Saying NO to the “Mom-Bod”

How I chose to say NO to the mom bod.

This is not a work out post, a pity-post or a ‘I’ll make do with what I have’ post. This is an empowering, influencing and inspiring post. I chose not to give in to the ‘mom-bod’ and choose to love my baby-bearing body. 

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From time to time I do feel that tug of insecurity, self-doubt and I do see the marks left from that pull&stretch. But these are our love lines, our war wounds, our life long hopes and dreams. The sign of a mother. 

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Olivia Ann Photography

Though some may be more scarred than others, more discrete than others or even only inwardly marked; we have all joined on this journey and the trials of pregnancy, labour and the fourth trimester together. 

Received our badges of courage, of comfort and became a safe place for our littles.

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How in the WORLD can I look past my beautiful baby girl and focus solely on the body I was left with after her birth. 

It’s hard to move forward, to feel back to normal when you know you’re not. That before-baby-BABE-bod feels so far away. It’s hard to feel glamorous, beautiful or even mediocre sometimes. To have the pure essence and freedom to think or even feel; I am beautiful. 

The rawness of it all; is that we all think this.

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Who’s better? Who’s thinner? Who has the best workout?

STOP. Take a second and stare into your child’s eyes.

There’s your all in all; you’re beauty and your pride. 

View More: http://nataliareardonphotography.pass.us/donutshoot

Natalia Reardon Photography

There lays your heart and your reflection in their eyes, staring right back at you telling you, you are enough. 

You will ALWAYS be enough. 

This is why I am saying no to the ever-so-daunting “mom-bod.” I do not fall short, I will not give in to this lie that I am sub-par, I will stand tall.

I am Ezra’s mom. I take this journey and glorify it. The good, the bad, the discomfort and the beauty in the middle. I am blessed to be her mother and am honoured to rock this ‘MOMBOD.’

-Xox

me and ez

Mat Leave Ends, But Another Adventure Begins

Back to work. Back to the grind. Back to the ol’ time card.

But it’s not the same. Back to work, with a baby. What does that look like you ask? Well, I really couldn’t tell you; yet. I have my first day back to work on Friday. Starting a new job in a new field of which I know nothing about the company but I’m excited. It’s going to be good and it’ll allow my week to have a more structured look to it. Thankfully I have found a position I can go back to part time, as I don’t know if I could quite muster up enough courage to leave my baby girl for the entire day for 5 days a week.

[The day she was born – 17 hours old// Her first baseball game – 6 days old//Teens camp – 2 months old]

Luckily, I have the most amazing mother in law who is willing to watch sweet Ez for those two days that I’m away. Not only does this give me the confidence and freedom to separate myself from mama-mode and dive into work-mode, but Ezra LOVES her Nama. Let me tell you, the second Ez sees Nama, everything else disappears and nothing else matters, Nama is here. Her little legs start pumping a hundred miles per hour, she is fist bumping the air and with her big goofy grin, she is screaming at the top of her lungs. She loves her.

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The night I went into labour 

Looking back on when I was pregnant, very pregnant, and preparing for maternity leave, the 12 months you’re given seems like an eternity. The ‘go-getter’ in me thought, ‘yeah, I’ll get this baby thing under wraps and then I’ll just have a 9 month vacation!’ Oh man was I wrong. Everyday has been a joy, full of love, laughter and all that gushy stuff. There has been hardships in the midst of that, endless crying, sleepless nights, but every parent goes through that. We were fortunate enough to have an angel of a babe that was, and continues to be, so kind to us. But even though I thought having a baby wouldn’t weigh me down and immobilize me that much; it did. You get in to the routine of sleep, nurse, change diaper, sleep, nurse, change diaper, and eventually that starts to level out. Ezra is pretty simple when it comes to this schedule and will mostly go anywhere with me as long as I’m able to take time out for her. Pushing the stroller a little longer or put a wrap on to cuddle her close, to ensure she can have a nap.

[Ezra in her new Beluga Baby ‘EZRA Wrap’ Photo|Haley Campbell Owner of Beluga Baby // Ice cream at Morgan Crossing // Ez meeting Jillian Harris for the first time (all babies have this ‘first’ right?]

