I love that it actually helps me have more energy and more focus. I love how powerful and strong it makes me feel. I love that it is for me.
The problem is actually doing it regularly. As a busy homeschooling, work-from-home mom with church responsibilities, a home to clean, and grocery shopping to do, how do I squeeze in time for working out?I have tried a few workout videos from the library over the years, but I just don’t really get into them, nor do I have the motivation to put on gym clothes when I am not leaving my home, nor do I have a large area to move and dance and workout in as we live in an apartment, nor do we have all the equipment they use in the videos (and I don’t really want to buy them).
Plus, my children’s plans differ from mine when the workout video is on, with at least one insisting on being held or otherwise given attention.
Workout videos just don’t get me jazzed to get my sweat on and don’t work the best for my family.
What works for us is paying for a gym with childcare.
Pros of a Gym with Childcare
A gym without childcare means that we have to go exercise after bedtime, or way early in the morning, and I am not a morning person. After my kids go to sleep, I work, or have other activities going on, and usually have no desire to exercise after a long day wrangling four kids and managing a home.
The unfortunate part of a gym with childcare is that it costs more than a gym without childcare, which is a tough pill to swallow when you’re a frugal tightwad like myself.
Gold’s Gym, Planet Fitness, and the YMCA: we’ve tried them all before our current gym. Each has had various pros and cons. Most of the cons have been cost, proximity to our home, lousy equipment/facility, and lack of childcare.
Fortunately for us, our current gym has a lower cost thanks to the student discount my husband qualifies for, is close to our home and easy to get to, has nice equipment (they just got brand new treadmills), and our children enjoy the child watch, which has reasonable hours and doesn’t cost extra each month (some gyms charge like $10 extra per month if you want childcare, sometimes per child).
*If you want to save on a gym membership, ask about prorated rates based on income (like at the YMCA), student discounts (if you are currently in college), check out sites like Groupon for discounted rates or waived sign-up fees, and stalk gym pages and social media for promo codes and specials. For a list of gyms that offer childcare and their costs, see this site.
An unexpected perk of having a gym membership with childcare is that going to the gym becomes a family affair.
Why Gyms with Childcare Rock
Though my husband and I are the ones with our names on the official gym membership papers, our membership is more like a family membership. And honestly, it rocks.
1) Everyone Gets What They Need
Mom and Dad get to workout. Children get attention. It’s a win for all! As a homeschooling family, a little social interaction for our kids with other kids and adults is a plus.
2) Date Night (or Date Morning)
With the kids safely being watched, and essentially for “free” with your membership, Mom and Dad can do stuff together at the gym, like a date!
It could be hitting up a workout class together, going swimming together, playing some table tennis, or our favorite, playing racquetball together (even though I lose pretty much every time). Even spotting each other while working out can be fun. I mean, it’s a little romantic getting your sweat on with your love, right?
3) Modeling Healthy Habits for Your Kids
Working toward fitness goals, valuing your body and your health are all boldly emulated to your children when you workout at the gym. Our children are much more interested in health and exercise when we as the parents are as well. We have worked hard to build endurance in our kids and to value our bodies and health.
4) Kids Get Exercise Too
When my husband and I had a YMCA membership one of our favorite things to do after picking our kids up from the child-watch was running with them around the little indoor track.
They would do several laps; we’d chase them (even though super tired already), encourage them to race each other, and it would burn off some major energy before we went home and they had lunch/naps.
Sometimes instead we’d play a little basketball in the gym or even going swimming together.
Our current gym also has outdoor play equipment available and offers a monthly Kids Fit class as well (though it costs extra). With a family gym membership, kids get exercise too when you plan it right, which totally rocks.
The pros of a gym membership with childcare, along with its added family perks, has made my tightwad-self feel completely okay with spending well over $20 a month to do something I don’t always love. Exercising, working toward some postpartum weight loss goals, weight lifting, doing something for myself, and setting a good example to my kids is worth it.
A gym with childcare means I can get away from my kids and focus on myself. And actually go to the gym.