A Year of Postpartum in Review

It’s been one year and seven months since the day I found out I was pregnant, and almost a year since my daughter was born. Of all the journeys and events I have experienced, none have compared to the journey I shared with my child. I still remember that beautiful moment when I finally received the positive on the pregnancy test. Then on to the memories of hearing her heartbeat for the first time, seeing her tiny little fingers on the ultrasound picture, discovering that she was going to be a little girl, and picking out her take home outfit.

Even the difficult parts of my pregnancy, and how long I felt like I had to wait before finally meeting her. The hours before she arrived, the horrific experience of the delivery, and struggling through my recovery. Every moment of it fit into the story of the connection I have with my little baby. How beautiful it was to hear her very first cry, to hold her in my arms for the first time, and the wonderful year I got to watch her grow. It has all been a part of the greatest and most difficult experience that has given me the best gift; a beautiful little girl.

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Copyright 2018 Messy Mama https://messymama18.com

Regardless of how long my recovery jounrney has been, my main focus this past year has been my daughter. Desperate to fall into a motherly role for my child, I have put my needs second and hers first. Just when I think I get the hang of motherhood, I am introduced to a new milestone, re-crafting a new schedule, and thrown for a loop as she grows. I have come to terms with the fact that motherhood is a constant learning experience. I may not always get it right, and I will forever be trying to catch up to my daughters demands. As I realize this, I am also learning that in order to keep up, I have to take care of myself too.

In the beginning I struggled with getting back to who I was before becoming pregnant, but the truth is, I am not that woman anymore, and that’s ok. I am a new me! I am rebuilding myself. Now, after a very long year, I am ready to push myself. I let go of my expectations of who I should be. I started fresh by letting my body heal the way it needed to. Instead of expecting my body to heal in weeks, I gave it months, and even a year.

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Copyright 2018 Messy Mama https://messymama18.com

 

Yes, I threw the bounce back theory right into the trash and allowed my body to take the time it needed to really heal. That doesn’t mean I sat around and felt sorry for myself. No, I started simple and allowed small choices lead to big changes. I listened to what my body needed and I nourished it. I took it easy and let my body take over. I listened and adjusted my care accordingly. I gave my body the love it truly needed after such a long journey, let her rest, and allowed myself to recover at a slow pace. I took care of her, loved her, and took my healing seriously.

I reconnected with my body and slowly incorporated light exercise to rebuild my strength. I took my physical and mental health seriously as best as I could. For the most part, I ate healthy, reduced stress when I could, and slept more when I was able to. Parenting can be an exhausting endeavor. So, finding ways to keep up the energy when I could was important, but I didn’t beat myself up when I chose to sleep in or watch a movie with the little one.

This journey has truly been a beautiful one. Once I gave up my expectation to be this perfect visual of a mother, I was able to enjoy the time I spent along side my baby. Watching her grow, and allowing my body to heal itself without pushing it. Yes, there are many times when I struggled with finding my identity, fitting into my role, and overcoming my anxiety, but I have been blessed by the opportunity I have been given.

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Copyright Messy Mama 2019

A few days ago, I woke up a new person. I took sometime for myself, and found energy I had not felt in a very long time. I could look at myself in the mirror and be happy with what I saw. I have a long way to go and so much I want to accomplish, but as the next year approaches with my soon to be Toddler, I am ready to move on to the next chapter.

I am ready to rebuild myself, and I feel as if I have successfully completed my recovery. I will forever cherish the first year of my daughters life, everything I have overcome as a new mother, and all the things I have learned. I am ready to take the cookware off of the back banner and create something worth waiting for. I can not wait to see how my daughter grows this next year, and what type of person I can become, both physically and mentally.

Thank you to all who have joined me along my journey, gave inspirational words of wisdom, and who have encouraged me along this path. I do hope you all well in all of your own journeys. Regardless of how long it takes you, from what ever you are healing from, just know that your journey is yours. Own it and don’t allow others to dictate how you should be going about your process, or how long you should be doing it for. Celebrate all the small victories, and love yourself enough to finish it. Here’s to all of our next chapters.

