I Miss Her, Who I Used to Be: Five Minute Friday

Spring flowers in the Asian garden

Spring flowers in the Asian garden with a pond

Photo Credit: jijixiangshang11 via Compfight cc

Sometimes I miss her, the girl I used to be. The one who didn’t care about makeup, but choose to sleep a bit later instead. Sleep, what is that? I’ve almost forgotten. The one who didn’t go about with perpetual dark circles (hence the lack of need for makeup) unless it was because of a good book, a movie marathon or a fun night out with friends. I didn’t drink coffee, there was no need. Even in college, I rarely drank coffee except during my twice yearly almost-all-nighters.

But here I am, 33 with three children; almost seven, four and seven months. I don’t recognize myself sometimes. The days are rushed and harried. (And to think I thought I was busy before). Running from one task to another, amid the constant barrage of “Mom! Mom! Mom!” Even the baby, with his adorable cry of “umma, umma” begins to wear on me sometimes.

I used to have hobbies and interests. Now I don’t have the attention span to learn a new app or program, even if it could make my life easier. Learning something new would require more than a few moments of silence and more than a few neurons to rub together.

As Mother’s Day approached, I almost forgot. (Apologies to my mothers-in-law, your cards will be late). I know it’s only a day, it doesn’t really matter when we do it, but that we honor our mothers. This year we’ll be spending the day eating subs before tackling more renovations at my parents’ new house in preparation for their upcoming move. It may not sound like much fun, but it’s what my mom wants. For all of us to be together, and try to make some more headway on the seemingly endless list of things to finish before moving day.

But on this day, though we may all argue that it was invented by Hallmark, we need to honor these women, the ones who bore us and raised us (whether literally or metaphorically), flawed though their efforts may have been. But we also need to honor ourselves, as moms, for who we are today.

I carry ten to fifteen pounds of extra baby weight, but my son didn’t notice that when I held him half the night. He only knows that when he’s upset (and no one knows why) sometimes only mama can make it better. I am the comforter.

I plan a poorly advised trip to the library with all three children (my four year old is no doubt lacing up his running shoes as we speak), because they are excited to go, and we need more books for lessons for the next few weeks. I know it will wipe me out for half the afternoon, but I do it anyway. I am their educator.

I desperately plow through the logistics of getting my husband and I out to dinner for our 13th wedding anniversary. (Has it been that long already?) I don’t feel very pretty, or very much like celebrating sometimes, but I feel that the years we’ve put in, though the good, bad and messy times in between deserve some kind of acknowledgement. Because I am still wife, lover, partner and best friend.

So whether you give cards, go out to dinner or try to forget all about Mother’s Day, at least honor yourself, Mom. You aren’t the same as you were before, but that’s OK.  You are still strong, amazing, and ever growing and changing. We may miss those young girls, childless and unencumbered as they were, but I’m learning to love this grown up, spit-up-on, tired, squishy, mom-woman I’m becoming too. Perhaps someday better than who I used to be.

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Categories: Five Minute Friday, Writing | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment

Team Mom: Five Minute Friday

Human races joined together.

Macro close up of multiracial child hands joined together. Isolated on white background.

Photo Credit: pennstatenews via Compfight cc

We’re all on the same team. Those of us who breastfeed, pump, bottle feed, formula feed; all of the above. The co-sleepers, crib sleepers, baby led weaning, jarred food buying, baby wearing, baby bucket toting moms. Because that’s what we have in common, we are all moms. Whether we became moms through planned or accidental conception, assisted conception, gestational surrogates, adoption, foster care or any other way. We’re in this together.

This is a subject I’m passionate about, and if you’ve read my blog more than a few times you know  I pride myself on being honest about mothering. Because it’s hard, it’s all really hard, this adulting, parenting life. It’s even worse when you worry that you aren’t doing it right, as moms constantly do. (At least I often do, and I don’t think I’m the only one).

We want to find our tribe, a group of moms we have a lot in common with. This can be a wonderful support, but if we aren’t careful it can also become a way to put up walls and barriers between us and others who parent differently. The truth is we are all in this together. None of us have the exact same kids, spouses, lives or personalities. So there is no one size fits all approach. But what we can agree on, if we choose, is to stand up for each other, love and support each other even when we don’t agree on everything. Because if moms unites, we could change the world.

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Categories: Five Minute Friday, Parenting, Writing | Tags: , , , | 2 Comments

Fit2B Beginning (Again) : Week 1

BeginningPath

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It feels good to be doing this again, if it feels little repetitious, since I’ve done Fit2B Beginning several times before. That being said, the amazing team at Fit2B has added several new workouts to this pathway that I haven’t had time to try yet, so I’m looking forward to it.

 

Standing Chair Yoga

I mostly did this workout without the chair, but having one nearby for support is a good idea. It is definitely a good transition workout from doing just the Foundational Five. It’s also especially helpful if you are struggling with balance or aren’t usually physically active. It’s slow moving enough to do in the evening if you want to wind down, but it would also make a good wake up workout in the morning.

