I was 23 when I gave birth to my first baby. At the time, none of my friends (well, a few) had babies. Tom and I had been married for almost 2 years by the time our daughter was born and he was working 3rd shift (11pm-7am.) These were some of the hardest times of my life. All day was spent cooped up with a baby, seeing Facebook photos of all my friends in bikinis on boats with beer in their hands. Tom slept during the day, woke up to eat dinner with us and then left for work around 10pm. This meant 5 hours of “help” with a baby which really meant I made dinner and cleaned the house for the day. The night shift was all mine; help wasn’t even an option. Just typing it causes knots to form in my stomach. I had never been more stressed out in my life and I didn’t know what to do. Now looking back, I can see my minimalism journey beginning. Some of the strategies I implemented help keep my crazy life and schedule just al little less hectic. I had no idea I was becoming a minimalist mom, but it as happening. So let me share with you those simple steps to make postpartum recovery less stressful.
The internet is filled with articles and posts telling us mommies different ways to lose our “Mommy Pooch.” Most of these posts are filled with weight training strategies, cardio practices and crunches.
As a woman who took far too much pride her appearance early on in life, having my stomach “ruined” by my children was devastating to me. Some women accept these birthing changes and embrace their new bods. These are the women to look up to. Whether these women rock their stretch marks at the beach or just happily cover them and are ok knowing they will never wear a bikini again.
Having my stomach covered with stretch marks caused me a great deal of stress and frustration for years. On top of the stretch marks, the extra skin and sagging really did a number on my self esteem. It’s unfortunate how much self worth I placed into my bikini body. I felt like I was no longer worthwhile in a lot of ways simply because my stomach wasn’t what it used to be.
I worked my butt off to try and get my stomach back. Covering it with creams, joining classes that focused only on abs and even going through dieting extremes. As with most things, when I stopped worrying and trying, everything started falling into place.
Ready for a mind-blowing fact? A lot of times I go to the gym just to sit. Yes, the occasional super-fit person will tease me or make a joke and I don’t care at all.
The truth is, I used to do it all. I would get my daughter off to school, head to the gym, head to college classes, work a part-time job, come home, make dinner, do homework and then get up and do it all over again.
These days, I’m older, I’m wiser and I avoid stress at all costs. Especially self-inflicted, avoidable stress.
So why do I make it all the way to the gym just to sit on my butt and do nothing? Because they have 2 hours of free child care which often times are my only 2 child-free hours of the day and sometimes even the whole week. A moment to recuperate and relax is sometimes exactly what I need.
Trying to sit down with a good book at home usually lasts for half a page before I’m up getting crayons, or cleaning up a spill. Enter: the gym. Many good books have been read at the gym. Sometimes I even take them to the stationary bikes so I feel a little better about accomplishing nothing fitness wise.
Processed foods are lining the shelves of our grocery stores. They are in restaurants, schools, fast food chains and most likely in your own home. The day I first learned about the dangers of processed foods is a day I don’t really recall. I just remember standing in my kitchen one night, at midnight, and chucking canned goods out of my cupboards. I felt fearful and freaked out. One thing I have learned is that doing anything out of fear is never the best method. It winds up causing great amounts of stress and can easily spread that stress to those around us. In my case, my family. They woke up with cupboards that were bare and me telling them everything they ever loved was toxic and disgusting. Really fun way to wake up, right?
After a lengthy, prolonged freak out I was able to start getting a grip on my relationship with processed foods. So much so, that I now allow it to be eaten on occasion. Both by myself and my children. It’s a crucial thing to inform yourself, with that I agree. However, when that information causes you to lose joy because of it, then something is going wrong. When I first learned about processed foods I allowed these foods themselves to make me angry or afraid. Those are 2 emotions I definitely don’t want to carry around with me day to day. Carrying anger around everywhere because of a box of ingredients? Kind of silly, right?
I am so honored to announce that, HeartSoulandWholeFood.com was nominated for The Sunshine Blogger Award by For the Love of Teachers. It really is such an honor to be recognized. It means so much to have my work be appreciated by such a great blogger.
The Sunshine Blogger Award is given to bloggers by other bloggers who are creative, positive, and inspiring. Once nominated, the blogger is required to write a post in which they:
Thank you again, so much to fortheloveofteachers.com for thinking of me for your nomination. A site that is dedicated strongly to helping others (specifically teachers) succeed and thrive in what they do.