Motherhood is a game changer, you have heard it before. I truly thought I was prepared, thought I had it all figured out and then the hospital sends you home with a tiny human and all you can think is, “What now?”
Mom & Baby Yoga was an opportunity to share what I love with MY tiny human and I had been waiting since the early days of pregnancy for this moment. It took a whole lot of energy just to get to class on time, I showed up with a diaper bag the size of a suitcase for month long European trip with no access to a laundry machine, I was the only one NOT participating because I spent the whole 45 minutes nursing - I felt cheated. There was nothing wrong with the class itself, I just couldn’t shut my brain off. Worried I was bothering the other moms, that my baby was disrupting their Qi and my daughter hates yoga - MY LIFE IS RUINED!
Reality: she was only six weeks old.
Working out from home when baby girl napped was my next attempt weeks later. That worked for all of 2.5 days. There was too much to do - house work, cooking, showering and most importantly, napping myself. Always something that overshadowed my need to stretch and find zen and not enough hours in the day.
One morning, I was so close to being done my workout and she woke up - NOOOO, SHE WAS NOT GOING TO RUIN THIS! So, I grabbed her from her crib, brought her to my basement workout space, surrounded her with toys and finished my workout. And you know what? It wasn't that bad considering she was a Zombie Crawler. I didn't jump on her or crush her with a weight and she wanted in on my post workout Yoga Stretch. She watched me with intensity, toys didn’t matter, and she was curious “what on Earth is mommy doing? How can I get involved.” So began our fitness journey.
Make no mistake, this was not a smooth sailing lightbulb moment. Many days ended in disaster, frustration, crying, feeding, stinky diapers - but we pressed on. I would bring her with me to our workout spot daily, set her up with toy distractions, press play and go. It didn;t take long for her to become more interested in my set of free weights on the floor than those silly toys. Workouts took longer and it that sucked, but changing my mind set helped. I was no longer trying to squeeze my workout into tiny moments of baby freedom and I gradually made her part of the workout itself wether it was using her as a weight or incorporating her into my Yoga Poses - that was my FAVOURITE part.
Babies thrive on routine.
And if you can make your way to the other side of building this routine, you will end up in a place where your little one sees you being physically active and looks up to you for it. Leading by example, you (their first super hero) is instilling the importance of a healthy lifestyle, physical activity and self care at a young age and they will grow up with it being the norm .
At almost 18 months, we still have our moments, where I throw in the towel because it's going to be one of THOSE days. But going downstairs, flipping on the lights and seeing the excitement on her face as she runs over saying “weights, weights, WEIGHTS!!” - makes the effort feel worth it and makes me so proud.
Some days, Barbell Chest Presses sometimes involve her sitting on my chest and clapping - no chest work today. Climbing onto my back during Planks and Pushups. Sitting on my lap during Easy Pose and mimicking arm movements, wanting to be held during Warriors and Tree Pose, tickling my toes in Pigeon, dropping into her own Downward Dog and waiting for a reaction during her latest party trick! Other days she just dances to my music of choice or runs over planting a giant kiss on me - and suddenly the previous failed attempt at our last workout is long forgotten.
Adapting and being open to those adaptations are key to success in continuing to do what YOU love whether it's exercise, art, reading or any hobby. You deserve to maintain that beautiful identity of yours. You are adding “MOM” to your life resume, not hitting delete on everything that made you unique.
The ability to bring you son or daughter to your workout is an amazing option that I offer to moms who work with me during Private Sessions in Yoga or Fitness. Feeling like you need to stay closer to home? I also offer Online Private Skype Sessions at a reduced rate compared to in person - send me an email for more information.
Find what lights you up.
Never forget - you are doing a great job and you are the BEST momma for your baby, however you show up in the world.