All this is about to change though. I am going to feel that heart wrenching, yearning sensation to want to be with my baby and can’t. I’m fully anticipating a meltdown, not on her part but on mine! She’s was and now, has become again, a part of me. My little side kick. The robin to my batman, the tissue to my sniffle, the laughter to my jokes, the peanut to my jelly. the Ez to her mama. For the past three weeks I have been completely soaking up every hug, every smile, every giggle, and yes, even every roar. (she’s a baby Rex). Getting more sentimental as the time tock’d and the days grew closer. I am not usually this type of person, at least the one that sits there for an extra minute just staring at my sweet babe, every, single, moment.

[I really miss this precious time of napping with a newborn. Oh how sweet it is.]

I am looking forward to going back though. To have more then the length of a nap time to be a real person again, to be an adult and have a conversation that doesn’t include what was in her diaper or how many veggie balls (IKEA – delicious) she ate for lunch. To regain some composure and assertiveness that I can bounce back, I can be social and I can live my life again, of course, with my little sidekick holding my hand through it all. This’ll be another new chapter in our lives, a chapter of change and a chapter of growth. Figuring out what it means for mama to go back to work and how Ez will receive it. Here’s hopin’ and you bet I’ll be praying.

What were your thoughts? your doubts? your fears? Did you find identity in going back to work, feel more like yourself again? (whatever that may mean to you).
What were your biggest hurdles in trying to make things work and making sure your little loved one was comfortable and confident in you leaving them? I want to know them!
From one mama to another, I would love your support and guidance in some ideas or scheduling that you found moved mountains when you went back to work.

I’ll leave you now with a few of my favourite memories from the past year with my sweet babe. Enjoy x0x

Wedding Shoot photo | Sasha Cooper Photography

Introverted Extrovert

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May 28 2016

When you think of a newborn baby you think of love, joy and excitement. A new chapter in your life, full of twists and turns, nothing quite like anything you’ve experienced. But that’s exactly what it is, nothing you’ve ever experienced. There is such a high, but there are days of extreme low, all the feels & low energy. This is something that I thought I would not have the chance to experience. I look at myself as someone who is cheerful, exciting and energetic. Thinking about the possibility of PPD or just the extreme highs&lows of having a baby, didn’t cross my mind. Until it did. It rocked me. I won’t go as far to say that I experienced PPD, but there was definitely moments and days of depression and jealousy. Sad of the days that I couldn’t just be myself and move, write and craft as I wanted and jealous of my husband being able to just pick up and go. Go to work, visit and joke around with his colleagues, play baseball for the summer and simply still be apart of community.

This is my story.

How becoming a mother changed my perspective on social time, family time and me time. How crucial the balance in-between is.

I would find myself constantly asking myself, ‘where am I going?’, ‘when will I be better?’, ‘where is my identity?’ Yes I am Ez’ mother and Mackenzie’s wife, but really, Who am I now? I am not, in no way, saying this negatively, but if I had been able to prepare myself for the fourth trimester, getting on and growing strong with baby life, I would have. I would have prepped, I would have pampered, I would have given myself a reality check and checked IN with ME.

Yes, yes, all who know me and have met me before babe would see an outgoing, energetic, extrovert. I will have to correct you here. Since becoming a mother I feel like my life has shifted (surprise, surprise). Being an extrovert with a baby really rocks you. I now feel as though I have to be social ALL the time because I am around my sweet girl. Absolutely no personal time and then when hubby gets home or I have time to go out with friends, I don’t want to. I’d rather go sit in my room with my computer, Netflix & popcorn. Introvert.

WHO SAW THAT COMING?

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In the past I would crave the social interaction. I would feed off it, find joy and find peace in it. To me, there was nothing quite like a morning, afternoon and evening out with the girls. Seriously; 24/7. When it really comes down to it though, plain and simple, I really do need to look out for me and my mental health. How was my day? Was it tough? Should I go out tonight? Will this all just snowball in to tomorrow if I don’t take some time to rest and just be. Bringing myself back down after a day of constant ‘mommy-I-need-to-have-one-hand-on-you-at-all-times-or-else-I-will-cry-bloodymurder’ calls for a well needed glass of grape juice, fishy crackers and good ol’ HGTV.

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What are some things that you’ve found have helped you through the dull&darker times of motherhood? Especially in that first year. What have you found to be a comfort to you? old or new? I want to hear your thoughts and help you through this special, amazing and empowering time of motherhood!

Xox.