Even before I became a Mom, I had plans for a comeback for my body. I had big plans for amazing before-and-after photos with a success story to go along with it. But then, somewhere along the way things changed. My mindset shifted and I became much more focused on accepting my body after baby versus trying to get “back” the body I had….
There have been several times over the past week that I thought about writing a post, but the words were just not flowing. I have so many ideas on things I want to write about but keeping up with our day-to-day has been enough lately.
The truth is, not too much in our day-to-day is “blog-worthy” and I’ve come to terms with it. I will never be the blogger with the editorialized life or the perfectly edited stories to day, it’s just not me. Our daily life is busy, messy, chaotic, exciting, boring, tiring and we’re just doing the best we can to enjoy the little moments, have some fun and survive. …
Last year on this day, I had my last living conversation with my Dad. Looking back, it is a conversation I will always cherish. This past year I have learned so much and if I could go back in time, here’s what I would tell my myself.…
One year ago today, I walked into back into my office to make my return from maternity leave. Thankfully, it was the first day my company moved into their new headquarters so everyone was a bit discombobulated. It made it slightly easier to deal with the awkward, crazy way I was feeling inside. Everything was the same, but I was a different person.
Now that I have a full year of working motherhood under my belt, I can honestly say that it feels like my new normal. So much so that I had to dig deep to remember how I was feeling last year at this time. I’ve realized the past few weeks that despite the fact that I felt like a completely different person when I returned to work, after time I’ve adapted and become an even better version of my previous self.
That’s not to say that in the beginning I did not struggle. It may have been my insecurity, but when I first returned to work it felt like I was not being taken as seriously. I was the new mom and I had to pass the test that I still lived up to my previous expectations before I was taken seriously. For Rich I feel it was the opposite and he was given more respect at work when he became a Dad. It was an interesting effect, but after proving myself both as a Mom and in the workplace I am confident that becoming a Mom has made me a better employee. Yes there are days when my lives bleed together and everyday I may take time from either in order to pull both jobs off, but in the end my job gets done- well.
As a working Mom I’ve found that remembering the example I’m setting for my son is the best motivation to work hard on the job. I was prepared to feel guilty and some days I feel the ping of guilt as I’m going about my day, but in my gut I know that continuing to pursue my career is the best choice for myself and for my family.
But, I do feel guilty. I often feel guilty that I drop Buel off early to daycare so that I can fit in my morning workout. I feel guilty when I forget items or paperwork to turn into his teachers. I feel guilty that I do not make all of his food from scratch and worry that we rush through our routines. I could go on, but I have learned to remind myself that worrying about these things is what makes me a good Mom. It’s never enough because I want to be the absolute best for my son and that’s how much I love him.
I’ve learned that the guilt I feel is no different than any other Mom’s guilt- we all feel it. There’s times that I felt guilty because I do not do “enough” as a Mom but we all feel this way. I have Mom friends in a variety of scenarios and pretty much that only thing that we all have in common is that we all have guilt to some extent that we could be doing things better. It’s called love.
Over the past year I’ve learned that preparation and flexibility are the keys to survival. I spent a lot of time over the past year focused on our routines and figuring out the best ways to manage our time. Every evening I pack our bags like we’re going on vacation, lay out our clothes and make sure meals are planned and ready to go. I constantly check our family calendar and my personal to-do list to keep our household running smoothly. I plan out my time meticulous and it allows me to fit in every priority in my week. It’s a lot of work but keeping us organized keeps us prepared for the daily challenges that will inevitably come our way.
As a Mom I’ve learned that it’s absolutely vital to make time for myself. No matter the situation, in order to be a good Mom you must have a full tank. It’s like the say, you must put on your own oxygen mask before tending to others. So I make time for myself every week. I get my errands done during my work from home day on Friday so that weekend nap times are my time to myself. I get manicures every two weeks on lunch. I work out in the mornings so I can get ready in peace. And when I need a break I have no qualms about asking for help.
One year later I wouldn’t consider myself a working Mom. I’m just myself. I’ve adapted and grown and now have a new role. And even though I felt completely different when I returned to work a year ago now the many aspects of my day are just who I am.
