June 9, 2010

Caught Up in the Crazy

My precious little daughter is already 16 weeks old! I can’t believe it, time really does fly, its unbelievable. Some days I wonder how to get it all done, and I have to keep reminding myself that its okay to be superwoman only every other day.

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.

Nap time is non-optional. During every 3-4 hour segment/block, there needs to be a nap time inserted. This is crucial for baby to start learning how to fall asleep on his/her own, in his/her own bed, and to gear up for sleeping through the nights (if they aren’t already). During baby’s nap time is when you are going to get your time, even if you do have another tot. You can schedule the two little ones together for optimum alone time, or if your tot is not taking those long naps anymore, you can incorporate him/her into your work out time. This is commonly referred to as “Mommy & Me” working out, or similar, but the way I look at is, is your tot gets to play around you while you are working out, and can join in if they want to.

Chances are, if they see Mommy on the floor doing crunches, push-ups, squats, they are going to try and mimic mommy, or will just sit there flipping through a book if uninterested. But since I do not currently have a tot, only my first baby, that isn’t my focus right now. Right now, as soon as I lay my daughter all swaddled up in her crib, I am down the hallway with my yoga mat, a towel two 8lb hand weights, an 8lb medicine ball, and my iPod.
I have a constant library of recorded fitness programs from FitTV recorded on my television, so that I can press play and get in some direction for hand weights, new ideas for quick routines, and some yoga, and then I do my 100/100/100 if I have time, and believe me, even if I hear my little pumpkin starting to fuss, ready to get up, I hold out and take the time I need to get in my minimum 30 minute workout EVERY SINGLE DAY. You HAVE to do this for yourself girls.

Pregnant or not, baby or not, DO IT. It is crucial to our mental -state, our hormone balance, and our positive thinking. You will not feel good about yourself if you don’t get your heart pounding at least once per day. Hey, maybe you make your house cleaning day a workout! Be vigorous! =)
So what do you do on days when you’re so busy, out and about, and you don’t have time to get in front of the television or on the living room floor to bust this out? Go for a walk! Put baby in her stroller, get your iPod going (always with volume low enough to clearly hear baby) and do lunges for every other block. When you get home, before you even get baby out of the stroller, bust out at least 25-50 push-ups. You can do this. If you don’t have time to even do that? Do squats while you’re brushing your teeth that night. Do push-ups when you are letting baby fuss herself to sleep (in her room, next to her crib, while you are letting her learn to fall asleep in her crib on her own, you can do your push-ups on the floor). There is ALWAYS a way to get SOMETHING in.

One of the other major things I’ve been forced to work on is letting go of my clean-freakedness. I am not sure if freakedness is a word, in fact I’m sure it’s not, but I’m using it anyway. I like to have everything SPOTLESS in my house. It gives me a feeling of being in control of my environment when I feeling like everything around me, everything in my life is out of control. And by out of control, I just mean life happening, nothing tragic (necessarily). Since having my daughter, this is obviously not possible. On any given day we have the choice… “Am I going to scrub toilets, Swiffer the floor one more time, or lay on the ground and coo with my child…” I like to refer back to a needlepoint hanging that was on my bedroom wall growing up, someone made it for my mother. It said simply:
“Cleaning and scrubbing can wait ‘til tomorrow, for babies grow up, we’ve learned to our sorrow. So quiet down cobwebs and dust go to sleep, I’m rocking by baby and babies don’t keep.”

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.

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