HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY

as i have been thinking about mothers day, i have been thinking about the things that make a mother. all the little adaptions. the roles that are taken on. the things that have made me a mother. the changes, some physical, some not visible to any that have taken place during the past two years. i have been thinking about mother that i love. my own mother, my grandmothers, aunts, sisters, my husband's mom. i have been thinking about all the changes i have been through as i have become a mother.

i can note some pretty big ones that i am really happy with: i have become a little more patient, more laid-back, more forgiving, more focused. i am not saying this to pat myself on the back - these were little unexpected changes that i have noted in myself that i am happy about... perhaps becoming a mother filled me so much that i needed to let go, made me calm down, and gave me some perspective... being that chloe is what some may call a "spirited child", it might just be that i am becoming what she needs me to be. i am not a perfect mom (i am starting to believe that there is no perfect mom the more and more i meet many really amazing ones), but i think that having a child is doing some remarkable things that i would have never dreamed imaginable for myself. as if having her is not enough.

and then there are some changes that have taken place that i struggle with... those little nagging changes that have taken place that are hard to get used to, those things that i fight to dissolve as they are even forming inside me.

i have some serious "mom brain". i can vividly remember not being able to make a no-bake boxed cake a few weeks after having chloe. i must have read the back of the box a dozen times and still felt as though it wasn't making sense. i stood in the kitchen embarassed to ask for help, re-reading again and again, feeling as though the directions were written in a foreign language, and in the end i still messed it up! also, i am am much more of a homebody - i was a bit of one before, but i am much more-so now. full-out homebody. i love going out and seeing people, but with a toddler in tow who still takes an afternoon nap (thank goodness!), it isn't as easy as it was before to fight my urge to be a hermit.

and then there is the mom-body. my new body that isn't quite what it was before i was pregnant with chloe. when i found out i was pregnant with chloe i took extra care to keep it healthy. i worked out, i skipped the sweets, i ate well. i knew that keeping active, and eating well would be key to staying healthy during my pregnancy. i was blessed to have a really good pregnancy, and a great delivery with chloe. after she was born i quickly began attempting to return my body to the state it was in before i became pregnant. i breastfed for 15 months, i walked every day, i did the entire insanity work-out series over the course of two months, i watched what i ate... and guess what?

my body never went back to what it was.

the scale says the same thing that it said before i got pregnant... at least some days it does. but my body definitely doesn't look like it did before chloe. about six months ago i started to get upset about this. i felt cheated. other women i know were able to shed their baby weight while eating a diet of pizza everyday. i was told that by breastfeeding i would loose my baby-weight plus some. i understood fully that my body had stored fat to provide for nourishing my baby, but she was weaned, and i still felt as though there were two boxes of butter stuck to the inside of my thighs.

the more i worked out, the more weight i gained. i can complete one hour vigorous workouts without much difficulty. i have never been much of a dieter - i try to eat healthy as a lifestyle, and every now and then i will make an extra effort to stay away from sugar and sweets if i feel like i have been a bit... umm.. overindulgent... weekend boxes of ice cream have been known to happen on occasion. i am a human girl.

i got really frustrated. i gave up sugar for a complete month... i felt a bit better, but it didn't change my shape. i still didn't look like i had in my jeans. i still wasn't back to being the same as i was before... and then one busy day, one of those days where i walked my butt off, worked out, and then worked the entire night i realized something:

i have become quite a bit stronger. 

i have more endurance. i can not only run, but i can run while carrying a toddler and pushing a stroller. i can walk for miles and miles and not be tired. i can carry all the groceries in one trip while still holding chloe's hand. my body is not the same shape it was, but it is doing all the things it needs to, and more. more than it ever had before. it has become my mama body, and i like it. i like what it is capable of. it doesn't look like it did before. it is different, but it works great... so i decided to try to stop being so upset over it not looking like i did before i was pregnant. because, well... i was pregnant. i was pregnant for nine months, and my body did some crazy and amazing things... and now it is being used in more amazing ways as i raise a toddler, work out, and work late nights. it is a healthy body, and it might never look like it did before i had chloe. the best thing i can do is learn to love it and treat it well. to be as healthy as i can and enjoy all i can do.

this has meant drinking a ton of water every morning. it feels great to get up and down just about two liters of water before drinking my coffee, and i find i usually feel awake enough that i don't need as much coffee.... i know you might be reading this and thinking it sounds crazy... i do make a whole lot of trips to the bathroom, i will admit it. but i hardly ever feel run down when i do this. i feel great when i do this. and it ensures i get enough water.... if you are working out, and eating right, and feel run down - give it a try... many people do not drink enough water.

it has also meant that i listen to what my body says when it comes to food. i eat when i am hungry, enjoy what i eat, and try to make sure it is on the healthy side most times. i work out regularly before chloe wakes up, do some yoga, try to walk outside as much as possible... i don't count calories. if i feel as though i have let myself overindulge in sweets i take a break from them, but i still eat healthy while i do.

lastly, i try my best to not pay attention to the numbers and just enjoy how well my body is working for me. i really love how well it is has adapted to motherhood... and i trust it's ability to continue to adapt. i want my daughter to enjoy food, enjoy playing, enjoy all her body is capable of. i want her to know she can do amazing things. i don't want her to be afraid of "fat", i don't want her to feel that she needs to be a certain shape, size, or weight... i want her to strive to be healthy, active, and happy with what she is able to do... not focused on aspects of herself that she doesn't like and wish she could change.



she is watching me, and she will become what she is shown, as scary as that sounds. what an honor and a privilege to be a mother. thank goodness that i am not the same person i was before i brought her into this world. this new me is more suited to be a mother - all of it.

all you mamas out there: i hope you had an amazing mother's day. you deserve such a day. your job is not easy or to be taken for granted. although you may not ever feel as you did, look as you did, sleep as much as you did before you became a mom. you might forget silly things, you might not look the same in your jeans - your little one won't know this. they will know what you show them, so show them the you that loves yourself, the healthy you, the you who enjoys what your body can do, what your brain can do, the you that can love them in such a big way. you are what they need, and they only get one of you. yes, i am aware this all sounds all cliche', but it is true.

happy mother's day to all you mama's.


xo - leah

2 comments:

  1. As long as my body isn't the same... My husband says it's still more beautiful than before, because this body's been able to make a little person, our daughter! So, you should think like that too;-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. thank you. thinking about what amazing things our bodies are capable of really helps put things into a much better perspective :)

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