Not really but I feel like I have been.
I had good intentions about starting back exercise. I have been practicing correct posture and getting my breathing right. Both of which are incredibly important in this rehab game but more on that in a few days.
What have I not done?
I have not done a proper exercise program even though I promised myself I would do at least 10 mins of exercises a couple of times a week.
My recovery has been much harder than I expected and I really struggled with having 3 children for the first few weeks. I felt like I was never going to cope with 3 children on my own because I couldn’t cope now and I had my husband there all the time. (And he did most of it.)
I also have had several infections so been back and forward to the doctors.
I just wasn’t coping with the pain very well. My sister and 2 friends had sections a few months before me and they all seemed like they took it in their stride and I felt like I was being so dramatic.
I have had a baby that really only wanted me to cuddle her and hold her all night instead of sleeping in her crib.
I had 2 needy little boys who missed their mum and the guilt was, and is eating me alive at times.
I am sleep deprived and my health visitor told me I need to get at least 4 hours uninterrupted sleep. How was I supposed to manage that? So I started worrying about postnatal depression.
And to top all of that my little Harley got Bronchiolitis and I spent Monday through to Thursday afternoon in the hospital with her. 2 overnight stays in the hospital (we got sent home Monday but had to come straight back Tuesday morning). I had even less sleep this time due to worry. She got put on oxygen. I was on my own in hospital most of the time because my husband needed to be with the boys. At times the doctors would say she was coping with it well but just needed a little help so I didn’t worry too much but at others like when they told me we needed to stay, and they said she was working too hard to breath and needed oxygen I broke down. I was so worried and I didn’t have my husband to lean on.
All in all I had a week from hell.
And recovering from a C Section sucks!
So why do I feel like I was lying to you?
I had planned on getting back to the gym on Thursday there and I had planned on doing workouts every second day in the lead up to that.
But I didn’t.
I felt like I should have been right back on the exercises especially since my job is to help other mums get back to exercise post birth.
I have struggled to even write anything for you to read about my journey
Why should anyone listen to me?
I felt like a fraud.
But then I got to thinking about it this morning. Exercise is supposed to add something to your life. It is supposed to make you feel better. But truth be told if I had tried to do anything I wouldn’t have felt better. I would have been miserable and it may have been dangerous.
I was too exhausted. I was too sore. And emotionally I wasn’t ready.
The stress of thinking that I should be doing it has been more unhealthy for me than the not doing the exercise. I mean not doing exercise for these early weeks isn’t going to kill me.
Like I heard on the Improve Glasgow podcast (you should give it a listen) from Ally, my coach, I have the rest of my life to get strong.
I need to take this time to rest, eat well, spend time with my new baby (such a healing activity) and my boys.
To just be a new mum again.
How does this relate to you?
You guys will be going through or will go through similar feelings as new mums. It’s ok to not be exercising every single week when you are busy living this new life. It’s ok to take time to find your new normal. To get into a rhythm again.
I am in no way advocating that you should not do exercise at all because it is too hard to fit it in but there will be times when you just can’t fit it in and you should not beat yourself up about that.
We need to be kinder to ourselves and sometimes that will be exercising regularly, eating well and just moving our bodies. And sometimes that will be accepting that we are not failures for not exercising and that we maybe need some rest and on particularly bad days, you know the ones where your children are just pushing your buttons or the baby will just not be put down, we just need to get through the day.
Being healthy and strong doesn’t always look the same.
Sometimes you need be with friends and sometimes you need alone time.
Sometimes you want to smother yourself in the love of your children and sometimes you just need a break from them.
Sometimes you need to exercise 3,4,or 5 times a week and sometimes it is once or no times a week.
It doesn’t mean you are failing at being a mother or being a person.
Self care is going to look different through different stages of your life. Recognise this and move on.