Starting right at week 6 I went back to yoga. It was amazing to finally be back in my hot, humid sanctuary of sweat and release. I felt like a million bucks, even though it was hard, and I certainly had lost a bit of flexibility after six weeks of hobbling around with stitches. By the way, I’ve spoken with several mom’s who have had c-sections, and not all of them had as painful of an experience as I had. My experience seemed very painful, and upon watching the video of Mia being born, I can see why. There was quite a bit of pulling and stretching that my doctor did, which would account for the seeming obscene amount of bruising I felt for so many weeks. Anyway, where was I… oh yes. Well thank God for muscle memory! In 3 short classes I was back into my groove, and at 6 weeks every pound I’d gained during my pregnancy was gone… at 8 weeks, I was 2 pounds below my pre-pregnancy weight. A big “woo-hoo!” for superfoods, a big “woo-hoo!” for my 100/100/100 and an even bigger “woo-hoo!” for my Bikram yoga practice.
During the past 8 weeks things have changed constantly. Mia is just an amazing little soul, full of sugar and fire, with a personality three times her size and joy that seems everlasting. She keeps me busy, and as my husband as recently moved companies, I am not getting to yoga as often as I’d like. In fact, in the past 3 weeks since he started his new job, I’ve only made it to class about 6 times. Which has me feeling kind of horrible, honestly. I was in such a groove, really feeling strong and capable, and then WHAM, I’m suddenly stuck at home a LOT more than I was, and feeling a little bit blue as the summer weather started in (AZ summers are HOT!)
So what do you do then when you really are a Mom “stuck” at home, possibly because you don’t have relatives nearby you feel comfortable leaving baby with, or because you have another tot running around in addition to baby? You make it work! IT IS POSSIBLE! Keep thinking that to yourself… if you don’t like what you see, CHANGE IT. You can do this. Make sure you have baby on a schedule. I don’t care what kind of a schedule it is, but make sure s/he is on a schedule. That way you can guarantee that you can get in some time for yourself during the day, to shave those legs in a shower, and do your at home version of kicking your own butt to keep your body going in the direction you want (in, not out!)
Schedule wise, I recommend what I fondly call the 3 hour block method (this can easily be moved to a 4+ hour block method when baby is older). This consists of baby eating, having anywhere from 45-90 or 120 minutes of awake time (where you interact with baby by reading, playing with toys, singing to them, going on a walk, etc.) followed by nap time.
I have to remind myself of this constantly, especially when I get caught up in the crazy; and trust me, I’m an EXPERT at getting caught up in the crazy. It just not worth having perfectly spotless countertops to miss out on any moment of my daughter’s awake time; and that’s not to say that I haven’t nestled her into her Baby Bijorn front carrier and vacuumed the floors, because I have. And it can actually be quite soothing for a fussy baby… she loves it. But that is just not the norm. Try and make cleaning while baby is awake and happy an exception, not the rule. No woman on her death bed ever said, “I wish I’d cleaned more.” =)
But when you do need to get some things done, don’t feel guilty for putting baby down. S/he need their alone time too. Learning to play by themselves, and entertain themselves is crucial for their development. Go ahead and put them in their “Under the Sea” Baby Einstein toy, in a swing, bouncy chair, Pack ‘N Play, or Bumbo seat with a toy and let them be for a bit, and move them from station to station when they get bored. Because we all need to get things done… switch a load of laundry, make dinner, superfood snacks!!! So don’t feel guilty. It’s all for their good in the long run. And remember, don’t get too caught up in the crazy.