Last night I wrote about “day two.” Having gone to an exercise class with my littlest that morning, I knew that the hardest part was before me. Yes, contacting the instructor and actually going was no easy feat. Each time life got in the way I pondered, sometimes over ice cream, if I should just put it off a little longer. And still, that was much easier than what came next: the feelings that hit me, even before I went to bed last night, the exhaustion, the sore muscles, the numerous questions that ran through my head. Was I really going to be able to do this? I know I want this. I need this – but can I keep showing up?
Today Lola and I showed up again. And I know each day will be an exercise in mind over matter. Each day I will have to remind myself why I am doing this. The big picture, not the I really want to rock my skinny jeans again picture. I am talking about the, I really want to watch my children grow and be an active participant in their lives, rather than observing from the sidelines picture. I want me being healthy and taking care of myself to be a notion that is not foreign to my daughters.
For those of you who are like me and struggle to stay consistent I have to admit that having Lola there with me made a huge difference. There was something encouraging about looking up and seeing her babbling and wiggling in her stroller while I tried to convince my body that it could do this. I think in some small way I wanted to make her proud. I wanted to show her a lesson that I hope to build upon as she grows. That simply showing up is half the battle. The possibilities are endless when it comes to what happens next. The fact that I was completely off beat and already out of breath before warm up ended wasn’t as important as the fact that I showed up. I saw it through to the end and was able to walk away knowing that I gave it my all.
So mamas, I want to encourage you today. My hope is that we can encourage each other. My hope is that we can do more than just show up for our loved ones, but that we can also show up for ourselves. In order to be there for them, we need to start taking care of ourselves.
I’m two days in and holding on to my goal of continuing to show up. I know taking care of me will not only help me but the effects will trickle down to my loved ones. Imagine a healthier mommy with more energy and more self-confidence.
I have spent the past months struggling to get going. I’ve made every excuse not to workout (I occasionally go walking but that is as intense as it gets). And some of the excuses have been pretty good ones. But I deserve the hour I now carve out of my day and I need it. Lola needs it too. It gets us out of the house and interacting with other parents and children. While we have each other it has been nice watching her interact with humans her size and wonderful for me as I have been able to do the same. Each day I am reminded that there is more to life than what happens within the dimension of my computer screen during naptimes.
For me, the best thing I did was find something that allowed my baby to join me. With little ones, we often don’t do things for ourselves because we don’t want to leave them, and arranging childcare can be difficult. Joining a mommy and me type of class or making arrangements to work out or go walking with a group of friends and your little ones might be just what you need. For me, it helps to feel some sense of accountability not to mention I don’t have to worry about Lola while I am away.
And so far, having her there has given me more encouragement than any of the pep talks I have been given (although great). In her eyes I find the ability to keep trying. And around her I refrain from uttering the words “I can’t” and I resist the urge to throw in the towel. I want to show my children that they can even when it is hard or uncomfortable, if they believe in themselves and are willing to work hard, they can accomplish whatever they set out to do. In the eyes of my baby, I have found the motivation and willpower to keep going. Seems I always do.