A sense of guilt
Most women experience difficulties not only physical, but also emotional getting back into shape and exercising after giving birth to a child. And I am not thinking about the sort of emotional, “I am too tired to start”, or “no I don’t want to look in the mirror” kind of feelings, or even “all beginnings are difficult, I will start tomorrow….”.
The feeling I am looking for is the one, where women create a sense of guilt, if they spend some “me” time next to bringing up and caring for a child.
The reason I talk about this, is because while doing my usual exercises at the gym, I had a nice talk to a modern, fit, beautiful and slick mother, my age, with 3 children – all above 8 years old – in the changing room. To my surprise she said the following: I feel guilty for spending some gym time, even an hour, at weekends on my own. At first it might sound touching, how generous she is with her children, but I have to admit, it also frightens me. As I agree with the fact, that a mother who is not spending time with her children is not a good thing, I also feel, that the extreme opposite is likewise unhealthy. In this case in particular, as the children are older already, doing some exercise at weekends, is really only a question of a little bit of creativity.
Mothers with children under 6 years of age, have made this sense of guilt their raison d’être, and my personal view is, that it is rather unhealthy in a lot of ways. We have waived good bye to the classic idea of a woman. We work, study, we are emancipated, however once giving birth, we try to compensate this previous feeling with a lot of artificial sense of guilt where: This period is a time of sacrifice, I am not important, only the child is important.
And here my friends, is the beginning of the vicious circle: women cease to take care of themselves, not because they don’t have the time to do it, but because of this self-inflicted sense of false guilt.
This naturally leads to frustration, because we are not able to starve our vanity, and at the same time we are also not able to kill the consciousness, we have been breathing since our own childhood.
So my question therefore: are mothers of today predestined to live their lives on the level of a 0-3-4-5-6 year old child all day long for years? My firm belief is, that us women are not bottomless wells, we also need to receive energy from some source. Where are we to get the energy to survive? In my opinion, the most fulfilling would be to at least to stay above the waterline, but more so, to try and improve even during these trying times.
Maybe it sounds tough, or insulting what I am going to state here, but it is a lot easier for most women to say, that she is invaluable 24/7 to her child, and therefore she has no “me” time for herself,
rather than saying that to be invaluable in her relationship with her man, she needs to step over her comfort zone, and start making some effort. Whether you like it or not, sport is the pawn of both health and desirability, and let’s face it. Men do not particularly like to do without the latter and health is important for everyone independent from age, or sex. And the mindfulness of sport needs a whole separate article of its own.
I am aware of the fact, that some of you have less, or more help with time management. For those who have less, need of course to make more conscious decisions, to find possibilities for some private time. I have to admit though, that time management is also an art-form of its own. Today, though, the possibilities are immense: running prams, girlfriends, gyms with kindergartens, and even more!!! I often see blogging mothers at the playgrounds doing their exercises, and by that building a new business. Or let’s just be extremely simple: there is the good old training sessions presented on DVD-s by an immense amount of experts, right in your home. And while we are at it, why not mentioning those caring, attentive fathers, who arrive home from a hard days work, to help their wives?!
It is a question of spiritual sense, and needs to be considered as a temporary solution, that we have to possibly do our exercises in the evening, as much as we think that we have our place by our children 24/7. From this point of view, the same kind of persuasion is needed for both actions.
Your most important questions regarding how to start your exercises after childbirth, without feeling the pressure, should therefore be the followings:
- This is not a temporary solution, but a long term investment in my future life
- There are no excuses, only force majeure
- I have the right to take time for myself
- What this way of life uses up physically, it gives back at least double or triple in content
- Motherhood is not us ceasing to be women
- My child does not need me 24/7. This is only how I would like it to be. The child has a father, grandparents, and a lot of other friends and relatives, who are happy to take good care of them, while I am relaxing. Needless to say that this is also a good thing for the child, as it will help in future socializing, such as getting used to being at kindergarten
- I would like to remain attractive for my husband, therefore I need to make an effort
- It will give me increased confidence in myself, which is good for my environment and also my child.
This is how my “women me” survived this period in my life, when my “mother me” took over the main role. A lot of you asked, that is why I wrote it down, in my usual unapologetic way. Not to mention another positive profit of the above, which is just ripening at home, and I cannot repeat more often, that the children are able to realize, in a relatively passive state of mind, how important sports are in our lives, at all times.