And not just any guilt, but the most devastating kind.
(By the way, is there such a thing as Daddy guilt? Most of the daddies I know seem to walk around pretty much guilt-free all the time.)
Today I got home a little bit early, and instead of heading straight to pick up the boys I decided to get a workout in instead. On the way home I had made this decision, not without a lot of going back and forth in my head. It went something like this:
TrimommyKelly: Oh, look. I'm going to be home 2 hours early. I can get my trainer ride done before I pick up the boys and not have to ride tonight when I know I will be dead tired.
Mommy Guilt: I can't believe that you would even think about not going to pick up the boys right away. What kind of a mother are you?
TrimommyKelly: Well, I will still be picking them up earlier than I normally do if I go get them as soon as my ride is done.
Mommy Guilt: So someone else is going to take care of your children while you ride your bike.
TrimommyKelly: It would just be really nice to get it out of the way and be done. I know I would have a better workout and probably be in a better mood to hang out with the family this evening.
Mommy Guilt: Okay. Well, you are going to do what you want to do anyway, so I don't even know why I bother.I'm really not sure if TrimommyKelly or Mommy Guilt won that battle, but I did end up doing the ride and then picking up the boys. And, yes, I felt guilty about it.
Now, I realize this is a bit of a tricky topic. I'm sure all mothers feel strongly one way or the other about topics like this. I know a lot of mothers who will probably think I made a bad decision. I know a lot of other mothers (many who read this blog) who would fully support and justify my decision to work out before I picked up my kids. I'm not really asking people to pass judgement on me (although you can if you want because I get that I'm the one putting this out here), but what I am asking is, as moms why we feel like this?
My husband goes to the gym after work almost every day, and I'm pretty sure he doesn't feel guilty about it, and I don't think he should! So why do I get all guilted up (by my own self, I might add - no one else is making me feel this way) when I do the same thing? Is it that I feel like I am putting my training before my kids? Is that a justified concern?
I don't think I will ever really know the answer to these questions, but I am very interested in hearing your thoughts on this topic. I would be especially interested in hearing from dads on this topic. I think it is a very pertinent discussion point for all of us parents out there who are trying to balance a healthy family life with training and work. How can we do it all and do it all well and feel good about that?