First, a little bit re: guilt.
Commenter E wrote:
“Do you have any guilt about leaving the big kids with a babysitter? Not at all implying that you should but it’s something I struggle with when the kids only get like 2 quality hours in the evening during the week with me.”
I believe E asked because I had mentioned hiring a sitter for some shorter weekend stints. To elaborate on my motivations, I feel much better when I exercise consistently (6 days/week is usually my sweet spot) and honestly, getting up super early on weekends makes me tired and is just not my preference.
Josh would like to exercise occasionally too AND often needs some time to do work on weekend mornings.
SOLUTION: have a babysitter come to the house from ~7:30 – 9:30 so that I can work out at a reasonable hour and be showered and centered and ready for full-on Parenting duties by 9:30 AM. Then, Josh can spend some of that morning working, working out, sleeping, whatever he needs to do.
I can also book the sitter slightly longer on Sundays so that I can take Viva to her beloved MyGym. This is the only time I really get to focus on her alone, so I think it’s good for both of us! I may replace it with a swim class at some point as we get closer to summer.
GUILT: not part of the equation. There are a lot of hours in the day after 9:30 am on weekends that I can spend with my kids! I will be a happier more focused parent if I have managed to meet my needs (ie, get my workout in). I will be in a happier marriage if my husband feels like he gets some time for himself too (and can keep up with his charts at work which sadly is a chronic stressor).
I maybe got a tinge of guilt about the $ this costs, but honestly this use of $ fits in very well with my values and what I WANT to be spending money on.
On some Saturdays, we will also head out for a date night at ~6 pm. HORRORS, two babysitters in one day! But this serves a different purpose – it’s time that Josh and I can connect and have an uninterrupted conversation and have a brief moment of remembering what it is like to be together without distractions. It’s good for us and I love this part of my life.
Even if we miss the front and back ends of a given Saturday, there are still 8.5 hours of waking kid hours in between. (Your kids are probably not tallying up Hours of Parent Face Time, either).
There are plenty of things I feel guilty about. Using disposable cups (REALLY trying to work on this), for example. But babysitters do not make me feel guilty. They make me feel . . . happy.
(PS: I know many people who have parents nearby who fill this role, but neither set of grandparents is able to do this in our circumstance. I wonder if people with significant family help get asked about guilt as much.)
((PPS: Commenter E, this is not in any way meant to disparage your comment! I don’t think you meant anything negative by asking; here is just my thorough and genuine response 🙂 ))
Onto another topic: my next fitness goal!
Things I am considering this year: a block of more focused strength work (80 Day Obsession or maybe a modified version); longer race training (MAYBE, I am undecided). But first — I am going to work on my running speed. Josh is confident that if I build up using the plans from Daniels Running Formula, I will get faster. Therefore, I am going to train for a 5K over the next ~3 months! I just need to find one out here in April or so. Maybe this one (looks tiny but is very close to where we live!).
I will share my training week by week. I will be interested to see if I can increase my speed by running a bit more and doing more tempo/speedwork (I didn’t do much at all in my half training).
New BOBW ep: a fun one where Laura and I share our favorite things (and some of your favorites, too). Listen here or wherever you get your podcasts! Of note, we recorded this before she had her (beautiful) baby boy. Stay tuned for a future birth story & update ep coming up.