There's a lot of new mom's out there and there's a lot (like massive amounts) of external pressure on mom's from how they parent, to how they look post baby. It's something that has been on my heart quite a bit after having Eliza, especially when someone recently commented how they are nowhere near as fit as I am and haven't worked out as much as they should after having a baby. Ugh, that made me a little sad. So today I wrote a letter, to the new mom or the seasoned mom, or to myself if I forget this again.
Congratulations on the birth of your baby! Whether you had your baby a month ago, 10 months ago, or if it's your second or third, doesn't matter, you had a baby!! Amazing. You created life inside of that belly, a miracle in itself. And now you have to figure out how to navigate through life with an extra little human (or two or maybe more). Seriously, that's not an easy task. It's really, really hard. Even if you've done it before, each baby brings things up to a whole new level.
I've been there. I cried tears of joy, sadness, exhaustion, happiness...all the tears, for everything. Was I doing it right? What else could I be doing to be better at this? All I wanted to do was snuggle that tiny little baby & stare at him constantly. And that's what it should be about. Getting to know your baby, loving that baby, spending as much time as you want staring at the baby, and adjusting to being a mom. Don't ever feel guilty for wanting to do all of the above and nothing else, that's absolutely, perfectly ok if that's what you want to do.
What sucks is that the world will tell you otherwise and will make you feel guilty about so many things, and often times it's done unintentionally. It's not fair, to new or seasoned mamas, to have to think about losing weight and getting your pre-baby body back right after coming home from the hospital. But I've been there too, I stressed about it SO MUCH! It's only after having my second baby that I learned that it is not possible to achieve my "pre-baby" body, why, because I've had 2 babies!! I no longer have a pre-baby body. I can't un-do my body changing and growing over 40 weeks (twice!) and neither can you. No mom should ever feel guilty about not exercising after having a baby. Exercise doesn't exist for the sole purpose of losing weight. I love exercise because it gives me energy (so does coffee and sleep), it puts me in a better mood (so does wine), it helps me recharge for the day, it challenges me...but it's taken a while for me to get to this point. I have to constantly keep myself in check to make sure I am not comparing myself to other moms or thinking of how much weight I have to lose or how much tighter my stomach should be by now. And I don't ever want anyone to look at me and be made to feel guilty about something as trivial as a number on the scale.
Enjoying time with your baby is super important. YOU are super important. You are amazing and you created an amazing little miracle. Get to know that little miracle inside and out. How quickly you lose your baby weight does not determine your worth. It does not make you a better or worse person. It's just a number. Our babies are little for such a short amount of time, stressing about a few pounds is just such an energy suck. So love your baby, and learn to love yourself in whatever way works for you. If exercise is your means of loving yourself, then go all out, but don't do it out of guilt. If crafting, sewing, watching Netflix, walking, coffee dates, napping with your baby make you happy, then please do those things and don't feel guilty about not doing what the other moms are doing. Be kind to yourself, you are so incredibly amazing just as you are.
With love and respect,
Stained-yoga-pant-wearing mom of 2
Much love to all the moms out there. There is not one right way of going about this. My hope is that there would be less guilt and more grace for whatever path we choose as moms.