I’ve been conflicted the past few years as my waistline expanded. It’s not my intention to let myself go, but the challenges of life sometimes outweigh my ability to stay in shape. And there’s a simple reason why – I have two small children, a mountain of bills, a house to maintain, and almost no time to work out.

Now, thanks to this recent article in The New York Times, I have a genuine excuse to continue limiting my exercise – the “Dad Bod” revolution. The article intimates that some women find a paunchy, rounder man attractive. But hands off these love handles, ladies. I’m a happily married man.

At heart, though, exercise is fundamental for me. It’s always been a priority, but is less of one now, so I did enjoy the article informing me that some women are fawning over the “soft, doughy Dad Bod.” I wonder if that’s what all those moms at Mommy & Me were whispering about when I walked into the room.

Here’s what the article found:

“The skinny: On average, dads are 10 pounds heavier than non-dads; they’re carrying nearly an extra two inches on their waist; and their bellies stick out an extra half-inch.”

I resemble that statement. Prior to kids, I did yoga once or twice a week, hit a gym twice a week and routinely stretched and did core exercises at home. I was healthy. Once the kids came along, my stretching was reduced to bending over to pick up toys at the end of the day and my core looks more like a 2-liter than a 6-pack.

And, according to the article, I can look forward to being even softer and doughier in the future:

“And the dad bod is barely evident among recent dads — those with only toddlers in the house — while it is much more prominent among those with older children and teens. Over the years, as these men relax into fatherhood, their waistline seems to relax with them.”

The word I like most in that paragraph is “relax.” There’s not nearly enough relaxing in my hectic, non-stop life these days.

But is this true? As I look at my dad friends, I can say that most of them have put on a few pounds and eschew exercise in favor of family time or a few moments of rest. I think that’s normal. Let’s be honest – one of the reasons many of us work out in our young adult years is to be attractive to a mate. Once we’re hitched, that becomes less of a priority and we settle into a more comfortable, sedentary lifestyle.

As a new dad, making time for exercise often feels like a burden. It also requires discipline to get to the gym and for many of us, it’s simply not possible with school drop-offs, full-time jobs and a child’s activities to juggle.

My goal is to stay healthy enough to live a long, fulfilling life, but not be a slave to the gym. My priority each day is to spend as much quality time with my family as possible.

But what about moms? The article does make an interesting point about them, too:

“Some in the news media have called the “dad bod” phenomenon a double standard: Nobody’s talking approvingly about the “mom bod,” even though the same data show approximately equal parenthood gains in weight, waistline, and belly size for men and women.”

A double standard in our society? How is that possible? I kid. My wife absolutely feels a constant nagging pressure to lose weight and regain her pre-baby physique. She watches what she eats and I don’t. That probably bothers her, especially when she sees her girlfriends losing baby weight more easily.

I want her to embrace her “Mom Bod.” I am certainly embracing mine.