Candid Motherhood: Exercise, a necessary evil


I know I’m supposed to exercise. I know that it keeps me healthy, gives me energy, and promotes overall

wellbeing. Hear me clearly; I am not saying that we shouldn’t exercise.  I am not refuting the body of scientific research that supports a healthy, active lifestyle. I just hate it.

Literally, every time I exercise, I have to force myself and I can’t wait to be done.  I know that some people get a euphoric feeling and enjoy exercising. I am not one of those people.  I actually wonder if people who claim that exercise is a source of great joy in their life are either a.) lying or b.) robots.

I digress.

When it comes to exercise, I do it almost solely because it keeps me from getting fat.  The only thing I hate more than exercising is dieting, so exercise is a necessary evil.

When my kids were young, I had a membership to a gym.  Getting to the gym was a process that wears me out just thinking about it.  I’d get ready, get the kids ready, pack their diaper bags, pack my gym bag, load them in the car (kicking and screaming), drive to the gym, unload the kids and bags from the car, walk all the way inside carrying everything, check them in to childcare, put my bag in a locker, and drag myself upstairs to get on the treadmill.  I’d jog on the treadmill for about 10 minutes until I got a page from the childcare center.  My 2 year old has dropped a depth charge in her pants, and they need me to come change her.  Of course, once my kids have seen me, there’s no way I can leave them in childcare again without a nuclear battle of the wills.  So I do everything that I did to get to this “glorified moving sidewalk”, but in reverse.

I’m so tired that on the way home I hit the drive through at Taco Bell and inhale 4 Chalupa’s.

Plus, exercising wastes a perfectly good shower.  Moms don’t get to shower whenever we want to.  No, we have to wait until conditions are right.  Like when your husband decides he needs a midday trip to Radio Shack, your 3 year old has the stomach flu, your 9 month old has been awake for exactly 16 hours and won’t let you stop bouncing him up and down on your hip, and the dog decided that what the living room really needs is a trash relocation program.

So when I get my heart pumping and start to sweat, I think about everything that I had to do to get that shower, and exercising seems like a pretty sour deal.

Ultimately, we all have to do things in life that we don’t want to do.  We endure workouts, dental visits, laundry, long business meetings and sleepless nights.  It’s what grown-ups do.   Being a parent, especially a mom, is full of undesirable tasks.  But parenting is not about doing what we want; it’s about doing what we should. When we do what we should, we are investing in our kids. We’re also setting a great example for them about how a man or woman faces the realities of life.  There is enough joy in every day that the disagreeable jobs that we do are inconsequential.

So, when you stretch your battle scarred body across your yoga mat tomorrow morning, just remember that you are choosing responsibility over placate idleness. Plus, if we do enough “downward dog” poses, our 4 year old might not ask us, “Mommy, why is your bottom so jiggly?”


Karis Murray is a Scottsdale, Arizona native and mother to daughters Riley, age 7 and Lydia, age 6.  She is currently the Creative Director for the Family Matters Minute Radio Show and serves as Lead Writer and Editor for the show.  She has been a freelance writer for more than 10 years and is a poet in her own mind!  Learn more about Karis at her blog:


  1. Way cute! So true! I wish downward dog in itself would take away that jiggle! LOL! Thats ‘easy’ exercise. 🙁

  2. Ugh, I hate working out too, and your description of getting to the gym is my life right now. Or, I use a work out video at home and basically have two kids climbing on me while I do it. I do think you bring up an excellent point about doing things that we are responsible for doing- all of those unwanted tasks.

    I hope to teach my kids this sooner then I learned it, maybe with some grueling chores as they grow up ;). I think adulthood would have been such an easier transition if I knew this.

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