Survey: Exercise + Kids = Guilt?

I recently had a conversation with a fellow "classifier" (aka mom) about the topic of exercise and fitness. In the mist of swapping exercise routines and sharing weight loss stories, she gasped as I explained that about 90% of the time I exercise either with or in front of my children.

Am I weird?

She simply explained that she felt too guilty to exercise in front of her children and felt like a better mom if she exercised during nap time.

Don't get me wrong- I get a WAY better workout while alone, but I always have at least one child with me at all times. By the time my husband gets home from work, I'm either tired, have to take the kids to one of their functions, or get caught up in the late afternoon routine. I also somehow can come up with a million excuses on why I can't exercise after 5 p.m.

It is hard to exercise with a baby. If I am not walking him around town in a stroller- then I do wait until he is napping. But for the older children- it's fair game!

I have a weight bench in my basement where I will pump iron during my little man's nap, while Bubba is in Preschool- oh- wait- I have an almost 3-year old Diva that is not napping so much these days. So, for a warm up we will play "chase" until she doesn't care to anymore. I will then lift while she "cooks" me dinner with her play kitchen. She is also awesome at adding resistance by sitting on my belly while I do my Abs work. I will also pop in an exercise video during my little man's naptime (my fav's are Jillian or Billy) and ask my older children to participate- which they usually do to an extent. Do I feel guilty? Not exactly- aren't I setting a good example?

At any given moment you can find me lugging a wagon equipped with a baby and toddler in one hand, holding a lab-mix dog in another hand, and racing my preschooler around the block. Do I feel guilty? Nope.

I have even gone as far as renting kid's exercise videos from the library and completing them with my kiddos. Do I feel guilty? Not at all.

What about you? Are you a nap time boot camper? Do you strap your kids in a jogging stroller and hit the streets? Most of all do you feel guilty either way? It's not like I don't interact with my children while I exercise or even play games such as "tag" or "freeze dance" as part of my aerobics routine. What are your thoughts? Opinions?

Create your free online surveys with SurveyMonkey, the world's leading questionnaire tool.


  1. I know, I know, it is so hard to balance babies and yourself, BUT.... FITNESS IS HEALTH and HEALTH is LIFE! Role model that to your children... your long and healthy life AND the role modeling of theirs is one of the most beautiful gifts you can give!!!!

  2. I don't exersice like I should. I run around with my kids but as a routine I don't really have one. When I do break out the DVDs and follow along, my oldest is in school and my little man (he's 2) usually does it with me, sits on me (if I lay on the floor for leg lifts or ab work) or plays on the floor along side me. I do feel a little guilty - I could be spending that time WITH him. But kids learn by example. If they dont see you excersie, they are more than likely not going to do it themselves. And I always make sure to spend some extra special qualitly time with him after I'm finished.

  3. I think it's prob. good for kids to see us exercising in front of them
    'sides I need naptime for other things, like blogging. >;-)
    Stopping in from the Alexa Hop. Here's my link: http://www.mapleleafmommy.com/2011/04/how-to-thank-blogger.html

  4. Exactly-
    Keli- in that aspect I do feel a little guilty- that I SHOULD be spending that time "with" my kids. Perhaps now it is so much of a routine in our day that the kids know what to expect and want to join in. It's not like I am exercising 4 hours a day- maybe 30 minutes at most. However, I feel that way when I have to cook dinner or check the mail as well! Isn't mom guilt grand?

  5. OK...
    Exercise? Seriously? I COULD find the time, I SHOULD find the time... theres no time. So, if I DID exercise it would be in front of my kids. Why would I feel quilty about that? Do they feel guilty about sitting on the floor of the bthroom while I #2? Do they feel guilty about waiting until I'm in the shower to flush Barbie down the toilet? No. Try telling a homeschooling SINGLE mom of 3 (2 are special needs) to wait until free time... There are no naps and pre-school in my family- there is no free time!! :)
    I am seriously surprised that this was even a conversation you had!! Seriously?
    But, we do walk everywhere. We are serious about our walking in the spring/summer/early fall. We do that as a family- and I tell them it's for exercise and that its important to exercise!

