One Year Postpartum (3rd Time Around)
One year growing a baby on the outside of my body and growing myself as a mom and person. He is almost walking and has a mouth of teeth. He gets carried more than his siblings ever did and probably spends more time in the stroller and car seat as well as we go on adventures with the older two.
I am more patient and more accepting of whatever happens. And chaos happens daily. I have realized that the most important thing in birth, pregnancy and parenting is finding my center and knowing that I will be okay no matter what happens. Chaos will happen and no amount of planning or prepping will avoid it. There are days when the plans changes 6 or 7 times due to illness, injury, or weather. My kids need me to be solid in the chaos and not chasing after the next best toy, event, or whatever to entertain them. I need to call on my community of friends and family to help with parenting and childcare so I can stay solid. And there have been days I have not been solid. Days I have said "I can't do this!" "This" being parenting, managing my life, and building this business. I struggled quite a bit between 6 and 9 months during the winter; I was negative, tired, and neglected taking care of myself or asking for the help I needed a few times. But I am doing it every day. And every day comes with its own challenges that I always find a way to meet face on.
I have given my body this year to be itself and not push it to do too much. I have chosen sleep over work more nights than not. I have chosen chasing after kids over exercise class, although getting movement in is still very important for my mental health. I have gotten massages and energy work and tuned into better tracking of how I feel physically and mentally month to month. I have revisited my pelvic floor exercises frequently, needing them during times of stress or lapses in any movement routine. I have committed to a hydration routine and better nutrition that helps support my physical and mental health.
I have taken 2 painting classes, a breastfeeding education certificate course, a pelvic floor course (still working on it), a few aqua fitness and zumba classes. I have connected more with friends this past year than I have in the past 5 years, connecting over our new parenting experiences being vulnerable about our struggles. I have read more books as well, learning more about the vagal nerve and trauma release.
My husband and I don't always feel like we are on top of things, but our relationship is strong. We would have liked to have more dates and alone time. Intimacy is a bit different as with 3 kids time is tighter, energy is limited and breastfeeding keeps my estrogen low so I have minimal desire. Communicating and clear expectations help us to be connected.
I have let go of getting the bathrooms cleaned or the floor mopped on any sort of schedule right now. It gets done when it needs to. Our biggest motivator for cleaning is having friends over, hosting a party or going on vacation. We have left most big house maintenance and remodeling plans undone this year. I still obsess over the number of toys my kids have and how we could do better with less. I still worry they watch too much TV and I am too distracted to really connect with them or get them outside as much as I would like. They are all very strong willed and high energy. They keep me in check and let me know when we are doing too much and need to stay home and play.
MOM plus ME is slowly growing and I learn as much from the moms I see as I give them in support, education and rehab services. I have made many wonderful connections with many providers and businesses. I hope to get a post or newsletter together highlighting all these great services for moms and families as a way to say thank you for their support and encouragement of me as an entrepreneur and business owner. I am now billing insurance and feeling some stability and validity from that.
This next year is going to be amazing! I am so excited for this next year and the potential that it holds!