A month into motherhood and I’m pleased to say my nipples haven’t fallen off. Other things have happened though. Changes that constantly remind me that my life is no longer mine to do with what I want. Instead, it is a shared existence between Elka and I. An existence of compromise, forward-planning and patience. (I should add here that I am not known for my patience, but am pretty good at forward planning.) I guess I expected many of the changes that have come about, having seen how my friends and siblings have had to modify their lives once their children were born. Pregnancy was also a pretty solid way for me to remember that life was about more than just me! However, it’s still taken some well, A LOT of adjusting.
So, despite the fact that sleep is a distant memory, I have been trying my hardest to get out for a walk with the pram each day (well, not just the pram. Elka comes too). It’s my attempt at feeling a bit of normalcy within this new life of motherhood. What I’ve noticed while striding it out along the beach is how many fit mums are out there. It is absolutely inspiring! In my local area, there are quite a few fitness groups aimed at mums, but there are also lots of mums doing their own thing. Walking, running, lunging, jogging, jumping, lifting… oh, and chatting of course! (Good mental health fitness.)
But what’s really been resonating with me lately is the way so many mums support one another. I really like this. I also like the fact that so many mums are keeping fit and setting great examples for their children. I can recognise how difficult it is for parents to have the time, energy and commitment to exercise. I honestly don’t know how mums of two or more children can possibly do it, yet so many seem to just take it in their stride (or lunge).
I’ve found that since having Elka, I’ve taken to randomly using household furniture to assist me with spontaneous exercises. Does anyone else do this? Here’s some I’ve been doing lately…(and when I say lately, I mean that today I only managed 15 calf raises whereas yesterday I got through the whole lot 3 times)
- Step/ledge calf raise
Aim: To help my calves become more confident and define themselves from my ankles. Step out of the darkness calves!
- Simple lunge
Aim: To help my glutes switch on, which will hopefully slow my bottom’s steady progress south.
- Baby pelvis tilt (lying down with Elka in my lap, resting against my thighs)
Aim: This allows me to chat to Elka while exercising, which makes me feel less guilty about exercising when she’s awake. I always feel like I should be doing something like tummy time, or reading her a book, or giving her a baby massage or trying to get her to follow my finger with her eyes or, or, or, something that I have done already about 4 times that day, but know that a really good mum would do endlessly instead of finding 10 minutes to selfishly exercise…! Oh the guilt….!
- Chair squat
Aim: Well, what I really want to do is sit down, close my eyes and get a good 3 hours sleep. But this exercise is about squeezing the glutes and activating the pelvic floor (this should come in handy next time I sneeze)
- Sumo squat pulses
Aim: To get a different part of the bottom working, and also think about that pelvic floor as you’re pushing up. It also makes me think of sumo wrestlers, which simultaneously makes me want to get fit again while also making me strangely hungry
- Chair tricep dips
Aim: To get the arms back from the deep, dark depths of Flab Town
- Baby kiss push up
Aim: To kiss Elka and make her smile, and to strengthen my chest and arms. At this point my pushups don’t have to be very low as my breastmilky-chest is so large it basically touches the floor without me bending my arms anyway.
- Chatter clam (an old Pilates fave)
Aim: This one targets the bottom, but I like it as I can also talk to Elka while I’m doing it. It also means I can lie down on my side a bit, which is so close to sleeping… oh sleep…..where for art thou..?
- Single leg dead lift tickle monster
Aim: To tickle Elka while focusing on my balance. It also strengthens my bum and hamstrings. It kind of makes me feel a bit like a flamingo and I like flamingos.
I’d love to hear about some of your exercises as I’m sure there are some creative ways that many mums are keeping fit with limited time, sleep, resources!