you’re going to be an amazing mother, no doubt…as I read your blog posts, it’s so obvious to me. Give yourself time, and yes, there is ALWAYS (word for the day) things that need to get done at home but you do have to carve out time for yourself. Do some light yoga at home to get back in the swing of things…meditate/pray/hold your bundle of sweet-smelling love! You will get your body moving again and you’re correct, when the time is right it will feel A-MAZING! I didn’t have the incredible support that you have and felt very alone alot, you’re very blessed to have this blog and others who know what you’re going through and offer you words of comfort and support. This is the time to take comfort, you have brought a beautiful human being into the world. Celebrate YOU as well!! Take care.

  10. amanda on February 7, 2012 at 9:42 am

    I feel guilty all the time and guess what you have to put that aside every now and then to have some time to yourself(although i fight with that issue to this day and i have a 3 yr old and a 1 yr old) otherwise you will face burn out. This has happened to me and what makes it even worse is my husband makes sure he gets his “me” time and i end up resenting him for it because i choose to smother myself in kids and what everyone else needs.

  11. Lauren on February 7, 2012 at 9:45 am

    Everyone is different, and everyone has varying degrees of “mom guilt”. I never really experienced it. I miss my son when I’m away from him, but I don’t feel guilty. I know that he is always in good hands and with people that love him, and I think it’s good for him to be with people other than myself. That said, the first time we left him was at 6 weeks. My mom kept him and told my husband and I to go out to dinner. It was a strange feeling, and we missed the little guy, but it was refreshing at the same time. He is 7 months old now, and I feel fine about grocery shopping, going to work, getting my hair cut etc, without my son. It makes me a better mom. I can be sort of Type A, but I know that I can’t do it all myself. He is a really happy baby, and it’s cool to see how much he loves his dad…so I encourage the bonding time. Your daughter is still super young, so what you are feeling is normal. You will get there.

  12. AR on February 7, 2012 at 9:47 am

    I’m not a mom but I can definitely vouch for the fact that when i was growing up (and even now), my mom was always happier, less stressed, and way more fun to be around when she was in shape and taking time for herself to keep fit. When I was little, she’d get a sitter or I would color in the corner of the YMCA aerobics room while she worked it out. When I got older, she’d pay me $1 to watch my little brothers while she went for a run. Whether you’re a stay at home mom or you work full time, I think a mom’s mood sets the tone for the whole family (at least my mom’s always did)… so you can think of working out not only as in investment in yourself, but also an investment in your family 🙂

  13. Danielle on February 7, 2012 at 10:10 am

    Gina, I just LOVE reading your blog because you are SO REAL. You are not afraid to share your challenges and intimidating moments in life, unlike a lot of other members of the blog world who put way too much of a focus on appearing “perfect” all the time. This anecdote is one of my favorites you have ever shared and makes you so easy to identify with. We can all remember the time we stepped into a yoga class, spin class, or even a new gym and felt SO uncomfortable and intimidated. You will find a balance with incorporating fitness back into your lifestyle soon enough, there is no need to rush, just keep enjoying that beautiful baby girl! And, I’ve heard lunges or squats while holding baby can really make you feel the burn, too!

  14. Ginger on February 7, 2012 at 10:14 am

    You will NEVER regret choosing to snuggle with your newborn baby – trust me!! Mine is 1 now and I stayed home with her for 11 weeks, and did virtually nothing besides snuggling. I’m so thankful now that we had that time (even when she was asleep).

    You’ll figure out the balance that works best. it will take time, and that’s ok. no rush 🙂

  15. Helen on February 7, 2012 at 10:15 am

    I’m not a mom myself, but I have a lot of friends who are who have struggled with the same issues. You really shouldn’t feel bad, though! I’m sure it’s really hard, but remember that when you’re not there, it’s her chance to get some special daddy and daughter time in. Also, I firmly believe that everyone has laundry piled up and things that they “should” be doing. You just have to take it one day at a time.

  16. anon on February 7, 2012 at 10:20 am

    This is a such a great post. My kids are 11 and 17 but believe me, there is still lots or planning emotional and literal that goes into working out. When my older child was an infant, I would get very, very anxious being away from him. He really was high need and its stressed me. I think everything is harder and easier with kids. Harder b/c there is always something and easier, well b/c of the relationship and connection. You will learn as you go through the new norma.

