As I slink out of a dark bed, careful not to disturb the pillows and covers, I turn and take one last look at my sleeping daughters – laid out like football players signaling a touchdown. They are 5 years apart, but in the shadows of sleep, they look almost identical.
I tiptoe out of the room, exhale and turn to walk into the kitchen. It’s finally my time. I open my computer and cue up The Colbert Show-which is called something else now but figuring that out is way more than my brain cares to remember. Information like this has been replaced by ballet schedules, school meetings, clients, the pending holidays and the ever running merry – go – round of my thought stream that somehow keeps my personal, family and work lives functioning.
I have been called a fitness guru – SoulCycle for Mothers. I am the creator of Revolution Motherhood. I write, live and teach wellness for mothers. And, here’s the truth – when I take that step out of the dark bedroom, children tucked away, my job complete, all of my own unmet needs come crashing down. I’m starving. I’m exhausted. I’m strung out and want to relax. How much ‘me’ can I cram in while also writing my final emails of the day and going to bed so I can get up, hit the morning running and do it all again?
The truth is, some things don’t get done. Some nights, I eat chips and cookies for dinner. Some nights, I take a glass of wine with me while I roll my feet out on little balls and watch mindless entertainment. Some nights I never make it out of that dark room and I fall asleep with them.
Balance for mothers
Balance has a specific meaning when applied to mothers. It is a constantly moving target and requires a light touch to achieve.
It’s normal to feel strung out. It’s normal to have unmet needs as a mom. But, at what point are you crossing the line into losing yourself?
In order to define personal wellness…mental, physical and emotional…it begins and ends by honest, connection to yourself. My method for knowing myself is daily movement and exercise. What is yours?
What I describe above is a happy exhaustion. I love everything that fills my days. I am able to strike that sweet spot because I check in and course correct…daily.
So, dear Mama, I have an invitation for you – heart to heart, mother to mother – Enter 2019 with a commitment to put your needs on the same playing field as your child’s. It will be uncomfortable. Do it anyway. Everyone will be better served by you connecting to your heart and happiness…daily.
Rachel Welch is the creator of Revolution Motherhood, a doctor-recommended fitness method that integrates yoga, pilates, barre, and pelvic physical therapy to teach women how to safely heal postpartum issues such as diastasis, prolapse and incontinence.
Rachel’s methods offer the ultimate mind-body experience, create lasting results and leave women feeling confident, strong and trusting their body. Catch Rachel’s live classes in NYC and On Demand on her website.
AfterThird – find your village
A postpartum doula, support group facilitator, and lactation consultant are all great sources of support! Sign up on AfterThird to get access to wonderful services and support in your neighborhood. Let us help you figure out what you need. Welcoming a baby is wonderful and a lot of work.
Parents can sometimes forget to take care of themselves and their relationships when faced with the pressing needs of a young baby. Self Care.