This was a picture I posted today after spin class. I had a green smoothie, I was able to go to spin, and I had a good 20 minutes in a quiet house so I was able to take this before tornado Eva got back. You didn’t see ANY of the behind the scenes. Like the fact that i was pumping for the 9 millionth time while taking this photo.
I have noticed a few posts circulating about pregnancy, standards during pregnancy/postpartum , along with health and fitness during pregnancy and postpartum around social media lately.
Let me give you a glimpse into what it takes for me as a mom with a toddler and a 4 month old to make it to ONE cycling class. Just one. Not a week of cycling classes, not a month. Literally just one 45 minute class, that is less than 5 minutes from my house.
Let me give you a little background here as well. We are extremely fortunate to have grandparents very close to us that are retired, which takes huge childcare costs on a regular basis out of the equation. I am also extremely fortunate to have a husband that is able to provide well for our family so that I can have a more flexible work schedule, so that takes a 9-5 job, M-F out of the equation, giving me ANOTHER leg up. I couldn’t imagine even trying to fit that in with my husband working on the road so much, working a 9-5, and have zero support from family…..Moving on.
To make one 9am cycling class, I have to hope to God I get more than a cumulative of 4-5 hours of sleep between baby waking up to feed so often and a toddler that is still learning to sleep in her own room. I then have to wake up earlier than the rest of the house to make sure I get something in my belly to keep me going and load up on water as it’s easy enough to get dehydrated just from working out, not to mention breastfeeding too. I then have to pump so that the baby has milk while I am gone which takes me around a half hour. After that is finished, I have to get dressed, get my kids up, dressed, fed, and off to one of their grandparents in time for me to race to class.
That is already around 3 hours of my morning spent literally just prepping to leave the house and give the kiddos to someone. Once I’m there I warm up, take the class, then head home to pick up the kids, shower, and either make a smoothie, pick up something or cook something because I’m usually STARVING at that point. By this time I usually need to pump again, so I’m using my foot to rock the baby in his bouncer to keep him settled enough so I can pump while my toddler runs around doing God knows what in the house that i will have to tend to later. You get the point. IT IS A LOT. it’s a lot to just make it to one class or to the gym for 45 minutes. I am already exhausted before I even go. Do I feel better afterwards. Heck yes a majority of the time. Is it a huge priority for me at the moment? NOPE!! I’ll get it in when I can. I workout enough right now between pumping, walking loads and loads and loads of laundry up and down the stairs, chasing a toddler around, getting them both to where they need to be and I need to be…. you get where I’m going with this. Now add on the fact that after all of that, I still need to work, make sure my kids are fed, get them to their activities, find “me time”, if that is even a thing anymore.
What I’m trying to say is, health is very important to me. Mental, physical, and emotional health are very important, but there are seasons for everything. When I was in college I could go to hot yoga, group fitness classes, the gym, etc and not even think twice about it. As a mom, wife, and business owner, I am juggling so much more and getting to the gym is just NOT always a priority at the moment. Does it mean I don’t care? Definitely not. It means that in this particular season I’m focused on being a mom to very tiny humans at the moment who 100% rely on me and sometimes my energy is better spent fitting in a nap when I can rather than go to the gym.
Don’t even get me started on when I was pregnant. There were days i felt so sick I literally just could not get off the couch. It’s like all my limbs had weights attached to them , I was nauseous, exhausted, and literally all I could accomplish were very basic tasks to keep my toddler alive. The very last thing I ever wanted to worry about was working out. I was growing a human and those for 20 weeks were rough. There is nothing that compares…no cold, flu, off-day, nothing compares to literally growing a human-being inside you. Some people are blessed with amazing pregnancies and some just are not. It doesent matter how healthy or not healthy you were going into your pregnancy.
If you are a mama or not, and you made it this far, I want to say that I’m sorry that we as women not only have to go through so much on a daily basis as it is but then to add in the mom shaming, mom bullying, and hurtful comments that circulate around the internet on parenting whether it’s about how and where your baby sleeps, whether you vaccinate or not, etc. … You are doing an AMAZING JOB mama. I see you. I see you as a first time mama pregnant and completely dying from how awful you feel, yet struggling with guilt because you know how much of a miracle it was to even get pregnant in the first place. I see you mama with young kiddos, just in complete survival mode, totally wondering who you even are anymore, feeling disconnected from yourself, your husband, your “old life”. YOU ARE MORE THAN ENOUGH. YOU ARE DOING AN AMAZING JOB (even if all you can do is rest and try to find ways to help your horrible nausea) or even if you feed your toddler cereal for dinner because you just. Can’t. Right now.
You’ll get back to yourself, you will encounter different seasons. Some full of exercise, girls nights, date nights with your hubby and some seasons full of just making sure the bills are paid, your kids lunches are packed, and trying to get 5 hours of sleep each night.
You’ve got this, don’t let the internet or people who have no frame of reference make you feel less than you are. When you see other moms posting about things they get to do or how seemingly perfect their life is, please please try to remind yourself that everyone is in a different season of their own life and you have no clue what going on “behind the scenes”. Let’s root for each other! Lets lift each other up. Let’s acknowledge all the positive things we are doing as women and moms. Let’s not forget we are all human 💕
Also, next time you are questioning why a pregnant woman or mom is not “working out” (like daily tasks with 2 kids is not enough cardio 🤣) on a consistent basis, or why the gym or group fitness class or whatever it may be is not a priority, is not because we do not value our health and fitness. It’s because we have slot of shit to do that you can’t possibly understand during this season in your life.