*Disclaimer – Statements made in this post are of my own opinions, views and thoughts. I am not a professional and should not be regarded as such.

*This work, along with it’s images, as well as other posts published by Messy Mama, are protected by copyright laws.

Copyright © Messy Mama 2019 https://messymama18.com

 

Postpartum Recovery Challenge; Running to Walking

I fell in love with running after college. Before, what seemed like extensive, unnecessary work, turned into a moment of power and freedom. I loved everything about it. The determination and strength I built within when I pushed myself. The liberation I felt during it, surrounded by quiet and serenity. My mind was cleared, and my thoughts were only on the next distance, the next corner, the next mile. I felt stronger, healthier, and confident. I was proud of the person I was, as an avid runner, and I was proud of what I had accomplished.

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Running was not a competition for me. I ran races, but I did not compete. I didn’t attempt to make the top ten and I didn’t train to get ribbons and trophies. Running, for me, was personal. It was a stress reliever, an anxiety reducer, and a light at the end of the tunnel. When I felt consumed with darkness, I chased it away with my running. I ran in races, not to win, but to be challenged. To push myself beyond my limits, and to forget the chaos in my mind. To celebrate an actual mile-stone, for every new distance I completed, or to force myself to run further. A race was a checkpoint achievement.

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Copyright 2018 Messy Mama

You could imagine my disappointment, when I was told by my doctor, that I would have to take it easy after I was diagnosed with Hyperemesis Gravidarum during my pregnancy. My aspirations to keep running through out, collapsed. I would have to retire my running shoes for a full nine months. I was heart broken and a little nervous as to how I was going to manage my anxiety. Being pregnant is stressful on its own, now I had to deal with anxiety while pregnant with a complication. It was no easy defeat.

Fast forward nine months and two weeks later, my eagerness to get back into my running shoes was shattered when the doctor told me I would have to deliver by an emergency cesarean section. My recovery was very long. Almost ten months later, I still struggle with discomfort and pain. It’s been an extremely frustrating journey for me. I have gravitated toward yoga and meditation to help me heal physically, as well as find an escape from my cluttered mind. Yet, it is not the same, and it is not as freeing and relieving.

As my postpartum journey comes to a close, I am preparing for the next chapter by dusting of my running shoes. I am a very long way from where I was almost two years ago, but I am ready to start over. Yes, I have walked a few times in the beginning of my postpartum recovery, and even ran twice. Yet, starting out this time feels different. It feels different physically because I feel stronger. It feels different mentally because I feel determined with a set goal in mind. Yes, I will take it easy, but regardless of how far the distance is, I will be running again.

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Copyright 2019 Messy Mama

Walking is not the same as running, and when you’re juggling both a dog and a stroller. It’s not exactly freeing either, but it’s a start. It’s the beginning of a battle that I am ready to fight this time. It is the creation of a routine that will turn into a pattern like it had in the past. Running will become second nature once again, and I am determined to get there. Regardless of how long it may take. I am ready to be a better me.

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Copyright 2019 Messy Mama

Today, a simple walk around the block, but tomorrow is full of what could be. Where will this determination take me? Where ever it is, I am ready! I am ready to leave this chapter behind as I turn the page into the next part of my life.

If you are trying to get back into exercising, take it slow. Don’t attempt to be where you were before you stopped. If it has been a long period of time, your body will need a chance to adjust. Have respect for it and give it the love it deserves. Start with an easy program if you are into cardio. Start at the beginning and allow your body to build up to the agility level. If your lifting weights, start light and work your way up. Pushing your body beyond it’s limitations could cause injury, prolonging your efforts to get back into shape.

Don’t feel discouraged when you are starting out. Think of where you were before you stopped exercising and how long it took you to get there. You are not going to have results over night and that is okay. You will get there!

