DO NOT change your lifestyle because you have a family!! 🙃
I've heard the sentiment of this dilemma more times than I can remember, it's fairly common.
It's often believed that your activities need to change when you have youngsters:
"Once upon a time your evenings and weekends were spent running, hiking, climbing or hitting the gym, but now you must forgo anything you once loved to do and attend every kiddie craft event at the local library and have innumerable play dates. What is allowed, however, is wallowing in what once was with like-minded sad fellow parents over a glass *bottle* of wine, remembering how you used to run a fast 5k or how you used to love going on a hike with friends"... Yeah, no... Stop right there. ✋
I get that that is the norm. I'm urging you to be unusual.
There are INNUMERABLE ways to INCLUDE your family in the things you like to do. You once liked to run? Find a spot where you and your partner can tag team watching kids while alternating running. Better still, RUN WITH THEM when it's not your turn. Join a gym with a fun kids room and go to yoga or go lift, then go to family swim afterward (thanks @glensfallsy
). Like to hike? Take them! Add a weight plate to your backpack and ruck at their speed, it's a great strength workout. Sure, they'll likely whine and cry, so be patient, but I promise they'll be proud of themselves when they get to the top, and that is an amazing reward. ❤
You are part of a family, not a shell of an individual now ruled by miniature dictators. They DEPEND on you to be the best version of yourself that you can be, they NEED you to be happy and healthy! If that means shipping them off to grandma's for an evening, then do it without the guilt. Grandma loves it, they love it, and you come back refreshed.
Everyone's needs are important within a family, this is anything but selfish.
Sacrifice is necessary, but so is balance- using sacrifice as a certificate of accomplishment creates a dangerously negative outlook on family, and uses children in the wrong way. They're not trophies, they're little humans that look up to you. So be you.
Create little adventurers. 👐