Recently, I had a bit of a Mummy moment which generated my message to new Mums – whether it’s your first, second or ninth baby….this is for You.
Earlier in the year, my boys went up into their next year class at school for the last week of term. So my eldest, at the grand age of 8 1/2, goes up into Year 4.
Cue teary Mummy.
Wednesday is the day I work from home – filming exercise videos for my free FB ladies group and clients, plus writing articles. I put all of that on hold though, put on the kettle and hauled No1 Son’s baby album off the shelf.
It was lovely looking back, but do you know what I noticed more than anything????
How exhausted I looked!
Not just a bit tired….huge circles under the eyes, dank hair, slumped posture. We all tend to pick out the negatives when we see photos of ourselves but I had my objective specs on.
William had a traumatic delivery and the first year of his life was tremendously hard work. I honestly think the longest I slept in one go, throughout his whole first year was 3 hours.
I was hanging out of my hoop.
But as a Mum, you soldier on, don’t you?! Put on that brave face, lap up all the attention people pay your beautiful baby. Where is the attention for the Mummies though?
In ancient cultures and even today, in the Far East, women still have a period of confinement between 30 and 100 days. In that time, Mummy is provided with nutrient dense food, fully hydrated and allowed to totally rest.
“Progress” has meant that we have moved away from this logical model of post-natal recovery to a commercial, public-facing one that requires us to fully tend to the family and even go back to work in some cases, mere weeks after birth.
To top it off, we apply further pressure on ourselves to ‘get back to the gym’ and ‘lose the baby weight’, not forgetting everyone’s favourite ‘getting the pre-baby body back‘.
Oh, then there’s also the ‘pressure’, real or implied, to have another baby.
I did have another baby who came along just before my William turned 3. Another pregnancy that threw some tricky times my way but an easier birth. The sleepless nights (that were only just abating from William) kicked up a notch again.
Although I was in a better place from a nutritional standpoint, rest and recovery didn’t really feature. Knowing what I know now and with emerging research like that featured in my post last night, it’s no wonder that my health suffered as No.2 son began to toddle about.
Did you see my post yesterday evening on this subject and the interesting article on post-natal depletion? If all of this sounds familiar to you, it’s worth hopping back for a read.
As more of us have babies a little later in life, the hormonal shifts can be compounded as we swap the post-natal period for the peri-menopausal period (such fun being a woman isn’t it!).
This makes it even more important that you
– listen to your body
– are kind to yourself
– nourish and nurture your body and mind
If you’re starting to ponder on the point of this post, it’s simply this:
– pregnancy and childbirth are hugely demanding times for the female body
– taking time to repair and recover from those 9 months is VITAL
– getting back to the gym is NOT a priority
Priorities should include:
– setting up easy strategies to ensure you get nutrient dense food 80% of the time (let’s face we all need some cake and chocolate too)
– keep hydrated (this crucial point is heightened further when breastfeeding)
– identifying your support network and using it
– drop the Mummy guilt and make time for You
– move every day in a way that makes you feel ALIVE
There will be other priorities that relate specifically to You, but overloading yourself with yet another list of things you must do, won’t do anyone any favours…least of all You.
This embodies the approach I use in my Post-Natal Restoration & Recovery courses.
If you’re reading this thinking, “Yeah, that was me a few years ago” the approach that will benefit you most is just the same.
In fact, if you are entering your 3rd Age and worried what the menopausal years will do for You, a similar approach may be required.
A female’s life goes through a number of distinct phases – each one brings new highlights and challenges. You don’t have to face the challenges alone, nor do you need to suffer in silence and accept how You feel as a natural part of the ageing process.
Do something for You today.
Recognise your achievements.
Listen to what your body is telling You and respond accordingly.
Take care of You.
To talk through your own circumstances or find out the support available, please do get in touch.