Sunday, 5 June 2016
First six weeks of newborn life - take two
I did have time to read this post yesterday on the great website The Pool about fit "moms" (god I hate that word) of Instagram. It argued that we shouldn't get all judgypants over these women parading their washboard stomachs days after giving birth, but we should accept that there is not a one-size-fits-all approach to motherhood and fitness.
While I agree with some of the sentiments, I also do think this type of image does create unhelpful messages, similar to looking at celebrities online who have apparently "just snapped back into shape", though possibly worse as many women on Instagram are supposed to be just like you and me (but with added filters). No one really knows what effort has gone into that one image. Those fit mums out there may well have had huge amounts of time or money to dedicate to fitness both pre baby, and after birth.
The reality for me is I have no help, other than my husband who often works late, and my wonderful childminder who looks after my toddler 3 days a week. I have my baby 24/7. Some mothers don't even have this. So finding time to exercise can be tough, particularly if you only get five minute windows of me time, and then all you want to do in that time is close your eyes.
They say the first three months of newborn life is like the fourth trimester. Don't expect too much too soon. Try to relax and enjoy the time with your baby, however chaotic and tiring it can be. Whatever you do, don't beat yourself up that you haven't done any exercise yet - you've just created a human being FFS!
I have to remind myself when I look in the mirror that I.AM.NOT.FAT.I.HAVE.JUST.GIVEN.BIRTH.AND.EATING.CHOCOLATE.BISCUITS.IS.OK! It can be a bit demoralising (particularly when looking at washboard stomachs of women post birth) but wobbly post baby bodies are normal and should be admired. It takes nine months to make a baby. It should take nine months (or more) to get your old body shape back, should you want it.
So this first six weeks I've really done bugger all exercise and I've enjoyed sitting on the sofa eating too much chocolate with my new son, thinking about all the exercise I will do soon. You can see what exercise II managed with my first son in the first six weeks here. I love running and I miss it, but I have embraced not doing anything other than resting for the first half of the fourth trimester. There will be plenty of time to post my inspirational posts of Instagram. I doubt they will be of washboard bellies, but they will hopefully be a realistic take on how fitness can fit into family life.