  17. Annalisa on February 7, 2012 at 10:21 am

    I finally made it back to the gym last week — and my baby girl is 9 months old! being a SAHM, there are only so many hours in the day to get everything taken care of. I would take my baby on long walks but that really isn’t enough for me to lose my baby weight.

    I feel guilty every second I am not with her! BUT, I do feel more balanced having any type of “me” time. I don’t know if it gets better but it gets more manageable.

    PS – Hire a cleaning service. They are pretty affordable and saved me the first few months of having a baby. Staying home all day, ’round the clock, and looking at dirt was not fun.

  18. Mandy on February 7, 2012 at 10:21 am

    I didn’t really feel guilty – I had some degree of postpartum depression, and taking time for ME when baby was conked out really helped with that. I got back into the swing of things at about 2 months PP or so.. that was also the first time I vacuumed after having the baby. Oops.

    None of us are any worse for the wear though and the house gets attention now. No harm done, and happier mommy. 😀

  19. Michelle on February 7, 2012 at 10:27 am

    I work full time, so maybe my viewpoint is a little skewed, but Mom guilt never goes away. It just lessens and then they start driving you insane 🙂 You’re only 4 weeks in – it’s OK to feel the way you do. The first year of both my kids lives I worked out once a week – that’s all I had time and energy for. Bottom line – you have to do what’s best for you AND your family.

  20. Lizzie on February 7, 2012 at 10:27 am

    I am only a mom to a small fur baby and as weird as this is to say, I sometimes feel guilty leaving him for extended periods of times (like the entire work day) – but Gina, you have been through so much and you deserve time for yourself! I know exercise makes you happy and I know Livi makes you happy, but you are not hurting her or affecting her well being if you are gone for one hour to take care of yourself. Get back on that lulu mat, girl! 🙂

  21. Melodie on February 7, 2012 at 10:33 am

    Amen sister! These babes are such a BLESSING but it changes everything. I quit my job to stay home once my children came but was a dedicated gym go-er before babies. I didn’t really want to do gym childcare and I didn’t want to give up my precious family time in the evenings once my husband was home from work. It’s still a struggle. There just isn’t the me-time that there once was. Motherhood really takes away any type of selfihness. There isn’t room for it anymore. But I wouldn’t trade it for anything. Now that my boys are 2 and 3 I’ve definitely found what works for me and our family. I either workout at the crack of dawn before they wake, I use the naptime some days or I take them in the jogger to incorportate them in the activity (they love to ride!). I’ve even jump roped on the backyard patio as they played on the swingset. However I can get it in and not lose precious family time and time with my husband. Time with him is SO important to me. You’ll soon find what works for your family. But I would say DON’T feel guilty about time away. Follow your heart and do what works. (Wow, that was long. Sorry.)

    • Fitnessista on February 7, 2012 at 12:13 pm

      thank you <3

  22. Jessica on February 7, 2012 at 10:50 am

    I know how you feel! My daughter is 6 months old and I had a hard time being away from her. She started going to daycare at 7 weeks though so that made things a little easier but if she’s not at daycare she is always with me or my husband. When I first had her my husband would tell me to go out and do stuff….I just kept saying I want to hang out with her, there will be a time when she doesnt want to hang out with me so I need to hang out with her while I can! Haha! Anyway, I think it gets easier! Good luck!

  23. Corrina on February 7, 2012 at 11:15 am

    There are three things that matter at this point in your life–you, your marriage and your daughter! The house, the to-do’s, even the thank yous take a huge backseat. There will be times that having the hour for exercise will be what you need, there will be times that you want to spend that time with your daughter or that you need to spend it with your husband. Every day, every season is different. I think before kids we separate our lives into equal pieces of pie–everything getting it’s fair share. But with kids, that all goes out the door–in a positive way! My “pie” looks different every day–depending on where more focus is being. And I always find that when I do make myself take time to take care of me, even when I feel guilty for doing it, I come back even more excited to see my children, to be with my husband and even to tackle the daily things of life. Don’t worry–you’ll figure it out!