Every person is different, so don’t compare your recovery efforts to those around you. Go at your own pace. Listen to your body and respect your own journey. It is yours alone, no one else’s. Also, don’t allow someone else determine your level of recovery. They don’t know your body like you do, they aren’t experiencing your discomfort, and they don’t have to deal with the repercussions of any potential injuries. Follow the path that is right for you.

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Healing and being with my daughter were my main priorities this past year. Although they will always remain the most important parts of who I am, a mother, I am eager to explore my future abilities and potential. A mother who will set great examples for the little eyes looking up at me.

Today I walk, but tomorrow, I will run!

I move on to the next piece of my recovery journey; rebuilding myself, both physically and mentally, at my own pace. I still experience pain and discomfort and I will adjust my health plan accordingly. I will rip up the expectations of who I think I need to be and set new goals to become the new person I want to be. I will take my mental health seriously and indulge in practices that will improve my mental wellness. Join me Moms and Dads, in my Postpartum Recovery Series as I build a happier and healthier me. I hope I can inspire you to do the same.

If you would like to be a part of the Postpartum Recovery Link-Up here’s what you can do:

1.) Follow me
2.) Talk about anything regarding your postpartum struggles (dad’s you can get in on this too) or your health after becoming a parent and the journey you are experiencing in improving both physically and mentally. You can also discuss things like how your mental health affects you as a parent, how your modeling great eating habits for your kids, how exercising has given you more energy to keep up with your toddlers, etc.
3.) Copy and post this statement at the end of your post, “I am participating in the weekly health and wellness challenge, Postpartum Recovery Challenge Link-Up hosted by Messy Mama
4.) Once you post up your weekly challenge blog, click the Inlinks button below, check out other linked posts, and add your post. I will share each link post on twitter.
5.) Share your own post with hashtag #PostpartumRecoveryChallenge.

The link up will open on Wednesday morning and close Sunday night

Thank you to all who participate, and I am excited to see everyone’s unique health and wellness journey.

In case you missed it, here is the previous weeks Postpartum Recovery Link-Up, Enjoying the Journey.

 

*Disclaimer – Statements made in this post are of my own opinions, views and thoughts. I am not a professional and should not be regarded as such.

*This work, along with it’s images, as well as other posts published by Messy Mama, are protected by copyright laws.

Copyright © Messy Mama 2019

Postpartum Recovery Challenge; Enjoying the Journey

During my weekly Target Adventure with my little peanut, I saw a newborn baby. She could not have been more than a couple weeks old. She was incredibly tiny and so adorable. I looked down at my noodle bug and basked in all of her beautiful glory. There she was, nine months old, sitting up in the cart like a big girl. She was pointing and blowing raspberries, giggling and babbling. Her short, sweet life flashed before my eyes, and I had a moment of psychedelia. It was almost like like we had  just brought her home, and then I blinked. Now, we were standing in the middle of the infant section, buying stage three finger foods.

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Copyright 2018 Messy Mama https://messymama18.com

My monkey is crawling all over the floor, she is trying to pull herself up, and she’s saying “Mama” and “Dada”. Time has flown by so incredibly fast, and I  desperately want it to slow down. My baby is just three short months from achieving her toddler status and I am a blubbering Mess.

As my child gains her independence, I am gaining my confidence in my postpartum recovery. As I look back at the last nine months of my little one’s life, I also look back at my healing process. I have allowed my body to take it’s natural course without pushing myself to bounce back, and I have given myself plenty of time to do that. Postpartum doesn’t end at 6 weeks. It continues well beyond maternity leave. I am satisfied with where my journey has taken me. I will continue to embrace it for the next few months. I will love the body my baby has created, and I will move on to the next chapter.

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I was told by my doctor that I could begin working out after just 6 weeks, but after three long months, I found myself frustrated from not being able to push myself the way I had before. My postpartum body was not ready to bounce back and after a few more months of trying too hard, i finally gave up and allowed my body to take over.

