Team Mom: Five Minute Friday

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

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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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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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To Be Made Whole: Five Minute Friday

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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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Fit2B Beginning (Again)

BeginningPath

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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

Week 2

Week 3

Week 4

Week 5

Week 6

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

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When the Baby is Finally Healthy Again

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My son is six months old. We’ve been fighting low weight gain and feeding issues almost since his first week of life. We’ve nursed, pumped and bottle fed with my milk and milk from generous mamas including my sister. (Some of you may remember, that we’ve been here before). For a while I pumped after every nursing around the clock, every three hours during the day and every four at night. He’s had his tongue and lip frenulem lasered by a pediatric dentist in Philadelphia who specializes in working with breastfed babies and mamas. (Who knew such amazing professionals existed? We drove over an hour to see him, but there were patients there who came even further. He saw us on his lunch break. That says a lot). I cater to this little one’s strange whims, like giving some milk by bottle, to prime the pump as it were, before nursing, guessing when he’s hungry because once he starts crying, it’s too late and so many more.

I take thrice daily herbal supplements. My hospital grade breast pump has been a constant presence in my living room since then and I rarely leave for an all day outing without my Medela backup pump. At least until recently.

Because he is six months olds now. He is finally on the charts at the 10th percentile. He rolls, vocalizes and, Lord have mercy, is trying to maneuver around and get ready to crawl. He eats solid food three times a day and loves it. He still wakes in the night to nurse sometimes, but when I do sleep, I don’t feel like I’m choosing my sleep (and in most cases, sanity) over his health. I only pump three times a day now, sometimes less if I really need the break. The hospital grade pump is going back this month. I don’t fear every stuffy nose and cold will result in lack of weight gain.

I know there is a still a long way and many sleepless nights to go. But I feel like I may be starting to see a light at the end of the tunnel. Where I can enjoy my son, this most likely to be final baby, and wonder at the way his little hand holds mine while we nurse. To let him nap in my arms, even when I know there is so much work to do. I’m really enjoying him.

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Control is an Illusion, But I Can Decide to Trust: Five Minute Friday

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Decide

Which is more urgent, the school work or the laundry? The meals or the cleaning? My day is filled with constant decisions. Because I know it won’t all get done, at least not at the same time. Every yes, is a no to something else. I become overwhelmed with cooking the proper foods, making sure they get enough time outside, but don’t fall behind on their studies. Am I properly addressing their characters and providing spiritual training?

It’s easy to want to give up, plant them in front of Octonauts with granola bars and feed them boxed macaroni and cheese for dinner. (The dairy free version for my four year old, of course). Because I know that making all the “right” decisions (if I can even be sure what they are) won’t guarantee a result. I have the luxury of worrying about ideal meals and the best home education with my means, while others are concerned about any food or education at all.

But what we have in common, me and the mamas praying their babies grow up without contracting a childhood disease, or being lost to violence or starvation, is that we don’t really have control of our lives. My choices give me the illusion of control. But I can decide to trust, not that God will always keep away the bad things, but that somehow over the expanse of eternity he will equalize the scales, right the injustices  and through his grace and mercy bind up the brokenhearted and make all things new.

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