As a mom, we’re with our kids ALL. THE. TIME. 24/7 with little or no break. And I don’t know about you, but as much as I love my children, this mommy could use a breather.
I’m sure many of you can relate to this scenario… both my husband’s family and my family are 4 hours away, Brad and I rarely go on date night and when we do we call a babysitter (of which the prices have really gone up since “back in my day”), and I feel incredibly guilty having “me time” during time that we could spend together as a family. Plus, after a long, stressful day of work, my husband’s ideal evening is not taking care of 3 boys by himself.
Needless to say, I started suffering from no alone time. Yes, the mom who loves to socialize just wanted to be left alone. I had it up-to-there with “Mommy, look at this!” and “Mommy, come here!” and “Mommy, he just hit me”. I have either been pregnant or nursing for 5 years so I didn’t even know what it was like not having a little person attached to me. I just wanted time to myself that I was not scurrying to catch up on housework.
And then, it came… the flier from the YMCA with their $0 enrollment fee promotion. I’ve been members at gyms before and we get plenty of other gym fliers in the mail. But the Y has 2 HOURS FREE CHILDCARE!!!! Oh my heavens! 2 whole hours?!
We had been discussing that we should join a gym and start working on losing some of those dreaded pounds we have packed on over the last 10 years together. So the 6×8 postcard I held in my hands was like an answer to prayer!
We went, we signed up, I started taking classes and a miracle happened… I started feeling like a better mom. I was more patient with the boys. I felt a release of all that stress and tension I had been holding on to. And for 2 hours every day, I was able to think of something other than the boys and playdates and what I’m going to make for dinner and the never-ending list of household chores.
Then I took our gym membership to the next level… I decided to shower at the gym. Whoa! I really dislike camping because of all the dirt and the non-luxuries of things like dishwashers. But I especially dislike camping because of the public camp showers. Gross! Likewise, showering in the tiny stall at the gym, surrounded my other sweaty people using the same shower was absolutely not my thing. Until I tried it.
Okay, I’m still less than thrilled about using a public shower. But the bliss that came from showering BY. MY. SELF. was more than worth it! I didn’t have 3 little people trying to climb into the bathtub with me. No one was beating on the door wondering when mommy is going to be done. I got to be alone.
Even as embarrassed as I was of all my unsightly bulges being exposed in a public locker room, I was not alone. It just meant I would sneak into the private dressing stall quickly and like Superman, in a flash would make my entrance completely clothed.
Ladies, it is worth it. Every single day, my 2-hours of alone time is worth it. Even if I hadn’t lost a single pound, the gym membership has been worth it. Having that time to myself has helped me relax as an individual and as a mom. I am thrilled to pick my boys up from the childcare and hear the “Mommy, mommy, mommy!” as they squeal with excitement about how they played superheroes today and as they jabber about the Lego creations they made. I love how invigorated I feel by getting physical exercise. The value it has added to my life makes every dime of that membership fee worth it!
And now my joke is, “If nothing else, I would pay for the shower!”