Just recently, my joints have stopped aching, my stomach has become less noticeable and I have lost most of my baby weight. My c-section scar still aches, especially on really cold days, my bladder may never be normal, and I have accepted the fact that my new hips may never allow me to fit back into my old jeans. For nine months, with postnatal yoga and healthy eating, I have allowed my body to settle and heal itself.

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My goal for the next three months is to start running again without expectation on how far or how much. I’ll let my body dictate the level of comfort and I’ll take it as slow as I need to. I also plan to focus on my mental health more. As I prepare to tackle a toddler, I want to give my head and my heart all the love that they deserve. When baby takes on Minion-hood, I want to be the support she will need to learn all about her own very big emotions. In order to help her, I need to help me first. I also would like her to understand that it’s alright for her to get help when she’s physically hurting and it’s alright  to get help when she’s mentally hurting as well.

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Copyright 2018 Messy Mama https://messymama18.com

I have given myself this long to heal and I still have some road up ahead. Our healing process may take a long time. If you are not ready to move past your postpartum recovery for any reason, talk to your doctor. If you are still in pain months later, ask about physical therapy. If you’re concerned about your mental wellness, talk to your doctor about postpartum depression or anxiety. If you already suffer from a mental illness, talk to your specialist about new concerns you may have. The key word here is talk. Talk! Talk! Talk! Physically or mentally, you should not have to suffer alone. It is unfortunate that postnatal care does not extend beyond 6 weeks That doesn’t mean you have to stay silent. Get help and give your whole body the love and care it needs.

If you are just starting your postnatal journey, I wish you so much luck! Don’t feel guilty about your own healing. Give yourself as much time as you need. Remember, everyone’s body is different. Just because your co-worker is running 10 miles a week after her pregnancy, doesn’t mean you need to be too. Listen to what your body is telling you. If it hurts or is uncomfortable, chances are your body is not ready for it yet. It just went through some major stuff. Give it a break. Seek out help if you are in any way concerned about your recovery process. Take it easy and enjoy the time watching your little one sprout.

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Today, I move on to the next piece of my recovery journey; rebuilding myself, both physically and mentally, at my own pace. I still experience pain and discomfort and I will adjust my health plan accordingly. I will rip up the expectations of who I think I need to be and set new goals to become the new person I want to be. I will take my mental health seriously and indulge in practices that will improve my mental wellness. Join me Moms and Dads, in my Postpartum Recovery Series as I build a happier and healthier me. I hope I can inspire you to do the same.

If you would like to be a part of the Postpartum Recovery Link-Up here’s what you can do:

1.) Follow me
2.) Talk about anything regarding your postpartum struggles (dad’s you can get in on this too) or your health after becoming a parent and the journey you are experiencing in improving both physically and mentally. You can also discuss things like how your mental health affects you as a parent, how your modeling great eating habits for your kids, how exercising has given you more energy to keep up with your toddlers, etc.
3.) Copy and post this statement at the end of your post, “I am participating in the weekly health and wellness challenge, Postpartum Recovery Challenge Link-Up hosted by Messy Mama
4.) Once you post up your weekly challenge blog, click the Inlinks button below, check out other linked posts, and add your post. I will share each link post on twitter.
5.) Share your own post with hashtag #PostpartumRecoveryChallenge.

 The link up will open on Wednesday morning and close Sunday night

Thank you to all who participate, and I am excited to see everyone’s unique health and wellness journey.

In case you missed it, here is the previous weeks Postpartum Recovery Link-Up, Finding Time to Sleep During the Holidays.

*This work, along with it’s images, as well as other posts published by Messy Mama, are protected by copyright laws.

*Disclaimer – Statements made in this post are of my own opinions, views and thoughts. I am not a professional and should not be regarded as such.

Postpartum Recovery Challenge; Finding Time to Sleep During the Holidays.

As a parent, a good night’s sleep becomes a past time that we often long for. We reminisce on the days when we were woken up by an actual alarm clock. When we thought early mornings before work were hard, even after eight hours of rest. Now, those days seem so far behind us. Today, we are woken up multiple times with crying or pleads for water. When we’re not woken up, we’re flying out of bed, concerned that the quietness means something terrible has happened. We find ourselves racing through the dark, making sure everything is turned off and everyone is still breathing. Let’s face it, we miss sleep!