  6. I exercise WITH my kids all the time. Exercise is important to me and if I wait until I have a 'free quiet' moment, it never happens! I dont' feel the least bit guilty about exercising in front of them. I think it shows a good example that exercise should be a normal part of your life and is also good for my own health, which translates into a happier healthier mom for them!

    Visiting from the Alexa hop - have a great day!
    Musings From a SAHM

  7. I just started exercising again and I put my daughter in the stroller and we go running. I think if had some tapes I would probably have her do them with me. I wouldn't feel guilty at all. In fact I'd feel like I was setting a good example for my kids.

  8. I usually exercise while my 3 yr old is awake. He even encourages me. If I tell him I'm going to exercise, he won't let me back out! But it's also hard since he likes to push me over while I'm doing yoga - I usually have to save that one for his nap time :) He's a late talker and can't say very many words, but "eh-er-eye-ing" is one of them and he always gets pumped about exercising. I believe in setting that good example for him. And then that leaves me with an entire nap time to get other things done!

  9. With children having weight and body image issues so much these days I think exercising in front of and with your children is great! It is important for our babies to see us taking care of ourselves, it will inspire them to do the same. I say get the kids involved too, many kids love yoga and other indoor exercise programs!

    New follower from Give it to me Monday Blog Hop. My blog is all about being green and eco-friendly. I hope you will stop by!

  10. Stopping by from the lower your alexa hop!

  11. wheres the I dont exercise option ;)

  12. Personally I think it is good for kids to see us exercise. You lead by example and if all they do is see you sitting down and relaxing or taking care of them, they aren't going to get the idea of excercise. Now I personally don't do traditional exercise, but I wear a pedometer and I get my exercise by running around with them, doing chores and such. Whenever I am asked about my pedometer, I tell them it is mommy's way of seeing if she is getting enough fitness, and they like to see how high the number can get.

    Here from the Alexa Hop. http://www.theknitwitbyshair.com

  13. I exercise with my toddler. She loves it. I don't feel guilty at all. ;)

    I am visiting from the Alexa hop. It is nice to "meet" you. Have a blessed week!
    Long Wait For Isabella

  14. I was looking for the same option, Skye! I love to exercise, but have a hard getting myself to DO it. I certainly don't feel guilty when I do get around to it, though! My 2 yr old thinks it's an awesome game and tries to copy what ever I do!

    Stopping by from the Alexa Hop!

    Johanna at Mama Chocolate
    Family life, tips for mom, reviews, giveaways and more!

  15. Hi Aimee,

    What you are actually doing is modeling in front of your children several things. One is that exercise is important. Two- you're setting an example that they should exercise in their own way as well. Finally, you care enough to stay healthy for your kids and your proud to show them. Great job!!!

    Tantrums, Troubles, and Treasures
    twitter: @claylauren2001
    facebook: claytonpaulthomas

  16. Thanks everybody for your opinions and support. I actually enjoyed a GREAT workout today with my little Diva. She kept cheering me on and laughing with {at} me while I tried to roll off of the floor and then jump into the air. This old mare ain't what she usetabe!

  17. You have to workout whenever you can. When we have kids it all changes. I used to workout 2 hours a day - now it is an hour and it is no longer everyday, it is about 5 days a week. You are showing your children how important it is to be healthy and exercise. Nothing to feel guilty about at all in my book. We workout when we can workout - kids or no kids. My boys think it is cook and they try to do it with me:)

  18. yea I don't exercise much but I think that's great that you do it in front of your kids, it sets a wonderful example of a healthy lifestyle.

  19. I go to the YMCA and let the kids play in the playroom. At first I felt guilty, but they LOVE it!

    Stopping by and following you with my sparkly little Alexa Toolbar. I'd love it if you'd swing by A Helicopter Mom's Paypal Giveaway!



I love to hear from you! Thank you for your thoughts!

Want to keep the conversation going? Make sure you select "Email follow-up comments to:" and continue the fun!

Aimee ~Classified: Mom

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Share the Love! Thanks