The truth is, I’m experiencing the new mom struggle.
The truth is, I haven’t lost any baby weight despite exclusive breastfeeding.
The truth is, I’m exhausted because it’s been over 8 months since I’ve slept more than 4 hours at a time– and that has only happened twice.
The truth is, I feel frustrated…a lot, likely fueled by lack of sleep, feeling like there aren’t enough hours in the day, and having a super high maintenance baby.
The truth is, I miss blogging, teaching, coaching, and training, because that’s a huge part of my identity and something that makes my heart happy.
The truth is, I miss my “ugly body” because it felt limitless.
The truth is, I really didn’t know I could love something as much as I love my sweet baby boy.
The truth is, I miss my old self– the one who was far less vulnerable and much more rational.
The truth is, this mama stuff is way harder than I thought it would be. Go ahead, say, “I told ya so!”
The truth is, despite so much media (mass and social) depicting women as super moms, I know that these feelings are totally normal and that I will be okay.
I am a new mom, struggling.
This past year has brought a lot of change to my life– mostly in the form of a baby. A baby who has turned my world completely upside-down in ways I never imagined.
I knew being a mom would change me from the inside out. I knew that what used to be normal would be different forever.
I knew that my body would change, my routines would change, my interests would change, my relationships would change, and that my responsibilities would most definitely change.
I knew all of this– partially because people were constantly telling me while I was pregnant but also because I’ve seen so many of my friends experience these changes in their own lives as they added the title of “Mom” to their identities.
I thought knowing this would be enough to prepare me for what was to come, but I was wrong.
Although I wholeheartedly believe that knowing all of this has allowed me to accept these physical, mental, and emotional changes much better than if I had come into this blindly, there was nothing anyone could have said, nor anything I could have witnessed that would have adequately prepared me for the challenges and struggles I am working through.
New mom struggle #1…
Joshua was born in April– December 3oth marks the first time I have made it to the gym three days in one week…in over a year.
December 30th, was also the first time I was away from him for more than three hours, which has only happened one other time– see below…
Brett and I had our first “date night” on December 12th. It was the first time I was away from Josh for almost three hours. It was the first time that I wore a REAL bra since he was born.
It was the first time I had both of my arms ALL TO MYSELF for more than 2 hours (while awake) since April 19th. I forgot what that felt like! It was blissful and freeing, along with a side of, “Good gawd I miss that kid! Can we go home now?”
I feel the mom guilt– something I had heard about but thought I’d be able to rationalize because…I AM A LOGICAL PERSON! (Or at least I used to be)
Turns out, I’m not who I used to be nor who I thought I’d be post baby.
New mom struggle #2…
My body is an absolute disaster— and if another person says to me, “you just had a baby, go easy on yourself,” I might punch them. Please don’t be that person!
Yes, yes, I know I just had a baby. Even though “just” is a relative term– and relatively speaking, he was not exactly, “just” born.” But yes, I do know that I had a baby and I am by no means beating myself up over this mess, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t a wreck or that I don’t miss how it used to be.
I miss my pre-baby body, a lot– especially my pre-miscarriage body! (Two pregnancies in one year can really wreak havoc!)
I miss being strong. I miss being able to climb a rope, lift heavy things, hold my chin over a bar, and jump onto a 20″ box.
I miss being able to see the muscles in my forearms. I miss my shoulders having some undeniable definition, and I miss my traps! Oh how I miss my trapezius muscles!
I miss my legs looking strong, even if it required me to lie on my back with my toes in the air to see my quadriceps.
Although it was hard to see my strength on the outside, I knew I could do amazing things.
And yes, I know…I made a human, and yes, that is totally and completely amazing too!
I still love my body and appreciate it every day, but I miss it too.
New mom struggle #3…
I miss being able to sit down and write. I have attempted to write a thoughtful blog post so many times over the last 8 months, to no avail. Between exhaustion, distractions, and unmedicated ADD, my brain is seriously lacking in its ability to function— especially when it comes to completing thoughts, much less completing sentences that others can comprehend.
I miss being able to dedicate 10+ hours per day to my blog and my business. I miss having the time, organization, and energy to teach, coach and train others. I miss it so much, because that’s what fills MY cup.
Ah, the proverbial cup. I miss that too.
I mean it’s still there, kinda, and it is constantly being filled by so many things– my husband, my son, occasional workouts, chats with friends, and you! But it has a lot of holes in it right now, so it’s hard to keep it full, much less running over.
These days it’s less like a cup and more like a colander– one that’s draining pasta.
The substance (pasta) that I really need is there, but the stuff I want (the water), keeps rushing through.
I get some water here and there: moments of clarity; some deep, albeit short sleep; time to do something for myself to recharge a bit; a good workout; a meaningful conversation with a friend; or a connection with someone from the I’mperfect Life (IPL) community.
In those moments my cup most definitely runneth over– it just drains really, really fast!
New mom struggle solution???
Being a mom is hard.
It requires a complete reevaluation of priorities, some serious time-management abilities, and some creative organizational skills. None of which are strengths for me, but things I’m slowly working to improve. Slowly.
The truth is, I am evolving. My life is evolving, just as it has for the past 39 years and hopefully it will continue to evolve for at least another 39, more.
I am a new mom struggling, but I’m also adapting.
I will continue adapting to the best of my ability for as long as I’m alive— single, married, skinny (did that ever happen?), fat, employed, unemployed, self-employed, no kids, one kid, more kids (?), a colander full of pasta, rice, or quinoa, and hopefully someday (mostly dependent on consecutive nights of quality sleep) a real cup that holds as much water as I can handle!
I know that day will come, but until then, I will continue to learn and grow and adapt and be grateful for the life I get to live right now, struggles and all.
Every day I work to follow the Rules for Living an I’mperfect Life…and although I am a new mom struggling, I can say that following those 12 rules are enabling me to live my best, happy, healthy, (and tired) lifestyle.
I love my I’mperfect Life- even when it’s hard…and it’s really hard right now!
Also, I just wrote an entire blog post. It took me five full days to complete but it happened! Go me! Hooray for progress!