Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Apparently I really do need that gym membership!

My morning started off nice enough, with O & C climbing into my bed a little before 7 this morning. I enjoy those wakeup cuddles when they happen after 6:30AM! O snuggled up me, patted my stomach, and said "I love you Mommy! You're my best friend!" O's never called me his best friend before, so that really made me smile. But before I could even finish thinking "Awww..." he followed with "Why do you have a big bum?" C then corrected O, saying "That's her tummy not her bum! She has a big tummy not a big bum."

Aside from realizing that I clearly need to review basic anatomy with my 2 year old, I also had to acknowledge the sad truth that both tummy & bum are pudgier than I would like. I guess it's a good thing that I joined a gym back in October!

The funny thing about joining a gym is that it was always the kids holding me back. What to do with them? Who would watch them? Having been home with the boys fulltime since they were born, I've rarely used anyone but family to watch them. I contemplated joining a gym after C was born, but the idea of leaving my baby in a gym childcare with the germs and the strangers and the risk of exposure to food allergens stopped me right in my tracks. And so I didn't join a gym. Luckily, I was able to get back into reasonable shape just by walking an hour a day around the city. But then we had another baby, moved to the suburbs, and walking became more of a chore. It was rare that both boys were in the mood to sit in the stroller for a long walk, and walking wasn't as interesting anyway because I really couldn't walk "to" anywhere. So I tried doing exercise tapes at home, which worked for a while. But as the boys got older, exercising with two kids underfoot became more hazardous than helpful!

So this fall, I revisited the idea of the gym, and found that strangely, the childcare worries seemed to be far less of an issue for me now. Granted O is a much more outgoing child than C was when he was 2. He transitions easier and doesn't have food allergies, but still I really had only minor qualms about leaving O in the gym nursery. The fact that the gym has a nursery channel so you can watch your child while you exercise certainly helped ease my mind. But my favorite machines never seem to have that channel and I've started using them anyway.

I think sending C to preschool last year really helped me loosen up a bit. In some ways, I think starting school was a bigger challenge for me than it was for C. Being forced to trust his teachers to keep him safe and away from "itchy" foods was a real struggle for me. The first few weeks of school I didn't leave the house for the 3 hours he was away. We live right around the corner from the school, and knowing that I could run there in 2 minutes if there was a problem eased my mind. Slowly I started branching out, and grew to enjoy the time to take a music class or run errands with only one child. And now O and I head to the gym together a couple mornings a week. He enjoys exploring all the new toys, and I enjoy the brief moment to focus on myself.

I've come a long way in my fight against maternal anxiety. Now if only I could finally lose that baby weight...

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