 

Basic Aerobics II

I have done this workout, perhaps hundreds of times. While I never get tired of it, in this case, I was forced to add a new challenging element; my fussy, 14 lb baby. Wow, talk about a challenging workout. Just remembering to keep my core engaged required so much concentration. Fortunately, I’m still splinting at least part time, especially while exercising, in an effort to expedite the healing of my abdominal separation. Plus turning all arm movements into alternating arm work and constantly shifting the babies weight from one side to the other. (Though when I started lifting up and down and jiggling him back and forth during the side step arm movements, he actually stopped fussy and started smiling, at least before he threw up on me). Why do I tell you all of this? Because I want to encourage you, try to do something, even if it seems impossible. Sometimes 15 minutes is more than I have. In this case it was involve the baby, or don’t workout. I choose to include the baby, even if it meant I didn’t get as full a workout as I was hoping.

 

Neck Routine

This week the Neck Routine was my chosen chair routine. It is mostly a stretching workout, though toward the end it did work my upper arms as well.  I have a lot of regular neck tension (someday I really need to do 14 Days to a Better Neck) from nursing and holding the baby, hunching to pick up things off the floor and generally looking down at almost everyone in my home.  This routine really helps to relieve that regular stress my neck is put through just in my daily living.

 

Warrior Workout

I’ve always liked this workout. It’s gentle but not just a stretching workout.  It can be done anytime, energizing your for the day or calming you before bed. It’s also a nice intro to a few common yoga poses, if you’ve never done yoga before.

 

For my stretching routine this week I chose Restorative Poses II

Restorative Poses II

A new workout! I always love the chance to try a new routine. I love the original Restorative Poses, so I had high hopes for this one as well. It didn’t disappoint. This is a great choice when you are tired, sore or mentally exhausted. As with the other relaxing workouts, this is best done when there are no small children around. This could serve as a good transition to sleep, but also a calming start to the day.

 

For my two days of bonus cardio I choose Mommy and Me and Basic Aerobics III

Mommy and Me

This is probably going to be my only chance to try the Mommy and Me workouts before my baby gets too big. At six months old, he’s petite for his age, otherwise he’d probably still be too big. While this may not be designed to be a strong cardio routine, it definitely had my heart pumping and my baby loved it.

 

Basic Aerobics III

I won’t belabor the fact that I love this workout. I did it multiple times during my Foundational 5+ course. When I only have 15 minutes or so and I need some cardio, I almost always choose this or Basic Aerobics II.

Just trying to exercise five or more days a week has been a big challenge right now, but I’m trying to just take it a day at a time. If you are having trouble getting into a good rhythm as I am, just do the best you can. If you miss a day, just pick up the next day. The important thing is that we’re moving forward.

You can use the coupon code laundryblog to save 30% off a Fit2B Studio yearly membership.

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Categories: Uncategorized | 1 Comment

To Be Made Whole: Five Minute Friday

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Photo Credit: ohi007 via Compfight cc

My belly and body feel broken. My spirit is weary as well. Adding this third child has been physically and emotionally much harder than I could have anticipated.  Sometimes I feel like I’m not even a whole person anymore. I’m the broken record who repeats “Pick up your toys. Clear your dishes. Stop biting your sister. Don’t kick your brother.” with little apparent effect. I’m the one picking up, washing and putting away. Staying up too late, getting up in the night and generally wishing I didn’t need sleep at all so I could get it all done for once.

I sometimes feel like becoming a mom has made me a shadow of who I used to be. There was a time when I was fun, creative, and joyful instead of boring, angry and mundane. I can’t say that I lost it all at once, it slipped away slowly like those hours of sleep I’ll never get back. I know I can’t go back in time and return to who I was before. But I want to be made whole.

For the belly that carried four babies, only three of which arrived this side of heaven, to be made strong again. For my creative side to find time and space to blossom. To find joy again, as mom, a wife and as a person. Because I was created to live a whole life, not a fractured one.

 

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Categories: Five Minute Friday, Writing | Tags: , , , , | 5 Comments

Fit2B Beginning (Again)

BeginningPath

This post may contain affiliate links. Thanks for your support.

So here I am again. Fit2B Beginning for the third time (or is it fourth? I may have lost count). My ultimate goal is to run a 10K in the next two years. While I would love to do it this year, I just don’t know if my fascia will be repaired enough by then. But my short term goals are to continue healing my diastasis recti, getting my strength back and dropping some of this pregnancy weight. To clarify, the number on the scale isn’t super important to me, it’s just a guideline that let’s me gauge where I’m at. I’m more concerned about my strength and getting back into my clothes.

Despite my years of working with Fit2B, it’s easy to want to give into the crash diet, high intensity exercise route. Because the seemingly glacial process I’ve been making can seem discouraging. But I’m trying to keep the long road in mind. I’m still splinting part time, evenings, sometimes at night and during exercise, also any time I know I’ll be wearing or carrying the baby for an extended period of time. I want to start weaning off it, even though my gap isn’t closed yet, because I don’t want to become too dependent on it.  Consult Kelly Dean from The Tummy Team, regarding weaning from your splint.

So if you’ve been looking for reviews of the workouts or just looking for a schedule to follow as you work your way through the Beginner Pathway, this is the place. Join me as I take another step toward being strong and healthy enough to live the life I want.

Week 1

You can use the coupon code laundryblog to save 30% off a Fit2B Studio yearly membership.

Join Fit2b.us

 

 

Categories: Exercise, Fit2B Beginning | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

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