“I Love My Kids, But…”

The view from the trail in Discovery Park, Seattle.

The view from the trail in Discovery Park, Seattle.

First let me apologize for being woefully behind on posting. This summer has kicked my butt, work-wise, and then the past three weekends involved a family getaway, a visit from my father and another trip to Seattle for the annual women’s fitness retreat that I attend each year. There’s been a distinct lack of time to try new recipes. I’m hoping to fix that next week when things settle down a bit.

As I mentioned, this was my third year at the retreat. It’s all women, very much about fitness, nutrition and how to maximize your health and wellbeing. (This is an event that has Betty written all over it.) And for the third year in a row, conversations with other attendees invariably started with, “Don’t get me wrong, I love my kids, but….” I love my kids, but I need to run, too. I love my kids, but I needed to get away for a weekend and do something for myself. I love my kids, but I need to get out of the house sometimes.

Does anyone really think that our automatic assumption is that you must not love your kids if you’re not with them 24/7?

Ladies: do you think that men go away with their buddies, hunting or fishing or whatever it is that men do when they’re together, and start the conversation with, “Don’t get my wrong, I love my kids, but….?” Do you think they feel compelled to call home six times a day to make sure that everything is running smoothly in their absence? Do you think that they feel guilty about going out for a run, or working in the garage, or watching sports or whatever their “me” time entails?

I don’t feel guilty about being away. It’s because I love my kid that I need the intellectual stimulation that I get from working; the more I’m stretched intellectually, the happier I am, and the better mother and person I can be. It’s because I love my kid that I want to go to events like this retreat and learn to take better care of myself; the effort that I put into it now sets the stage for me to be a happy, healthy old lady. It’s because I love my kid that I joined Team in Training; it sets a good example for both fitness and commitment.

I have no doubt that you love your kid. I just wish you could relax and enjoy your “me” time without guilt.

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