Sometime after becoming a mom, you face the fact that, your life, body, and mind will never be the same! Yikes! That could be terrifying, depressing, exciting or relieving...the range of feelings about this stuff is vast. I know because I’ve been there myself (4 times!), and because, as a birthworker and parent coach, I see it every day. We love our children so much…BUT the changes to our bodies, lives and energy can be SO hard. The realization that things will never be the same can be crushing. If you feel like extra weight, fatigue, achiness and emotional rollercoasters are unavoidable as a parent, I totally get it.
After my 4th baby, I felt trapped and defeated. I was exhausted and drowning in parenting demands. I felt unsatisfied with my body and still had pain from my birth. But, mixing up my physical routine created big improvements in my energy, weight, pain, and mood. Here’s why exercise is non-negotiable for me now, and why I work to make it possible for my clients:
- Bash the Baby Blues
When we’re experiencing baby blues or depressed, a new exercise can help; movement and learning a new skill are both proven to minimize depression, so try a new workout! If it’s outside and in a group (2 more proven depression-killers), that’s even better! AND, bonus, regular exercise helps us sleep better, which also keeps depression at bay. Stroller Strides checks all these boxes and more!
- Build Your Tribe
Isolation and loneliness are two big complaints I hear from clients. Having a kid can separate you from your old friendships, and lugging a kid around can feel like an anchor blocking you from making new friends. Group exercise is a great way to level the playing field and finally connect with some like-minded mamas. Fit4Mom Greater Denver does monthly moms night out and free weekly playdates so even if you’re not a member you can still be a part of a killer community!
- Heal Your Bod
After birth, we time off from physical activity to allow healing, but after 6-8weeks it’s equally important to get back to using our bodies to rehabilitate the muscles, fascia, and even our skeleton (!) after birth. Make sure that whatever activity you choose, you can make modifications and listen to your body. We always think of exercise in terms of losing weight, but it’s also crucial for things like healing your pelvic floor, relieving postpartum pain, minimizing incontinence, and more. A resource like FIT4MOM Greater Denver is a great starting place; modifications and instructors who specialize in supporting moms make it perfect!
Exercise can be a lynchpin in helping us face the reality that “It will never be the same again.” Instead of looking back with longing, we can look forward to the energized, balanced, and self-aware life that is possible for us. You’ll never be the same, you’ll only get better!
About Ann: Ann Kaplan is a doula, childbirth educator and parent coach. She has 4 kids and has been working since 2007 to help hundreds of growing families birth and raise awesome humans. You can find her unique brand of ‘earnest sarcasm’ all over Facebook, online, and around Denver, through workshops, coaching, classes and birth support. Her clients learn to approach parenthood with trust and authenticity and she LOVES seeing parents transform their lives and futures. Get some free parenting help from her Guide TO Getting Kid To Listen (The First Time You Ask!). You can find her online at MomMeExperience.com or in her Mom-Me Experience facebook group.