Juice Box Jungle recently had an article called 'The Real Soccer Moms' and it was all about carving out time to 'take care of yourself'; specifically by taking the time to exercise and ensure that you're healthy. Whether it's to fit into that great pair of jeans or to increase your energy and have time with other adults. They were talking about how a lot of women feel guilty about taking time 'away' from their kids by taking a class or doing some other form of exercise that doesn't include them. However, they and several of the contributors said over and over that when you come back refreshed and invigorated, it'll make you 'more able to handle your little monsters on your return.'
I know that my gym membership has been worth it's weight in gold. Even if it's a day that I'm not exercising, I've dropped my kids in the Child Watch while I read a book or knit in the lobby for my allotted 90 minutes. It's just as nice for them to get a break from me, I'm sure, as it is for me to get one from them.
On that note, yesterday I decided to try a new class at the Y. I deposited the kids in the child watch, crossing my fingers that I wouldn't be called out due to Charlie's new found love of crying when put down by the Child Watch folks who can't really sit and hold him the whole time or H's inability to keep his little paws to himself. Mind you, each of the above incident's has only happened once but I had always been very lucky in my kids' willingness to go to, and stay in, the Child Watch while I had my "me time", so I didn't want to be too confident.
I ran into the classroom after taking an extra 10 seconds to top off my water bottle and found that the room was filled with what looked like about 300 women, but was probably closer to 50. The music was already going and the instructor was not your average cute little nymph of a trim fitness guru. This woman was a powerhouse. She was very petite, but had visible muscle definition everywhere. I got into position and started mimicking her crosses and jabs paired with hip turns and heels popping off the floor. 'What's so hard about this? I could do this all day! This will be a great new class!' Because The Contender is probably my favorite reality TV show, I had created an unrealistic image in my mind of what I may look like while performing boxing moves.
"Okay, folks, let's take it up to tempo!" WHAT?! Suddenly it was like kick boxing on crack, which is, I guess, where the turbo part comes in. Once I got my hips to move with the correct arm, I felt like I was in business...but wait, it got harder. I looked around to see if I was the one who had a puddle of sweat (well, not quite literally) and was relieved to see that even the most fit were sporting large sweat stains down the backs of their shirts. And to think I used to look incredulously at J while watching boxing to say 'They're just standing there hugging each other!" Yeah. Because they're exhausted!
By the end when we were doing push-ups in a dozen different positions, I had to grip the edges of my mat in order to keep from sliding around. ewwww. I was so glad I'd taken time to fill up the bottle that I'd already sucked down, and I felt great! I waited out the thirty minutes of Child Watch I had left in order to ease back from Sweaty Betty mode and then went to their respective rooms to collect them.
When I got to Charlie's room they talked about his steps across the room. I pointed a surprised finger at him and said 'Charlie walked three steps?!" When the caretaker excitedly described how he's been holding onto the Exersaucer and then just let go and toddled three steps on his fat little legs before sitting down, all the power from the class left me like a deflating balloon. "Those were his first steps..." The words left my mouth and she looked stricken. I was mainly disappointed because so far I've missed every important milestone by literally being just in the next room.
He rolled over for the first time during the nanosecond that I was using the bathroom during his grandparent's visit in September. Then he crawled when J was home with him and I was blow-drying my hair...now he walks in Child Watch?! Seriously, the kid is taunting me. See, it doesn't matter if your work or stay at home full-time, you'll never be there for every moment. But before I started circling the want-ads, I called to commiserate with my friend Alex who reminded me 'But you're there for everything else.' Oh yeah.