Why a gym membership is a great option for stay-at-home moms!

I'm so pleased with myself. I began to look into local gym memberships because I've been sup...

I'm so pleased with myself. I began to look into local gym memberships because I've been super lazy this pregnancy, but I'm trying to keep my weight down due to having a large baby last time. I figure it will increase my chances for the VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean)  I've been working towards. I also just like doing classes (yoga, martial arts, etc.) and miss exercise. Cardiovascular exercise is an excellent way to relief stress and depression as well. Plus- more calories burnt, more cookies? Okay, maybe that's a bad way to think about it.

The obvious issue with my gym membership plan (beyond laziness) was what I was going to do with Baby G. There's nothing as demotivating as either having to take a toddler with you somewhere or having to find a childcare provider while you go do something; I would never workout. Fortunately there were several local gyms that offered daycare. I was also hoping to find one that had outdoor/indoor pools because Baby G loves swimming and it's fun to have a pool to go to in the summer. We were going to put a cheap pool up in our backyard, but I was having a hard time justifying it, especially given that it would be an extra safety risk in terms of Baby G trying to go swimming by himself (I know there's ways to make it safe, but those cost more).

Having a quick snack outside at the pool.
I found the PERFECT solution. For $165/month, my husband and myself get a gym membership that includes daycare for my son when we work out. They allow up to 2 hours per day of daycare, the daycare area is huge and well staffed, and I get called immediately over the loud speakers if there's issues (diaper change, excessive fuss, etc.). They have an outdoor and indoor pool (with big kid slides for later on), an outdoor and indoor cafe with affordable kids meals (priority), clean locker rooms, and lots of classes (ie. yoga!).

I was originally worried about it being too expensive, but reevaluated when I considered all of the benefits included. For one, I can't put Baby G in preschool this year like many of my friends are because he misses the cutoff. I wasn't too keen on it anyways (hey I'm a stay at home mom for a reason), but I would like the benefit of the social aspect for him and the small break for me. Not only that, but getting a break is a huge motivational factor to workout. If you see me after a couple months and I'm the buff'est pregnant lady ever, you'll know why.

So let's talk cost... a cooperative preschool in my area takes the kids two days a week from 9:30-11:45am... a short enough time period that it doesn't really justify leaving in my opinion.

          Cooperative Preschool Costs (not including coop requirements like taking a "job"):
  • Registration fee: $50
  • Insurance Fee: $90
  • 2's Program: $100 annual fees
  • 2's Program: $150 monthly tuition

Altogether that's $1,590 per year (assuming the school year runs 9 months). If you paid for that over the course of 12 months, it would total $132.50 per month. That includes no gym membership, no pool, only two days a week, I assume the school is closed for vacation times, and yes... my child misses a more formalized educational experience, but relax... he's two. He learns through play.

His three biggest educational goals over the next two years or so are:
  1. To learn how to interact safely in a world
  2. To learn how to successfully navigate social relationships 
  3. To learn how to better manage his feelings
Nothing else. Nothing. He's going to learn his ABC's and 1-2-3's. It's inevitable. We count to 30 seconds for his time out and to 10 seconds for "taking turns." He's motivated. All we need to do is start adding numbers to his time out or subtracting numbers from his "turn," and it will only be a matter of time before he starts correcting us (haha). I think he can work on two or three of those goals at the gym daycare. And if he doesn't? Well I'll put it in my lesson plans for the REST of the day when I'm with him. And gym daycare doesn't have a big gap during summer vacation.

Additional Gym Membership Financial Benefits:
  • Some insurance companies offer a financial benefit if you exercise a certain amount each month. 
  • Lower health care costs because you'll be healthy from all that exercising.
  • Lower mental health care costs because you'll be mentally healthy from all that cardio.
  • These benefits extend to ALL exercising members on your membership. 
Actual Experience
We're on Day Two of working out (two days in a row!) and he's been doing great with the child care. He lasts about 45 minutes from what I've seen so far which is about how long I last exercising too. I've felt more energetic from the exercise, as well as more positive. I've been sticking to my diet plan better and I feel more motivated to eat well. 

He approves!
Today Daddy B took some time to go workout with me before his class. We dropped off Baby G at the daycare area at approximately 3pm, worked out for about 45 minutes, then we went and showered. He went to class (he's working on his masters degree right now) and I picked up Baby G. We went out to the outdoor pool for about an hour to play- he had a great time splashing in the water and kicking to "swim." It was such a fun time because the setup is a lot like a resort so it feels a bit like you're on vacation, with reggae music playing in the background, so it has less of that "sterile pool feel" (but hopefully more sterile that the regular public pools).

Afterwards, Baby G and I grabbed dinner at the cafe there; I had a wrap with a side salad, he had a kid's meal cheese pizza which apparently was quite scrumptious. It was a great day. And I have all of this in ONE location which is what makes it ideal for us. I think it was/is money well spent and I'd encourage everyone to take advantage of these type of gym memberships if you'll use them. It's not as expensive as it looks originally.

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DIY Danielle: Why a gym membership is a great option for stay-at-home moms!
Why a gym membership is a great option for stay-at-home moms!
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DIY Danielle
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