Wednesday, January 5, 2011

The Best and the Worse of City Living

Today was my first "ZUMBA" class at my new gym.* Picture 80 elderly Asian ladies and Miss Abigail sweating out Latin Dance Moves to Indian Techno music. (Who else is home at 12:30 PM in my neighborhood except for the Asian grandmothers and the solo stay-at-home Mom, right?) The class was super fun!

There was even one 50 year old Mom there with her teenage daughter. It's moments like this where the reality that I now have 3 daughters starts to sink in. I watch that mother/daughter couple with such joy. I can't wait to be doing ZUMBA workouts with my girls.

As much as I loved the class, I'm not sure I'll be back. The daytime child care arrangements at the gym left a lot to be desired. At night, the gym daycare is staffed with the sweetest group of happy teenagers. This is every one's dream high school job. The staff seems like they are having so much fun and all really adore kids.

The atmosphere in the daytime was a completely different vibe. The morning shift was all adult women and each one was so sad and so stressed. Tess had one on one care with a lady in the infant room, but the look on this lady's face was so "dead" and "depressed." I don't judge these women because caring for kids is rough and everyone has a rotten day. I just felt very uncomfortable leaving my tiny baby in that environment.

Worried about Baby Tess, I ended up leaving my class 20 minutes early. She gave me such a big smile when she saw me. My other kids, who were entertained running around on all the cool gym equipment were so bummed. "Do we have to go home so soon!"

I'm really, really blessed to be a stay-at-home Mom who only hands off her children occasionally to people who always say "What a beautiful Baby, bring her here!" Instead of "Hasn't she eaten yet?. . . (sigh)." Today's experience really reminded me today that "choosing" to not to work isn't about depriving my kids of fun ice-skating lessons and cute Gymboree clothes. Its about making sure that the only who is ever grumpy around them is me-- the Mama who shares 50% of their DNA.

*(By the way, Miss Betty Beguiles. A recent immigrant in my class had the cutest modest workout clothes--black yoga pants with a little skirt. It totally beat my own stab at modest coverage for the post-partum Mom, alo pants (the organic cotton line from Nike, I think.) I want what she has!)


  1. I actually joined the Sport & Health in our neck of the woods in November for the exact same reasons you did. Funny how the stay-at-home, homeschooling moms think alike!! However, I left after the 30 day trial period, in large part because I just couldn't comfortably leave Annie in the daycare long enough to make it worth it - and the daycare at that location mainly consisted of movies, not playing. :( I was so bummed. I'm glad your Sport & Health seems to be better. It is so hard to leave your baby with strangers when you are not used to it!!

  2. Yeah, I'm already thinking the gym will be a night & weekend thing instead of a week day thing b/c of the daycare situation. That's such a bummer because my dinner prep time tonight went SO much better today b/c I got my dance party break earlier in the day.

  3. Playing Devil's Advocate here...

    Bear in mind that the pay for jobs like daycare at a gym isn't spectacular. Maybe that lady looked dead and depressed because she's worried about how to pay the bills and care for her own children. Maybe her husband isn't as supportive as yours and that adds to the trouble. Or maybe she has no children and is upset about that.

  4. Hello Pharmgirl, I am Abigail's husband. I believe you missed the point of this post. I am very sorry about this woman's life situation, but my wife was simply protecting our daughter. Abby's post simply made an observation about a dangerous situation. Low pay and difficulty paying the bills is common, but poverty is a blessing from God, not a excuse for to be depressed. And if your depression borders on mental illness--then childcare is not a suitable job for you.

    --Thanks Abigail for protecting Tess.

  5. Good call on not using the daycare during the day in the future. It sounds like it might be dangerous. Maybe later the gym will get new day workers for the day care and then you'll be able to use the service during the day.

    If you find the source for the yoga pants with skirt, please blog about it. It is so difficult to find the modest clothes for gym.