The Mama who could have bounced…. but didn’t 

Motherhood almost instantly readjusts your priorities, at least it did for me. From the second Monkey was born Michael and I were making critical life or death decisions and focused solely on what was best for Monkey. This was a huge mind shift for me that affected my life in ways I didn’t expect. 

Growing up I was that girls that danced 4 hours a day 7 days a week and never felt thin or fit enough, I was but I always strived for more. Thankfully I found myself in a therapists office before I could do too much damage but I was always the type to push my body to its limits at least for period of time. 

Solveg – Academy of Classical Ballet 2000

When my dance life ended and I went off to University I took up running and the gym. This was a slow burn relationship with lots of ups and downs that I still struggle with but in the end I still managed to keep my weigh and dress size within MY acceptable range. It would be nothing for me to decided to chase the bikini body mid summer and decided that two classes a day was completely doable along with a “I only eat food that looks like it did coming out of the ground” diet… because if I am anything I am dedicated and goal driven. And I would achieve that goal… every… single… time….sometimes with a little time to spare.

So with all this type A personality engrained in my DNA and 14 years of ballet school discipline woven into my lifestyle “bouncing back” after pregnancy should have been a piece of cake right? And really it probably would have been if I had tried, but this post is not about how you can get your pre-pregnancy body back quickly if you just try hard enough. It’s about how that doesn’t actually matter.

When Monkey first came home I went to the gym a lot… to shower. Michael was workings away a lot, we were room sharing  and the sound of the shower would wake Monkey up. So I was there about 3 times a week to put Monkey in the day care, so I could take a quick walk on the treadmill to justify showering in the locker room. I am pretty sure I was in the shower longer than on any of the machines. I assumed that this would eventually become my routine and I would be there daily and rockin’ my ore wedding jeans before Christmas. That was not the case.

Once Monkey started to sleep in his own bedroom and showering at the gym was no longer required; that drive into town became less frequent, because I wanted to spend time with my son. Newborns are up basically 4 hours a day and I didn’t want to spend a significant portion of that time away from him while he was in the gym day care. It was so much more important that I spent my time at mommy and me and  practicing tummy time than pushing the calorie count on the step mill. 

At that moment my priorities had shifted from about how I look in that dress to how I looked in his eyes. I want to be the mom who will share some ice cream with her son and not worry about the consequences. I don’t want sit on the side of the pool because I am worried about the tummy rolls and cellulite that lets be serious no one sees but you. I want to have a relationship with myself that promotes memories with my son not one that makes him call the day care workers Mama. 

This however does not mean that thinking about my health is out the window, but that the focus has shifted. I will continue to love working out, but when it comes between the bench press and the park bench, you will find me at the park every time. I want to do what I can to make sure that I am around the share those memories for a long time to come and able to make more as we all grow older, but it won’t be at the expense of this precious and all too fleeting time.

How did your perspective change when you became Mama (or Dada)? Let me know in the comments below!

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14 thoughts on “The Mama who could have bounced…. but didn’t 

  1. Nostalgia Diaries says:

    Becoming a mom has changed everything. Even though I still struggle with it, it’s taught me to be less hard on myself — because I don’t want to teach my daughter anything other than that she needs to love herself!

    Like

  2. One Mile Smile says:

    Motherhood has definitely made me more adventurous and willing to try new things. I’m more of an introvert, and don’t necessarily want my kids to be, so I try to put myself out there more.

    Like

    • The McGills says:

      I have always been a little introverted as well and have to work get out there too. I am hoping my son has balance of both being able to entertain himself and be alone but also enjoy adventure and the company of others

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Dori says:

    This was such a good read. My babies are all a little older now (16, 13 and 11) so I’ve had plenty of time to “bounce back” and for the most part I have; but I do remember those days of wondering if life would ever be the same and then I realized that it wouldn’t and that was fine with me. As for my body, I shifted my thinking from “damn, what happened to me, where did my slim, trim, everything is right where it is supposed to be” body? to “damn…I’ve grown, and birthed THREE human children in this body…I look GOOD!”

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  4. namastaytraveling says:

    I can really relate to this story and although I’m not a mom, I know over time my relationship with my body will evolve! I love how you said “the focus has shifted”, which is so true, and so necessary.

    Like

  5. thatslifeactually says:

    I relate to how you feel so much. Just know that there will always be phases through life. Mine are 4 and almost 6 now, and going to the gym or for a run have become a lot easier. I almost welcome the break – and it’s as much a mental health choice as it is a physical health choice. If I exercise, my day goes better. My kids see me exercise, or go to the gym and want to do that too. I feel like it got easier and then all of a sudden they became little people who have things to do, and life got busier and now I’m struggling to squeeze in the exercise, but desperately want to!

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  6. Eileen Mendoza Loya says:

    Isn’t this true for any woman who is almost at the peak of their careers but had to drop it all because family was more important. I can so relate to this post. My children were my world and even if I almost reached the success I craved for, I learned to be content with where I was at that time. My priorities are “God. Family. Work. In that exact order.”

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