We are well aware that sleep is important. When we lack it, we can feel it. We drag through the day. It shows in our faces and in our actions. We feel energized and productive when we get just enough of it. As parents, occupied by busy schedules and busy days, we long for it.

With the Holidays upon us, we are lagging even further behind in sleep. We’re traveling, we’re stressing out, and our to-do lists have tripled in size. The chaos has knocked us off our routines and we’re drowning in exhaustion.

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So, how do we get more sleep and survive the Holiday Season?

Obviously, as a newer mother, I am not an expert. I know what it’s like trying to get a good night’s sleep with an infant, but not with a toddler, young child, or a teenager. Depending on your situation, what works for me may not work for you. I have a few ideas. If your hanging by a thread looking for something, then I might have something you can utilize. Nobody wants unsolicited advice, especially a tired mom, but if your interested in trying anything new, you’re welcome to keep reading.

Here’s how I try to catch more z’s in my day:

Sleep When They Sleep

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Oh here we go, another Janet, Karen, Carol, and Lori who thinks she gets it. Who has time for that shit! Girl, I know, but just hear me out. If your child only naps for thirty minutes a day then skip right over this. That’s thirty minutes of your life you need to be super productive and you can’t squeeze in a nap. Please accept my sincere apologies and go ahead and find that x at the top of the page. What the hell do I know?

If your little one is sleeping multiple times throughout the day for at least 45 minutes per nap, utilize one of those naps. I keep a pillow and blanket on my couch for this reason. I know that my little one will nap two to three times a day, (on a good day of course). She usually sleeps 45 minutes to an hour and a half during her afternoon nap. When I feel like I am dragging, I plop down on the couch, set my alarm for 45 minutes and pray the alarm buzzes me awake before her cries do. If she continues to sleep when I wake up, I go back to my to do list, but I feel a little more energized.

Bring the Essentials

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My baby is a picky sleeper. Getting her to sleep well when we go see family is damn near impossible. Less sleep for her means less sleep for us. Knowing this, we try to make her as comfortable as possible. Sleeping in the play-pen is hard for her due to her re-flux, so we have convinced Grandma to get a crib. Beyond that luxury, we pack all of her sleep gear. This means her blankets, pajamas, and her stuffy. The more she recognizes things from home, the better she sleeps. We also bring her sleep music and use a fan for white noise.

Go To Bed Early

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I can understand that this may not always be possible when you have a little one waking up every few hours or a toddler pulling at your arm asking for a glass of water and wanting to know what the capital of Kentucky is. I get it, but raise your hand if you are a little guilty of staying up past your bedtime to catch a little “me time.” That show on Netflix is not going to watch itself, that wine isn’t going to drink itself and this blog isn’t going to write itself. I know, sometimes it’s the only free time that we get. But, if you’ve had a long day, and your exhausted, don’t push in extra hours of overtime. Go the ef to sleep!

Take Shifts

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When we brought Little Miss Messy home from the hospital, my husband and I took shifts. Five hours of sleep for me, and five hours of sleep for him. It isn’t the pre-parent eight that we all dream about, but I’ll take it! It was the best, undisturbed five hours I ever got. Don’t stop at the early days though. Set a block of time between you and your partner. If the kid wakes up before 12am demanding the Chronicles of Narnia, it’s all you Hubby. Of course that’s just a ballpark. Be fair to your significant other and make sure your splitting the time fairly.

My husband also does this wonderful thing where he steps in after a certain amount of time. Even if it’s outside of his block. If I’m  wrestling with Dwayna Johnson for two hours, my husband will tag himself in and let me crash for a round or two. This is better for an older child who will likely sleep longer throughout the night. Don’t try to do this with a newborn. No one will sleep. Stick to the routine.

