The highs, the lows, the tears, the giggles. The bottomless laundry bin, the body-shaming, and maybe a willingness to jump back into the workforce. Oh, and we mustn’t forget that other thing. Your relationship (married or not.) And that my friends, is why we’ve earned the title of MOM: Masters of Multitasking. But is there a secret to smoothly juggling it all, while maintaining your mojo? As a first-time mom of my 3 month old boy, Jonah, I’m learning as I go!
If you are feeling alone, stressed or ashamed about your thoughts, you must know that there are others feeling the exact same emotions about the exact same situations in motherhood. So let’s be real…
My New Body
There’s a fine line between vanity and health when it comes to your post-pregnancy body views. Your physique miraculously grew, and grew, and grew for nine months to create a blessing, so how dare you body shame yourself? However, there’s no argument that hips shift, belly softens, and boobs change shape. These changes undoubtedly and overwhelmingly affect us mentally, but how you handle it is most important. You are sexy, you are powerful, and you are strong enough to have created another human. So if you have the willingness to remain strong, healthy, and happy, you will do just that. After all, a super special someone depends on your TLC to survive.
Give Credit Where Credit is Due
After my doc cleared me for exercise at four weeks postpartum, I slowly got back into a fitness routine, but mentally struggled with my appearance. After a few weeks of unhappily glimpsing in the mirror at my midsection, I put myself in check. The stress of body image was just negative energy in our nest, and Jonah didn’t deserve to have that around. It took nine months to grow and it will take more than just a few months to get closer to my pre-baby body. I’m gosh darn lucky to have Jonah in my life and I’m so proud of myself for carrying, for delivering, and for nourishing my precious baby to date. So ladies, please give yourself credit and be realistic.
Patience is a Virtue
I personally felt let down in the weeks after I began exercise again. I thought the results weren’t coming in fast enough. I thought I was busting my tush in the gym, breastfeeding all day long, was in great shape before baby, and worked out throughout my pregnancy, so why wasn’t I back to my norm? Then I put myself in check and re-evaluated my fitness plan. Jumping aggressively back into exercise can actually do far more damage, our bodies take months upon months to heal fully, after all a human came out of you! I learned to take it slow, consistent, and stress free by keeping a bank of different workouts to choose from. I planned in home workouts for when Jonah was asleep, outdoor workouts for when we can hit the park, and strength training workouts for when I was able to make it to the gym. And, I made sure to take Jonah for a stroll outside almost every day. The weight has been coming off a lot slower than expected, and I am totally ok with that! I now look at my body with the utmost pride. So, no matter what your prenatal fitness routine was, slow and steady wins the body back.
You are What you Eat
Nutrition is the biggest factor in getting your body back. If I can touch upon just one major piece of advice: steer clear from the drug, sugar. It’s addictive, it causes energy slumps, and it helps store fat. Instead, choose whole grains, lean protein, healthy fats, veggies and hummus, and lots of berries! My food choices changed once Jonah was born, but my nutrition did not. Meaning, I found other ways to fit in healthful foods, in a more efficient, grab n’ go manner. In my journey to drop the last few pregnancy pounds while keeping my body optimal to endlessly nourish my little one, I sometimes post mommy-friendly recipes here.
So I ask of you, hot momma, to take a deep breath and give yourself a pat on the back. You are doing an incredible job.