The other day I found myself reflecting on the past year. Maybe it’s something about the Christmas season that makes me nostalgic, or maybe it has something to do with all the talk of New Year’s resolutions and just thinking about what I want to accomplish as 2015 moves closer. Either way, I found myself thinking about everything I’ve gone through this year, or really since Asher Wade made his appearance over a year and a half ago!
Physically, mentally and spiritually I feel like I am in a good place right now, and for that, I am thankful. It hasn’t always been that easy, particularly over the last 19 months, as motherhood has definitely taken me on quite the ride, and it has taken my body, mind and spirit awhile to recover. I don’t think they prepare new mothers for the FULL recovery you have to go through. You always hear about the initial physical recovery from delivery, and maybe a little about the emotional recovery that occurs for a few weeks postpartum, but it usually stops there. Maybe I was different, but I feel like it took a good 18 months for me to truly recover, in all aspects of my life.
Mental health can be kind of a scary and taboo word. I really want to write about this in more detail at some point, but I am still trying to figure out how to put it in words, so for now I will just say that I have learned the importance of caring for myself on this level. I never put much thought in to my mental health, because to be honest, I never really had to. I’m generally a very upbeat and positive person. I experienced some challenges in this area at different points over the last 19 months though, and it’s now become something that I pay attention to. I’ve learned the importance of communication, down time and not being afraid to ask for help. I’ve also learned the art of forgoing perfection and being grateful for the so-called imperfections. I’ve learned that seeking help is not a sign of weakness, but rather an opportunity to be a better version of myself, while learning something in the process. Admitting you need help is not something to be ashamed of, and there are highly skilled and knowledgable professionals out there that know a whole lot about helping you find balance and peace, and if you do not seek out these resources, you’re only hurting yourself more. It really makes it a no-brainer in my opinion. Anyways…after some rough patches, I feel pretty good right now and I’m thankful that I finally realized the importance of taking care of me.
This has been kind of a sore subject for me for a while, and I’m still a little self-conscious about it, but I’m in a pretty good place right now. I gained right around 30 lbs during my pregnancy. I lost 20 lbs almost immediately after birth (or at least within those first couple of weeks). The other 10 lbs? Umm, they’ve been a little more difficult to shed. They say breast-feeding helps you lose the weight fast, and while I do credit that with the quick 20 lb loss, you’d think that breast-feeding for 19+ months (and still going!) would cause me to be in my best shape ever, but that has just not been the case. Even now I’m still about 5 lbs over my pre-preggo weight, which isn’t a huge deal, but it does mean that most of my pants don’t feel great (#alltheleggings). I work out almost daily, albeit not as hardcore as I used to (#allthewalking), and I eat pretty healthy, albeit I’m known to pick off of AW’s plate (#allthemacncheese). I’m pretty sure that if I was more careful about what I was eating, I could probably lose this last bit of weight.
My OB actually told me a few months ago that nursing often makes you keep some weight on. It’s like it’s nature’s way of making sure you are able to make enough milk for your baby. Lord knows I have not struggled in the milk making department, so this kind of makes sense. After hanging on to 10 lbs for over a year, I did drop around 5 lbs over the last couple of months…maybe because AW is not nursing as much and my body is preparing for weaning? Who knows. I am still about 5 lbs over my pre-pregnancy weight, which isn’t ideal for me, but I feel more comfortable than I did a few months ago. I’m still giving myself plenty of grace, especially since we are still breast-feeding, and I’m so proud of my body for continuing to allow me to provide this for him. It’s hard to knock my body considering everything it has done for me…from conceiving, to growing a human, to delivering a perfectly, healthy baby, and then to providing food for him for going on two years now! Not gonna lie though….I will do a major happy dance when that number on the scale reaches pre-preggo status;)
Our lives are definitely different now, and while some days are really challenging, I wouldn’t change it for the world. Asher Wade has truly changed my heart. Do you ever have those moments where you stop whatever you’re doing and just thank God for blessing you immeasurably more than what you deserve? I often do. Sometimes I feel that my heart may actually burst with love and gratitude. Motherhood is kind of overwhelming like that. I definitely feel that my view on life has changed as well, and a lot of things that used to be so important to me, just aren’t anymore. I guess you could say my perspective has changed. I’ve learned to value what really matters, and to let go of the things that don’t. Family matters. God matters. Health matters. Love matters. All those other things? They’re just icing on the cake.
What about you? Have you done a mind, body, spirit update lately?