Don’t feel bad, sometimes it’s not possible to exercise

Exercising, going to the gym, personal training, running or even boot-camp are the rage at the moment. Someone you know is doing it; however don’t feel bad that you are not on the same level as everyone else. Sometimes physical exercise just ISN’T possible and especially if you are a full time mother.  

Most of you may have heard of the ME TIME – having time to ones self, doing something for you, zoning out, being pampered, nurturing or giving yourself a treat etc.  This is something that mothers seem to forget or perhaps just don’t have the time or resources to do so.  


Of course regular exercise has its benefits such as increased energy levels, can control weight (along with better nutrition and eating habits), alter ones mood eg. being happier and more relaxed, improve ones heath giving a resistance to certain illnesses and can even help with sleep problems too.  Exercise can also boost one’s self esteem which may make you feel better about your appearance, give you confidence and a better way of life.

Exercising can be this ME TIME; however TIME is one of the main reasons why some people are exercising and others are not.  One also must get their priorities into perspective too; exercising must be continuous in order to reap the benefits, yet one must take into account each and everyone’s personal situation.  

Not everyone CAN exercise, it took my 15 yrs to begin to look after myself (read here).  Here are some reasons why a full time mother can’t always exercise with a large family:

Babies and children’s needs come first – those early years are busy and demanding, children need their mothers care around the clock.  During those early child rearing years, it can be a very busy time especially if one has 3 or 4 under school aged children to look after.   Most large family children are closely aged too which can make exercising impossible to manage.  

Chores including washing, cleaning, laundry, ironing etc are constant in a large family and if neglected even over a short period of time, can become so overwhelming and stressful.  One one must keep on top of it in order to survive. Most mothers of large families spend a great deal of time in their laundries and at the washing line (in fact this might be classed as a form of exercise with the amount of bending, stretching and squatting that is involved)!

Cooking for a large family is also constant and requires meal planning and organisation, among all the other tasks throughout the day, putting a meal together or preparing it takes time and especially when there might be a child underfoot.    

Food shopping is a huge task in a large family which can take up an entire morning or day; thankfully if you do shop at ALDI (or anywhere for that matter) this CAN be classed as a REAL WORKOUT due to the amount of lifting, carrying, walking, stretching etc; most large family mothers have a great deal of upper body strength and probably never realised that some of this has been achieved from these individual shopping trips!

Carers or babysitters might be an option for some in order to go to the gym or group class/session. However, not all facilities have a creche or baby sitting facilities.  Some are also very costly or perhaps the idea of leaving your child under another persons care while YOU workout might make one feel guilty. Mothers can be very selfish by allowing their children’s needs to come first.  

Perhaps the evening might be the best time to exercise or go to the gym; however some families do not have two parents at home (or another gets home at awkward hours), which leaves the care entirely up to the one parent. In fact sometimes the evenings are so chaotic and full-on that once the evening routine has finally settled down the over-tiredness can set in and all one wants to do is perhaps sit, relax and/or go to bed.

Then again, what about getting up VERY early in the morning (before the sun is up) and doing exercise? This might suit some people, however if you are not a morning person (or have a baby or small children – go back up the page are read the first point); sleep is VERY important and lack of it (as we all know) can make or break a person.

An exercising routine can be hard; however most mothers don’t realise that they ARE doing some form or another throughout their day just by the amount of running around, appointments and errands made in everyday life.  Click here for a list of some simple day to day things one can do throughout your day.

Of course the decision to do any form of exercise must come from you, no amount of coaxing or coaching will help unless you make the decision to just do it!

So don’t feel bad, sometimes it just isn’t possible to exercise. Exercise should not be a chore, it should be something you look forward too and enjoying doing.  

That ME TIME will come around eventually, therefore love who you are now and if you have to wait until that right time to exercise pops up in your life, so be it…just don’t give up as you will get there in the end!



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  1. 21, November 2013    

    I can so relate

  2. meandmyreadymadefamily meandmyreadymadefamily
    7, December 2013    

    I know I really need to make more effort to exercise right now. I got married in October this year and instead of going on a health kick and losing weight, I gained 5kgs from eating really poorly and not making time to exercise!!!
    Thanks for the tips and helping me feel a little less guilty! 🙂

  3. 9, December 2013    

    This is totally me. Lets hope we get there in the end…. or at least my current thinking is after Christmas/the festive season at the moment!

  4. Louise Louise
    8, February 2014    

    I am a workout fiend myself–but check out windsor ab pilates dvd, its only 8 minutes every day and is awesome! most mums can probably squeeze that in every day (I do it with my kids!) great results too, and you dont have to leave the house:)

    • 8, February 2014    

      Do you have the link or info for this please Louise 🙂

  5. Bev Kells Bev Kells
    23, September 2014    

    Thank you so much! I didn’t need anyone to edify my position, but even so, I beat myself up about it at times! I work full-time, then come home and do all the stuff…we still have three kids at home. I have had a lot of injuries in the past, and my bad foot is getting worse, so I have decided to do aqua-aerobics, because it’s much less strain on the foot. I invited my daughter to come along, and she said, ewww, Mum, isn’t it all old ladies? I said to her, well, no, because you and I will be there! Lol!! Here’s to
    hoping for a great new habit to become part of my life, and to feeling great, and more mobile!

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