Once upon a time, I worked out regularly. I looked good; I felt good; and nothing could stop me.
Then Baby Boy Brown arrived on the planet.
I must admit that before becoming a mother, I was a bit judgmental about women not finding time to take care of themselves post baby. After all, you can just pop in a workout video, right? How could it possibly be so hard? I had a fantasy of myself finishing a round of P90x while on maternity leave and coming back to work with rock hard abs.
Hahahahaha. How naïve and foolish (insert “I told you so” here).
The problem was that I did not take into account the whole not sleeping thing. “I’ll just work out while the baby sleeps!”, I told myself. That turned into multiple other activities including 1. sleeping while he slept; 2. holding him while he slept; 3. doing housework; 4. staring into space in an exhausted stupor; 5. breaking into tears due to said exhausted stupor.
Then things got better. He started sleeping for longer periods, and I felt great. I started working out regularly again. I kept it up for a short while, and I was very proud of myself. Piece of cake!
When I went back to work, working out after baby got really hard. My little angel went through a sleep reversal, and I was expected to actually function. I was doing well to wash my hair and not put my pants on inside out. The whole idea of getting up at 5 am to meditate and go for a run went straight out the window.
It seems like every time I’d start again, something would happen. Teething. Ear infections. Growth spurts. Tired. So tired. I continued pressing the snooze button.
There are days when I am so tough on myself. I ask myself why I can’t get it together. After all, I feel so much better when I indulge in self care. And will I ever look fabulous in a bikini again? There have been rare days when I have looked in the mirror and seen the beauty in my new body; its maternal pooch reminiscent of female statues of old when rounded edges were considered the essence femininity. But those days aren’t typical yet.
Last week, my husband and I joined a local gym. I went running there yesterday while hubby watched baby boy. It was great, and I promised myself that I will make this a routine. However this morning, after nursing baby boy at dawn, I laid him down next to me, stroked his little face, and felt his sweet breath on my cheek. I didn’t run. I just stayed there, relishing this time in my life, feeling so lucky. This too is self care. It may not raise my cardiac output, but it does makes my heart overflow with love.