  24. Allison on February 7, 2012 at 11:36 am

    I felt really guilty about leaving my son when he was first born. I rarely took time for myself. I loved to hold him while he napped (and get a little break myself). At the time, I just felt SO GUILTY at the thought of leaving him. Now that he is 11 (and I have an 8 year old) I wish I had done things differently. It was silly for me to feel so guilty about leaving him with his FATHER, but I did. It doesn’t matter what anyone else tells you. It is all about how you feel. It will get easier.

  25. Brenda on February 7, 2012 at 11:46 am


  26. Candice on February 7, 2012 at 12:07 pm

    I can’t say anything that hasn’t already been said. Mommy guilt doesn’t ever seem to end. Guess you’re going to just have to strap her in the moby and shake your groove thing! 😉

  27. Rachel on February 7, 2012 at 12:15 pm

    It is hard isn’t it! Keeping a clean house and keeping up on the to-do’s is really tough when you have a little midget that needs and wants attention 24/7. It’s been four months since my bugger arrived and I’m still trying to figure it all out. But I KNOW that right now, there is nothing more important for me to do than bonding with my son. I go back to work in two months (wahhh) so I treasure every moment with him 🙂

  28. BAJo on February 7, 2012 at 12:17 pm

    My boys are 5, 4 and 18 months. I still feel guilty everyday for not doing something – I always want to be doing more. I want to be working out like I used to. I want to do yoga like I used to. I want to use my brain like I used to. I want to be the wife and friend that I used to be.

    It’s really tough finding a groove and realizing that things are just different now. I have found that comparing my life as a mom with life before I had kids is really not possible. I wouldn’t want that life back because my life is much more full today than it was five years ago. My kids are my greatest teachers. I spent so many hours at yoga in search of that calmness, to find my grounding point and my patience. Well, being a mother has taught me more patience than years of yoga. Maybe, like me, you will find, that what you once got from exercise you will get from something else. Not that that means you will never work out again 🙂

    Get used to the guilt, it never goes away 🙂

    PS – This time strap mom likes reading your fitness tips . . .

  29. Debbie on February 7, 2012 at 12:36 pm

    Welcome to the world of the guilt-ridden moms!! There is no way around it, you will feel guilty if you do…guilty if you don’t. It is a struggle to keep a balance, but it is possible. I tell myself when I am working out that it will make me a better mom…I am less stressed, more energy to spend with my kids and healthier, so that I will be around for a long time for them. I know it sounds awful, but my mom always tells me that kids don’t necessarily need me, they just need someone taking care of them.

    I felt it was easier when they were babies to sneak away, because they were always sleeping and didn’t notice. Now that they are 2 and 4, they don’t want me to leave their side, that is the hard part. But I also know that when I leave them with a sitter, they have a blast and forget about me a few minutes later.

    Sometimes, it is the housework that gets left behind when i am cuddling with the kids at night…that I don’t feel too guilty about…there will always be housework, your kids are only babies for a short time.

  30. Amy on February 7, 2012 at 12:36 pm

    Hey! I know you’re in Tucson and I’ve seen you mention YogaOasis before. I love Darren’s classes, but they are always busy. If you have the time and it isn’t far, Mike does a great class on Mondays downtown at 4:15. They are very similar to Darren’s classes in structure and there are only a few people so it is much more chill.

  31. britt on February 7, 2012 at 12:56 pm

    thank you so much for sharing this! i had it all planned out when i was pregnant that it would be so easy just to be the “old me” and do everything like i used to. that did not happen and it took me a while to accept it. even now, 17 months (17 months!?! how did that happend?! lol) after my little was born, i still have a hard time leaving him. i think of all the other moms out there that do their own thing and it’s no big deal but it really just isn’t for me right now. i’ve definitely had a much harder time working but i make it happen. i actually use my son as weights and if he’s watching me workout while he plays or eats a snack, a lot of time he cheers me on by clapping. it’s definitely not the intense workouts i used to have but i’m much happier having the body i have now and getting to spend time with my son at the same time. what works best for me is incorporating him into my day. i do think taking YOU time is important also but i’m still working on that one. baby steps! i think as long as you are doing what is best for you and your family, that is all that matters. every mom is different and it is so easy to be hard on ourselves. from what i read on here, i think you are doing an AMAZING job!

