Something I've noticed before I was a parent but even more-so since becoming one, is the trend of parents naming hobbies, dreams, or goals that they gave up for their children.
"Your mom and I used to go hiking every weekend...but then we had you."
"Yeah, Dad and I used to enjoy going out dancing...but we stopped when we had you guys."
Shockingly enough the audience of this woeful "shoulda, woulda, coulda" is usually...THEIR CHILDREN!
I don't know if it's a false sense of martyrdom that causes us to do this as parents but here is what it teaches our kids:
"Your life is over once you have children. You only truly enjoy life BEFORE you pro-create because after that you must give up all activities you enjoy. You cannot possibly utilize your own talents and passions once you have offspring because your entire life must revolve around them."
If you really do believe that statement then there is a bit more you probably need to reflect on and delve into. Because that is definitely not "life to the fullest."
Yes, admittedly some things SHOULD change or maybe be "given up" when you have other items taking precedence in your life as a parent.
For example, dropping out of your weekly bowling league because it's the same night your daughter plays hockey or son goes to karate. Legitimate.
But do you have to give up bowling for life? Of course not. Maybe you can just make that your monthly date night with your spouse and a bunch of friends or maybe you include the kids and take them bowling every so often so you still get to do it--but in a different setting.
My parents were Bills season ticket-holders until they started having children but decided that spending pretty much the entire Sunday away from the family every week was out of the question.
Instead, we all watched football at home together and went to a game or two a year as a family once we were old enough.
From this, my siblings and I learned that family is more important than football but that there is no reason you can't combine the two.
I actually hated football until I was about 15 so I'd do my own thing in the same room as everyone else but didn't really watch.
Did my dad say, "Oh no, Brittany doesn't like this, I should probably give up watching it and put on a dance movie instead!"
Of course not. It was understood that watching the Bills game was my parents' hobby and if I didn't want to watch it, that's fine, but don't walk in front of the TV mid-play.
Wanting to be the most hands-on, present parent you can be is absolutely a noble top-priority.
I'm right there with you.
But does that mean you just "give up" the things you enjoy or that make you a better (healthier, smarter, kinder, etc.) person?
I don't think it should.
I think it means you have a few options to utilize depending on what the activity is.
Options might include:
1.) Can I do it WITH my family?
2.) Can I still do it but maybe less frequently?
3.) Can I do it at a time when it doesn't take away from my family?
4.) Can I change the location to suit my current situation?
So when it comes to physical fitness, maybe you used to work all day and then hit the gym afterwards for a couple of hours.
Now that you have a growing family- a newborn at home you are excited to get home to or a few kids to who need to be driven to various activities- that might be out of the question.
But don't "give up" exercise for the "good of your family."
It won't be good to anyone when you have a heart attack shoveling the driveway because your body is confused by what the hell you're doing nor will it be good to anyone when you throw your back out playing "Superman!" with your 2 year old because you have never trained a single back muscle.
Look at the suggestions above and figure out what works for you and your family.
Without knowing your unique situation, I can't tell you exactly what that means for you.
I DO know that for many stay-at-home, work-from-home, or part-time working moms such as myself (I fit into all of the above), the quick, easy answer is it has to be done efficiently and it has to be done in the morning.
If you need help learning how to workout with a tiny bit of time and a few resources- shoot me a message and I'm happy to help you!
But do not say you "gave up" your health for your kids. It's an excuse you created- don't put that on them.
More appropriately, you "gave up" your health because you didn't do what you needed to do to stay healthy during your current season of life.