When I was younger, I hated going to the gym. Treadmills were boring, weight machines confounding. I tried to go many times, but I inevitably quit. But now that I'm a mom, I've found several reasons to love the gym. Free childcare is only one of them. :-)
Many of you know from my earlier posts that I have found being a stay at home mom sometimes unrelentingly lonely. I adore my daughter, but day after day of being in the house alone with her starts to wear on me, especially considering she can't even talk yet. Going to the gym is an excellent break in the monotony; it doesn't matter if I end up walking alone on a treadmill. I'm surrounded by people, and I'm getting my body moving. Working out is an excellent mood boost.
It is incredibly invaluable for a mother to have an hour to herself. If you've been thinking about joining a gym but feel insecure or doubtful, do it anyway! We aren't going to lose that baby weight sitting on the couch, and people are not very likely to make fun of someone who is obviously trying to get healthier. Find a gym with good childcare, and savor that hour of time to think, daydream, or plan. Your baby will love seeing other children--and you might just find it helps to save your sanity!