Why is it that moms are such a target for negativity? My friend Sarah wrote a great post regarding the mommy wars which she called “I’d like to request a ceasefire.” It’s hard to win.
Stay-at-home moms vs working moms,breastfeeding vs formula, cloth diapers vs disposable, sleep training vs co-sleeping; moms are opinionated. And understandably so! Many of us take months agonizing over which is the ‘right’ decision for us and feel justified when we meet like-minded moms.
In a similar vein, my friend Angela from Happy Fit Mama and I got to experience the backlash against stay-at-home moms who make it a priority to stay fit.
The cool part of the story, as many of you may have already seen on Twitter or Facebook, is that we were both quoted in yesterday’s Wall Street Journal in an article appropriately titled “Don’t Hate Her For Being Fit.” If you missed it yesterday, check it out!
However, you might want to skip the comments. There are some grumpy people out there! I didn’t take any of it personally, as I realize they’re slamming the image of this fit mom, not me. The reactions were that repeated most often were:
- It must be nice to be wealthy enough to stay home and hire housekeepers and nannies so you can workout all day
- Of course the SAHM can do it, what about the working moms who still find time for fitness?
- Why don’t they focus on something worthwhile and contribute to society?
Ouch. For the record, staying home is a sacrifice for our family and I do not have a housekeeper or a nanny. I am in awe of working moms. And not “contributing” to society is a constant mental battle I have with myself.
Also for the record- I would not spent $69 on an Athleta halter dress.
I could write paragraphs in response to each of these, but the bottom line is, it doesn’t really matter.
I know the reasons I workout: it’s a hobby that I love, that has become part of my identity over the years, and that brings me satisfaction, joy and a sense of accomplishment.
Running gives me a boost of energy to be a better mom, have more patience, focus more selflessly on my daughter knowing I’ve already taken care of myself. Teaching spin gives me an outlet to encourage others on their fitness journey. Angela also wrote a great post highlighting the article and the rise of the fit moms.
I think jealousy is often the undercurrent behind angry words.
You know the silliest part? I’ve been there. I’ve caught myself thinking similar thoughts when I see moms with six-pack abs rocking their bikinis at the pool… thinking, why must you flaunt your fit self (hidden meaning: and make the rest of us look bad)?
The truth is, we’re all trying to do our best for our families, for our health, for our kids. So here’s to a fitness ceasefire. Let’s support each other in our journeys to health and well-being.
Have you experienced fitness ‘haters’? What’s your reaction to this article?