When I first became a new Mum the thought of fitness seemed entirely possible.. I was running on hormones. Suddenly the accumulation of sleep deprivation HIT!
I think it’s tricky the first few months of having a baby because not only are you getting used to the change of lifestyle, demands and responsibilities but if you’re anything like me you also have expectations on yourself. I found that suddenly all I could really manage was to look after my newborn. Period. Gone were the days of healthy eating, hell you eat all sorts of rubbish just to stay awake. Gone were the days of thinking you can do it all, if you make it out to see friends and manage to have baby nap you’re winning. Life becomes about your little newborn, not your own wellbeing.
Move forward a few months and I’m so happy that I’m gaining more energy and focus. It’s like the cloudy fog of sleep deprivation slowly lifts and I’ve the ability to get more things done, to start looking after myself and poor husband also. Poor hubby’s always get neglected from when a baby is born.
I can happily say I’ve even managed a few morning runs in a row now and honestly I couldn’t feel better. It’s all a matter of baby steps.
Obviously I’ve reduced the expectations I originally had on myself where I thought I’d be back into work straight away, doing fitness every morning and cooking gourmet meals. How unrealistic was I. If there was one piece of advice I’d give a new mum now it would be that nothing else matters except sleep. Sometimes you just have to surrender and enjoy the wins, even if they’re little. It becomes relative, what you used to measure against is no longer real. The bar is no longer set to be raised, it’s squashed right back down on the ground and you’ve a whole set of different realities to contend with before you can even contemplate lifting it again.
As the old story goes though – if you don’t look after yourself, how can you manage looking after anyone else. To me fitness is one thing that makes me feel better. I’m not going to lie, somedays it’s near impossible to have the energy, especially if I’ve had no sleep but once it’s done I always feel better and able to tackle more things than if I hadn’t done any.