Being a mum is hardly ever what we imagined before kids came along.
I remember enjoying the gym scene before I had kids.
I remember a friend said to me when I was pregnant that I would not be able to continue my “gym” lifestyle with small children.
Honestly, I didn’t really like hearing her comment and reacted with something like “Absolutely, I will be able to keep going to the gym”.
When my first son was one I went back to the gym, but the gym experience was not the same.
I worried about whether he would enjoy the creche and if the creche would be running each time I went due to the gym only running the creche when minimum numbers of children were met.
I also found myself not doing much “fun” stuff with my son as his prime “fun” time was spent at a creche and at home he slept and then hit the “witching” hour in the afternoon, which made it less fun for us both.
The gym quickly became the thing that I was no longer trying to get back to after having kids.
In reality, there was some truth in what my friend said to me, although she should have said something along the lines of….
You can do whatever you want to do as a mum. Your children will fit in with you and your lifestyle, however, you may find your perspective and interests change as your priorities change from taking care of all of you to you and your child(ren). When this happens you may find that what was important or necessary is no longer as important and necessary as other things and interests take precedence.
Even if my friend did say the above, I doubt I would have truly understood her message.
The mum I always wanted to be involved being supportive, firm and adventurous.
Upon reflection during my experiences at the gym when my son was one, I realised the gym was no longer serving me in the way that it did previously.
I was not firm or supportive of him because I wasn’t there.
I wanted to instil a love of adventure and exploring this crazy big world. How could I truly do this in a building with no windows and doing the same sorts of movements repetitively most days of the week?
The gym lifestyle no longer allowed me to meet my personal values.
What the gym was offering me was to maintain my fitness and health, which is important to me.
I soon discovered other ways to do this that involved maintaining my fitness and health and spending quality time with my family, doing adventurous things and other things that mattered to us.
Nutrition Fuelling Mum
Think about how you are eating.
Is what you are doing with food and nutrition improving you and your child’s nutrition and health (or level of adventure if you are anything like me)?
When you eat in a way that responds to your needs and wants, you are meeting your nutritional and pleasure needs.
What’s nutrition got to do with being the mum you imagined you’d be?
How Does Non-Dieting Nutrition Help You To Be The Mum You Imagined?
You spend less time and energy thinking about food and nutrition.
You spend less time thinking about what you should and should not be eating.
You spend less time thinking about your body image.
You spend less time attempting to change your body.
You feel less guilt and shame after eating food.
You no longer avoid certain foods or food groups with no medical reason (i.e.
You no longer think of food in terms of “good” and “bad” depending on
what you have eaten.
You make food choices not purely on food labels (e.g. calories, fat, sugar etc)?
You eat food that you actually feel like rather than avoiding or restricting foods because you feel you cannot trust yourself to stop eating the whole packet/portion?
You no longer avoid social situations because you feel anxious or worried about food or eating.
You no longer base your food choices on your weight; e.g. if you’ve gained weight.
You no longer compensate for what you ate by exercising more.
You eat and stop eating when your body feels like it not when you think you need to.
You find yourself using mostly non-food ways to soothe you when you are feeling sad, lonely, angry and so on.
You can leave some cookies on the plate because you know you can have it again tomorrow.
You’d be happy if your 5-year-old child had the type of relationship you have with food.
You stop worrying about your child’s weight.
You stop worrying about your child’s eating.
You stop worrying about your child’s relationship they have with food and their body.
So are you living your life the way you want to?
Does it reflect your personal values?
Are you the mum you always wanted to be? Why or why not?