Warning: Full transparency ahead
I was scrolling through my pictures the other day and noticed something…
I completely stopped taking selfies.
As a former selfie queen, this was a bit shocking to me, but in reality it’s not surprising at all. Ever since I had Juju, I’ve become hyper sensitive about my appearance. I don’t think I look the same. My face has more weight in it and my gut, although it’s not that bad, it certainly requires a bit more effort on my part than holding my breath to look slim in a photo.
Having babies is hard. I never thought it would be easy. I had a pretty perfect experience with pregnancy and motherhood though. I had no issues outside of your typical first trimester sickness, from there I was able to work out multiple times per week, take pregnancy yoga from my 4th month until week 38. Great delivery experience (to the extent that this is possible). Our biggest hurdle has been that Juju never liked sleeping through the night (it took 15.5 months) but otherwise he was a great and happy baby. I have an amazing village to support me and unlimited vacation days at work.
I don’t have it hard at all…I am blessed!
But there are still some days when I feel overwhelmed. Days when I feel like this can’t be the next 18 years. I could not imagine being a single parent, or having post partum or having relationship problems while trying to parent or any of the multitude of things tons of moms deal with everyday while flawlessly juggling their kids.
And because I don’t have a lot of barriers between me and good parenting, I am even more critical of myself because I didn’t “bounce back” to myself. I felt like I needed to be pre-baby weight, killing it at work, growing my own vegetables, all while teaching my infant how to sign,” systematic racism” and walk before his 1st birthday. It is TEW much!
Why are moms under so much pressure? And before you say we drive ourselves into these frenzies, there is an undeniable pressure coming from somewhere that leads us down these unhealthy expectations for ourselves.
But the fact that I had to face was after you have a baby you are a new form of yourself. The pre-baby me is a memory. That doesn’t mean that I’m not the same person, it just means that I have to get in touch with the new me.
And I can’t lie…
This new version of myself doesn’t enjoy working out as much as the old self did. But I’ve been working out long enough to know that it is critical to my wellbeing and overall health. So begrudgingly I push through.
The new me can’t say no to food as easily as the old me. Oh and about that Quarantine baking hobby…
Most of this is likely a result of still breastfeeding after 18-months . My hormones are still wacky and I’m just as hungry as I was when I was pregnant! Also my hair and nails are thin due to the nutritional strain making milk puts on body. These are a large source of my confidence.
And let’s not rule out this being quarantine blues…
When outside and work we’re open, I ate reasonable and worked out anywhere from 1-4 times per week. I was fairly consistent but my workouts weren’t quality.
And insert silver lining…
In the last month, I have definitely stepped my workout game up. Having no other choice, I finally got over my inability to work out at home. I’ve done everything from Yoga on my deck to running the bleachers at the park up the street. Now I do some sort of physical activity pretty much every day with 3-4 of those days including a legit sweat session. But then there is my quarantine diet undermining it all.
But now that Daycare is back in session and working from home feels more professional, my diet has significantly changed. I’ve gone back to fasting until noon. Working out, although I’m not getting as much walking in now as I was when Juju was still home.
But I am getting much more strength training.
I already feel better and looking better will come. My goal is just to tone up and lose maybe 5-10 lbs.
I wrote this as a reminder to myself and to you, to allow yourself grace! If you get up and give your best on the daily you deserve praise! Quarantine has been hard in so many ways we can’t even measure yet. We have to celebrate ourselves for surviving.