Finding time to sleep is hard when you are a parent, but it’s important. Don’t feel guilty for skipping a workout, or leaving the dishes in the sink. Call it a night if you have to and work with your partner to establish a plan to help you both get more sleep. Your brain and your kids will thank you.

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If you don’t get any help from this and you’re on your fifth pot of coffee, you can always go check out my other posts that talk about how much of a Mess I am. We can cry together.

Today, I move on to the next piece of my recovery journey; rebuilding myself, both physically and mentally, at my own pace. I still experience pain and discomfort and I will adjust my health plan accordingly. I will rip up the expectations of who I think I need to be and set new goals to become the new person I want to be. I will take my mental health seriously and indulge in practices that will improve my mental wellness. Join me Moms and Dads, in my Postpartum Recovery Series as I build a happier and healthier me. I hope I can inspire you to do the same.

If you would like to be a part of the Postpartum Recovery Link-Up here’s what you can do:

1.) Follow me
2.) Talk about anything regarding your postpartum struggles (dad’s you can get in on this too) or your health after becoming a parent and the journey you are experiencing in improving both physically and mentally. You can also discuss things like how your mental health affects you as a parent, how your modeling great eating habits for your kids, how exercising has given you more energy to keep up with your toddlers, etc.
3.) Copy and post this statement at the end of your post, “I am participating in the weekly health and wellness challenge, Postpartum Recovery Challenge Link-Up hosted by Messy Mama
4.) Once you post up your weekly challenge blog, click the Inlinks button below, check out other linked posts, and add your post. I will share each link post on twitter.
5.) Share your own post with hashtag #PostpartumRecoveryChallenge.

 The link up will open on Wednesday morning and close Saturday night

Thank you to all who participate, and I am excited to see everyone’s unique health and wellness journey.

In case you missed it, here is the previous weeks Postpartum Recovery Link-Up, Postpartum Recovery Challenge; Mental Contemplation During the Holidays

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*This work, along with it’s images, as well as other posts published by Messy Mama, are protected by copyright laws.

*Disclaimer – Statements made in this post are of my own opinions, views and thoughts. I am not a professional and should not be regarded as such.

Postpartum Recovery Challenge; Mental Contemplation During the Holidays

“Can you give me a hand,” my mother asked again as she moved frantically around the kitchen.

“I’d love to mom,” I said apologetically,” but I have the baby.”

“Oh, right.” She had forgotten the existence of her own granddaughter yet again as the chaos of Thanksgiving preparation ensued. So, what is it about the holidays that get us so worked up that we are rushing, hysterical, aiming to please? The guest list was simple: me, my mom, my husband, the baby, my brother in law and small family, and my sister in law and my nephew. Low key and quiet. The only noise was two rambunctious little boys who chased each other around the living room, flinging monopoly money in to the air. Our infant giggled in the back ground as she watched them play.

Multiple times throughout her hysteria, my mother ran down the stairs of the basement, leaving the door wide open. Normally this would not have been an issue, except my baby was running around in her walker. Each time, my husband and I rushed to close the door before our little one could tumble down the stairs. One small leap, and our nine-month-old could have severely hurt herself. The first time I exclaimed, “you can’t leave the door open.” I was met with an “I forgot.” She spit out the words so fast and without hesitation.

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You forgot? The fact that she kept forgetting about her granddaughter stung and it made me extremely upset. I had already been frustrated from the night before because my mother had banged around the pots and pans until the early hours of the morning.  The loud noise caused the baby to wake up several times. Lack of sleep and frustration swelled as I lost my patience with my mother. I was so upset that I had left immediately the next day instead of staying the rest of the week.

Yes, holidays are all about family gatherings and spending time with the ones we don’t get to see very often. Yet, it can be draining and exhausting, especially when you have a young child. That doesn’t excuse us from our bad behavior and negative attitude toward our loved ones, and it does nothing for our mental state. It only creates more stress.