Looking back on our Christmas, it was a wonderful one. It was filled with peace and quiet, time with family and friends and lots of great memories. However, in the thick of it I found myself a bit sad and stressed but luckily I was able to realize it and own it as the days went on. It helped me get through my first Christmas without my Dad and now looking back I will have good memories.
The weekend kicked off with the best present ever, our remodel completion! It felt pretty surreal as things came together and we worked our butts off all week to get to that point….
Looking back on 2016, one of things I’m most proud of is the fact that I have made working out a lifestyle. I’ve always wanted to be one of those people who did not have to think twice about fitness and made it simply a part of your day. I’m happy to say I’m at that point and I thought today I would share some of the things I’ve realized help me get there.
1. I found my why– I would say that the biggest change when it comes to my approach to fitness this year has been my rationale. Instead of trying to lose weight and setting unrealistic goals for myself my goals have shifted to simply be staying healthy. I want to live a long life and be there as Buel gets older. I also know that working out drastically reduces my stress which makes me happier overall. Lastly, my time at the gym is my time to myself and my reward is getting ready in peace and getting to work with my “me time” already under my belt. It really has become my favorite way to start my day.
2. I stopped beating myself up over setbacks- In the past when I fell “off the wagon” I would typically snowball out of control. This would lead to drastic swings and lost momentum which made it extremely hard to get back to the gym. Instead, I’ve come to realize that life happens and the things that set me back such as travel or busy weeks are just something that will pass and then I return to my normal routine when I can without issue.
3. I stayed consistent until it no longer felt like effort- After I lost my Dad I made the decision to get consistent with my workouts. I booked sessions with a trainer and stuck with working out with her twice per week. From there I stepped it up when our remodel started because our construction crew would arrive before 7:00 every day. It gave me extra motivation to get up and out and eventually it became a habit. Now I’ve been consistently fitting in exercise 4-6 times per week and it truly feels like a lifestyle.
4. We made it a family lifestyle- Rich started going to Crossfit in the Spring and we sat down and mapped out how we would make it work for both of us to get to our respective gyms. We’ve stuck to that schedule and the extra accountability of needing Rich to watch Buel gets me to the gym because otherwise it’s a struggle to make it work. Plus, it’s nice to both be working towards the same goals and have the same mentality when it comes to leading an active life.
5. I set realistic expectations- Last but not least I had to reset my expectations when it comes to my routine. I used to make excuses when it came to working out because I felt that I did not have times so the workout wouldn’t be long enough and wouldn’t “count.” These days it’s all about momentum. Most of my workouts are 30 minutes long and sometimes I’ll add in a 45-60 minute class when I can. Sometimes I’ll even only do a 10 minute stair climber session and that’s totally fine with me!
What improvements have you made to your lifestyle in 2016? Is there anything you plan on focusing on in 2017?
If you’ve been reading this blog for any length of time or happen to know me in real life, you know that I tend to set pretty high expectations for myself. I wholeheartedly believe that you can have it all if you work hard and reach any goal that you set your mind on. It’s how I was raised and I’ve proven that this attitude works time and time again. Of course, this attitude has lead me to fail several times. But that does not stop me….
Late yesterday afternoon, we returned home from Michigan. We had a great weekend. We celebrated one of my childhood best friend’s weddings while my family whisked away Buel for a little Birthday party, we recovered at a Michigan-themed after party the next day, ate chili and apple crisp with my cousins as our kids played and finished off the weekend with brunch at one of our favorite Ann Arbor restaurants with my college best friend and our families. …
A year ago, I wrote a post about the things that I valued that I refused to change after I had a baby. Call it naive or stubborn, but looking back I can still say that those things are still the values I strive for.
But like it or not, things have changed. These days I barely even notice as I’m pretty much settled into our new normal. Even so, I can say without a doubt that I’ve changed a lot over the past year….
I had intentions to start my weekly wrap-up posts again this week, but I’m not feeling it. The original goal of those posts was to hold me accountable to staying “on track” for things that have become my lifestyle. Instead I thought I would check in to share an honest life update as I’m really feeling “The Stretch” today….