  32. Donna on February 7, 2012 at 1:00 pm

    This is something you will forever struggle with. I am the mother of a 14, 11, and 10 year old and still struggle with taking care of myself and making time for me. It’s a constant battle, but you have to remember on those days where you are talking yourself out of it that in the long run YOUR time makes you a better wife and mother!

  33. Kim on February 7, 2012 at 1:56 pm

    As a daughter – I know that if my mom is happy, that I am happy. You may feel guilty now, but think about how you are continuing to set a good example for your daughter as she grows up – and remember how fantastic working out makes you feel.

  34. Sarah on February 7, 2012 at 2:31 pm

    It was really hard for me at first to leave Eli alone. He was fine – I was a mess. It was difficult to even enjoy myself because I was so busy worrying about him and feeling like I was missing a limb. It did get better though and it makes such a difference to have a little YOU time – it makes you that much better of a mommy. Also really important is to take a date night with Tom. We had our first when Eli was 6 weeks old, and even though it lasted all of 2.5 hrs and included a LOT of baby talking, it was also amazing.

    Congrats again, Gina, she’s so beautiful and I am marveling at how you’re able to crank out these blog posts AND manage to feed yourself – I’m still working on that one 🙂

  35. Heather Eats Almond Butter on February 7, 2012 at 3:12 pm

    Oh Gina, I’ve so been there, and it’s really hard. The other day, I dropped Summer off at they Y nursery for the first time. We just rejoined, and I didn’t think leaving her there would be a big deal at all, but I immediately broke down in tears when I walked into the nursery as I’d never left her with strangers before. I played with her for a bit, and then snuck out but then hid outside and watched her looking for me though the window. What I wanted to do was run in, pick her up, and never go back to the Y again, but I knew that wouldn’t be a good decision for either of us. So, I dried my eyes and went to yoga. Of course, I was thinking of her the whole class and the nursery director came and got me towards the end of class as I’d instructed them to do if Summer cried for more than 10 minutes. It was hard, but we’ll keep going back as I know the time for myself will be so good, and plus, I want Summer needs to interact with other kids. So, all this to say, that I think leaving our babies will always be difficult, but as long as we love them with all our hearts, taking a little time for ourselves is okay. It’s good for both baby and mama in my opinion. 🙂

  36. April on February 7, 2012 at 3:28 pm

    YES YES YES, I felt ALL these emotions the first time i went to the gym (out w/o my little one) AND my boobs hurt like ^%$ after only a little bit too, so that put a damper on my workout for sure. All I can say is what everyone else is saying ‘it will get easier’, although i struggle with spending the time to workout when i could be spending it with my guy (he is 15 weeks).
    I KNOW working out will put on the back burner for awhile, as i go back to work full time tomorrow (so sad:( and i will rather see my boy for an extra hour then work out, i just know it will go this way. My plan is to be as active with him on the weekends as i can, or maybe squeeze in some workouts after he goes to bed. I would love to hear what other mamas do to fit it in…i need to read all the comments:)
    Good for you for venturing out, i hope you get that yoga sesh in soon. Yoga has been my fave post partum workouts for sure:)

  37. Emily @ Glitz Glam Granola on February 7, 2012 at 4:20 pm

    I’m sorry that you didn’t get to make it to your yoga class! I can’t imagine how hard being a new mom is, but it’s hard enough for me to make it to exercise classes as a single gal! Enjoy the time with your family and the rest will come!

  38. Michelle on February 7, 2012 at 6:54 pm

    It takes awhile to find yourself again and find your balance. I so can relate to what you were writing. I can remember feeling that exact way. And now that my babies are 7 and 9, I still feel the pull of the house and kids, and to do list. But with time, you will find your routine and your balance. Everything is still so new for you. It will get easier.
    Proud of you for trying to get back on the exercise horse!

  39. Katy @ HaveYouHurd on February 8, 2012 at 1:26 pm

    I am not a Mom so I have no comments on the issues you’re going through but I just wanted to thank you for being so open and honest with the feelings you are having as a new mother. My husband and I are trying (kind of) to start a family and it’s so fascinating to me to hear and see what you are going through. I think you’re doing a great job and I really admire your courage!

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