Pre-pregnancy – Before kids it’s so much easier to make time to take care of yourself. Sometimes I look back and wish I would have taken more advantage of all of that me time! Getting to the gym was a breeze…I just hopped in the car and away I went. Meal prepping was done without a kid hanging onto my feet and another wanting to be attached to a boob. I could make hair appointments when I wanted. Take a nice, long, hot shower. Do my makeup. You know…it was just, easier.
I was 29 when I got pregnant with my first child. Aside from the horrible morning sickness..well..more like all day sickness…I absolutely loved being pregnant. Knowing what my body was going through to create a little human made me feel strong and beautiful. I loved my body as it was growing. I embraced all of the stretch marks. I went from 123 pre-pregnancy to 170 at 40 weeks pregnant. Somehow gaining all of that weight during pregnancy didn’t bother me.
After giving birth I didn’t want to look in the mirror at my body. I couldn’t. I had an emergency C-section after laboring 22 hours. Let just say that wasn’t in my birth plan. I was exhausted and needed to recover. I had a baby to take care of. My anxiety was at an all time high. I was wearing gigantic pads that went from my belly button to the top of my butt crack. My husbands t-shirts were the only things that fit me. My skin was saggy and squishy. My boobs were huge, hard, leaky milk jugs and my nipples HURT. I just didn’t feel like myself. Nobody really tells you this part of pregnancy. Most images online make you think motherhood is something like a fairytale. Not many people are willing to share the real rawness that comes with the aftermath of pregnancy. So it is hard to know what to expect.
Feeling like myself physically and mentally, took time.
6 weeks post-partum. I was cleared to start working out and wanted to document my progress. I’m smiling in these pictures but yet I am far from happy with my body. I couldn’t believe what I looked like. Self-love was nonexistent. I was literally mortified of my body. Completely insecure. Why?! Why should I be mortified when I just grew a baby inside of me? It was all in my head. I was judging myself. Nobody else was judging the way I looked. I wasn’t giving myself credit for everything I had went through the past 9 months.
Having a newborn with no family around to watch him I started doing at home workouts. They were high intensity and it wasn’t easy at first. I often had to push my exhausted self to get them done. After a couple of weeks working out made me feel good, I enjoyed that time with myself. With having a bit of PPD and anxiety working out gave me a release, something to do for myself. It made me so much happier and it made me a better mom.
“Above everything else, genuinely love yourself first. Self-love is powerful and it’s the best love that you will ever have. When you love who YOU are, your relationships will be healthier and your life will be happier. Self-love sets the standard in how we allow others to treat us and how we treat ourselves. Your happiness and well-being is important. Protect it by always valuing who you are!” ― Stephanie Lahart
6 months postpartum – This is the point postpartum that I finally felt like myself again. I felt worthy, I felt strong again, I felt healthy. My clothes were fitting! I lost all of my baby weight and I looked better than I ever did before. I think breastfeeding helped too. They say that you burn 20 calories per every ounce of breastmilk you produce. So if your baby is eating 20-30 ounces a day….well you can do the math! I was burning tons of extra calories.
2nd Pregnancy I gained about the same amount of weight as my first but this time I felt more like a beached whale. I had so much cellulite on my legs and booty. My belly literally couldn’t stretch anymore. I didn’t feel as beautiful the second pregnancy. Maybe it had something to do with the season. Let me tell you, being pregnant in the summer is rough! Its hot, humid, sticky and sweaty. Squeezing into shorts and swim suits at 39 weeks pregnant is not fun!
I am not so much concerned this time with weight. I’m not stepping on the scale a couple times a week. I don’t have time for the added stress worrying about my weight taking care of a toddler and an infant. I just want to feel good! I want my clothes to fit comfortably. I want to look at myself in the mirror and feel like myself. That is what I am focused on.
“Caring for your body, mind, and spirit is your greatest and grandest responsibility. It’s about listening to the needs of your soul and then honoring them.”
– Kristi Ling
After you have a baby it is so important to dedicate time for yourself. I know that for me to stay sane with two littles I need that time for myself. That time I take for myself not only makes me a better version of myself but it also makes me a better mom and wife. The gym I have a membership to has an incredible child care center, I utilize that. I drop the kids off let them play and socialize and I take an hour or so to myself.
Our little secret….sometimes I even just drop them in the childcare center and go sit in the steam room then have a long hot shower.
If you take time for yourself during the day, don’t feel guilty…ever.
You D E S E R V E that time!
It’s okay to not bounce back like Kate Middleton right after having kids! That is NOT reality. It’s completely okay to be unhappy with your body but just remember what you went through the past 9 months. Give yourself some credit, you just created LIFE! Give yourself time! Breathe. Relax. Motherhood is TOUGH. Finally, most importantly don’t forget to take care of yourself first..you will be a better version of yourself for your family for it.
“Be you, love you. All ways, always.” ― Alexandra Elle