This week a Sydney personal trainer seeking publicity through controversy has come out to say that new mums are fat and lazy and hiding behind their babies as an excuse not to exercise. I’m not going to mention his name or business to give him any further publicity. Needless to say he is a personal trainer I will never be seeking out to give my business to. But it seems he doesn’t want mums as clients in any case.
Now this young man in his early 20’s doesn’t have kids. He is living in those years where you can easily fit in a trip to the gym in your day. When I was 24 I would go to the gym 4-5 times a week. I would get up early to go before work or make a lunch visit or head there after I got home. On the weekend I would love nothing more than a 9am Saturday pump class to start the weekend. I also had no mortgage, no kids and a whole lot more time to kill.
I was actually lazier in my pre-kids days than I am now. Sure I had time for the gym but I also had time to sit on the couch for a whole Sunday and watch Julia Roberts movies. Over a period of three weeks I watched the entire series of Sex and the City. I would race home from work and watch a minimum of three episodes at night. At the time I thought it was a super productive use of my time. These days I would love to be able to sit down long enough to watch just one episode of a TV show without either being interrupted or falling asleep.
What I think this young PT is missing is the actual reality of what it is like to have a baby. The day Olivia was born I had this instant rush of energy. I was on top of the world and felt like I could climb a mountain. Then the reality of what my body has just been through hit me physically and I was exhausted. I needed time to recover at a time where sleep was probably at the lowest it will ever be in my life. I had a baby who needed my love and attention but what I wanted most was to just sleep.
In the first couple of months of being a mum I was faced with two-hourly feedings. Olivia would feed for thirty minutes and often fell asleep in my arms while feeding. When she woke up I would change her nappy and it was almost time to start over again. I would often go to bed when she went to bed at night knowing that I would be woken at least once through the night and would need my sleep to face the next day.
As time has gone on, things have become easier as she has settled into a feeding and sleeping pattern but it doesn’t mean that I have the luxury of time to get out to go to the gym. The young PT is trying to shame or guilt mums into going to the gym. What he must not realise is that mums are the masters of guilt. We face it every day. Recently I was on the phone to my mum asking if running my own business was worth it. I was worried that I was sacrificing too much time with Olivia. Mum quickly snapped me back into focus. But the point is, mums worry about how everything impacts their child. Am I reading enough to my baby? Am I role modelling good behaviour? Am I even a good mum?
I do try and keep active and be a healthy mum. I go for regular walks with Olivia and I have been fortunate enough to participate in the Body Beyond Birth program. That is a program that actually understands the needs of mums and doesn’t attempt to shame them into exercise (note: this post isn’t sponsored at all, I just love the BBB program and thought it was the perfect example to illustrate my point. I also love the idea of Kanga Training where you exercise while wearing your baby).
Since becoming a mum I have never done as much washing, cooking, cleaning and playing. I am more active now than I was pre-mum but in a different way. Now I carry my baby around the house, I push a pram everywhere I go and I walk around the shops for an hour just to get Olivia to sleep. Would I like to be more toned and lose some weight fast? Sure! Am I willing to sacrifice even more time with my beautiful girl to do it? No way.
So if someone ever calls you fat and lazy as a mum I suggest you promptly hand them your child and go enjoy a coffee for a few hours. We’ll see who thinks you are fat and lazy after that!
What would you say to this personal trainer who calls mums fat and lazy?
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