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Copyright 2018 Messy Mama https://messymama18.com

I was so caught up in my own loathing that I had lost track of what Thanksgiving was all about. I spent the holiday annoyed, frustrated and angry. I allowed myself to get worked up which triggered my anxiety. I allowed one day of disorder to rule over my composer and I could not be more ashamed of myself.

In my mother’s defense, this wonderful woman adopted me was I was sixteen years old. So, although an expert of unruly teenagers, she was not too familiar with babies or young children. Instead of understanding this, I took her actions personal. Instead of being gracious to my mom for hosting Thanksgiving, I was bitter and disgruntled.
I don’t want my daughter to grow up remembering a mom that got mad during the most magical time of the year. I don’t want her to see a mom who is downright selfish during a time when we are supposed to be thankful and selfless. Yes, it’s true, the Holidays drive some of us a little crazy and we will always have those family members who push all the wrong buttons. That doesn’t mean we have to allow it to get to us and forget the magic of the Holidays, and that doesn’t mean we have to act selfishly towards our family members. Especially with our children watching.

Postpartum recovery isn’t just a journey for our physical health. It’s also a time for mental contemplation. Gaining control of our emotions is not always easy and sometimes it takes a whole lot to talk ourselves down. So, do what you need to do to remove yourself from the situation. If you are feeling overwhelmed during the Holidays, take a break. Go for a walk, find a place to regroup, take a minute and center yourself.

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For the rest of the Holiday season, as well as future gatherings, I will try let go of all expectations. I’ll do my best to understand that schedules may get messed up during these times. Holidays are chaotic, but they’re also a time to enjoy every one’s company. I’d like to work on being a more composed mom for my little girl. As a parent, I know that I won’t always have it figured out and I will get overwhelmed, but at the same time, it is important that I leave my little girl with positive memories.

Today, I move on to the next piece of my recovery journey; rebuilding myself, both physically and mentally, at my own pace. I still experience pain and discomfort and I will adjust my health plan accordingly. I will rip up the expectations of who I think I need to be and set new goals to become the new person I want to be. I will take my mental health seriously and indulge in practices that will improve my mental wellness. Join me Moms and Dads, in my Postpartum Recovery Series as I build a happier and healthier me. I hope I can inspire you to do the same.

If you would like to be a part of the Postpartum Recovery Link-Up here’s what you can do:

1.) Follow me
2.) Talk about anything regarding your postpartum struggles (dad’s you can get in on this too) or your health after becoming a parent and the journey you are experiencing in improving both physically and mentally. You can also discuss things like how your mental health affects you as a parent, how your modeling great eating habits for your kids, how exercising has given you more energy to keep up with your toddlers, etc.
3.) Copy and post this statement at the end of your post, “I am participating in the weekly health and wellness challenge, Postpartum Recovery Challenge Link-Up hosted by Messy Mama
4.) Once you post up your weekly challenge blog, click the Inlinks button below, check out other linked posts, and add your post. I will share each link post on twitter.
5.) Share your own post with hashtag #PostpartumRecoveryChallenge.

The link up will open on Wednesday morning and close Saturday night

Thank you to all who participate, and I am excited to see everyone’s unique health and wellness journey.

In case you missed it, here is the previous weeks Postpartum Recovery Link-Up, Eating Healthy During the Holidays

*This work, along with it’s images, as well as other posts published by Messy Mama, are protected by copyright laws.

*Disclaimer – Statements made in this post are of my own opinions, views and thoughts. I am not a professional and should not be regarded as such.

Postpartum Recovery Challenge; Eating Healthy During the Holidays

Thanksgiving has come and gone, our stomachs are settling, the left overs are dwindling, and we are eating a little less healthy these days’ Okay, a lot. It is nearly impossible to remain on track when there are piles of sides, stacks of cookies, and pies galore. Oh, the holidays! Maintaining healthy eating habits are not always easy, especially during this time of year. Tis the season for large helpings and broken diets. Some of us lose the willpower to eat in moderation so we tuck our scales away until January.

