Mommy guilt

I was reading Heather’s blog over at today. She’s a mom, runner/beginner triathlete, and student. She’s also contemplating an Ironman sometime in her future. She’s conflicted about this, wondering if it’s the right move for her and if so, when. In reading the comments to her post, I noticed a resounding theme–mommy guilt.

Anyone who is a mom and athlete can relate to this. We love our families, our jobs and our racing/training. But over and over again, most of us struggle with the guilt associated with taking time away from our families to log our miles. I know I do. But I’m here to say that these passions of ours are good for us, and our families. The key, of course, is striking the right balance.

Some things that have worked for me:
* My husband and I both love early a.m. workouts–we swap who gets them on certain days. If it’s “his” day, I do one of my workouts on the treadmill or bike trainer before the kids get up. Then I might squeeze another in after they’re out the door to school.
* If I drive one of the kids to a sports practice of some sort, I squeeze in a run while they’re on the fields. I go to most games, so I don’t feel it’s necessary to see most practices.
* On the weekends, when I do my long runs, I don’t often linger afterwards to share a cup of coffee and some social time. I’d like to, but if I’ve already been out running for two or three hours, I can get myself home and give my hubby a break.
* At the same time–I’ve forged some great friendships with my running partners, so I get quality “girl” time in on those long runs with them.
* I do most of my racing on a fairly local level so that I’m not gone for weekends or days at a time for a race. However, once or twice a year my running partners and I travel to a race, once again combining that girls time with my hobby.

I’m not reinventing the wheel here, and what works for my family may not work for others. Everyone needs to figure it out for themselves. But do figure it out, check in with your spouse regularly to make sure it is working, and then go get your training in. A happy, healthy mom makes for a happy family.

What works for you?

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  1. Aimee (I Tri To Be Me) says

    Your schedule seems really similar to mine! When I was training for my HIM and my husband was training for the Triple Bypass we sat down and figured out how to make it all work. It really is all about finding the right balance.

  2. Anne Marie says

    found your blog actually from run faster mommy;-) and my DH and I find our selves scheduling our workouts together nightly. it's almost become our 'we' time of day!

  3. Barefoot AngieB says

    We switch off too! It sounds like we might have found a similar balance. My hubby and I know that we both need our workouts in order to be happy and productive in other areas of our lives so we make sure and switch back and forth on the workout times.
    Sometimes he works out on the heavy bag in the basement while I drool over him and try to run on the treadmill!hahaha!

    I don't feel mommy guilt for being gone running. I feel guilty if I haven't ran and I am grouchy and restless and not the kind of mellow calm mommy I want to be!
    Happy running to you and your dear one!

  4. ModernMom says

    I don't do the running…keep thinking I should start! But I do get the Mommy guilt! Love your post and your blog. Hope you don't mind a new follower:)

  5. Danna says

    Hey Miss Zippy- I really found this intriguing. I have been a pediatric nurse for many years. I am not a mom. I always find the parent-child relationship fascinating, especially as I see them during stressful times. Just hung up from talking to a friend in tears. New mom. She is feeling guilt over her baby's feeding problems. She may need to stop breast feeding. Mommying sounds like the most difficult job in the world. I always enjoy your blog. Always interesting. Thanks for the great reads. Love- Danna