Honestly, I’ve never been much for diets. For me, diets were hard and they never worked. Some diets can be downright unhealthy. I struggled with quitting anything cold turkey and found better results when I limited the amount of sugar or ate certain things in moderation. Maintaining healthy eating, for the most part, has always been my go-to. This means I don’t restrict myself from enjoying some foods, but I limit the amount of junk I put into my body. At least I try to. Instead of counting calories, I try to choose a healthier option when I eat out. That doesn’t mean I’ve never had a weak moment.

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My eating habits have ranged from piling the fridge with organic fruits and vegetables, to diving into a box of Little Debbies. For the most part, I’ve never turned my noise to a good salad, or fresh steamed broccoli. I always find I feel fantastic after a great, homemade, healthy meal. However, that doesn’t mean I haven’t indulged in eating an entire pie of pizza. When I was pregnant, I had severe sugar cravings. I consumed more sweets in just nine months than I had ever eaten in my entire life. After the baby was born, my sweet tooth settled back to its original state.

As a new mom, I have struggled with eating as healthy as I use to. When I am home with baby, it is hard to find time to make a good salad or cook a decent meal. If I can find time to eat anything at all, it usually ends up being something I eat with one hand. Cookies, day old pizza from Sunday Football, crackers and chips. As I become a more experienced mom, I am considering this when I shop at the grocery store. I started buying granola bars, apples, pears, peanuts, or any other healthier option that requires less time and little work. Since beginning my postpartum challenge, I am drinking water after my morning coffee which has minimized my snacking.

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With Christmas right around the corner and more holiday treats available, there are plenty of temptations. Yes, for some of us, it is hard to limit our intake, so we deny our cravings altogether. For me, the more I cut out all of something the harder it is for me to remain on track. So, I indulge in a piece of pie and snack on some cookies during family gatherings. It curbs my cravings and I am empowered to eat healthier. I am learning to cut myself some slack and not feel guilty. There is no shamefulness leading me into more treats and I can confidentially refuse any unhealthy snacks and make better eating decisions.

For the most part, I am proud of my eating habits, but I still have some work to do. Cutting down on the extra slices of pizza on Football Sunday, refusing that second glass of wine, and reducing my caffeine intake could be a start. I have discovered that slow and steady improvements work better for me rather than overwhelming myself with temporary diets. I am not nervous about the holiday feasts up ahead, but I know striving for and maintaining healthy habits will help get me through this holiday season.

Today, I move on to the next piece of my recovery journey; rebuilding myself, both physically and mentally, at my own pace. I still experience pain and discomfort and I will adjust my health plan accordingly. I will rip up the expectations of who I think I need to be and set new goals to become the new person I want to be. I will take my mental health seriously and indulge in practices that will improve my mental wellness. Join me Moms and Dads, in my Postpartum Recovery Series as I build a happier and healthier me. I hope I can inspire you to do the same.

If you would like to be a part of the Postpartum Recovery Link-Up here’s what you can do:

1.) Follow me
2.) Talk about anything regarding your postpartum struggles (dad’s you can get in on this too) or your health after becoming a parent and the journey you are experiencing in improving both physically and mentally. You can also discuss things like how your mental health affects you as a parent, how your modeling great eating habits for your kids, how exercising has given you more energy to keep up with your toddlers, etc.
3.) Copy and post this statement at the end of your post, “I am participating in the weekly health and wellness challenge, Postpartum Recovery Challenge Link-Up hosted by Messy Mama”
4.) Once you post up your weekly challenge blog, click the Inlinks button below, check out other linked posts, and add your post. I will share each link post on twitter.
5.) Share your own post with hashtag #PostpartumRecoveryChallenge.

 The link up will open on Wednesday morning and close Saturday night

Thank you to all who participate, and I am excited to see everyone’s unique health and wellness journey.

In case you missed it, here is the previous weeks Postpartum Recovery Link-Up, Benefits of Yoga: Part II.

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*Disclaimer – Statements made in this post are of my own opinions, views and thoughts. I am not a professional and should not be regarded as such.