Mom & Baby at 6 Months: Changing Expectations

Happy Valentine’s Day weekend!  Nathan is 1/2 year old already.  He can say da-da, ta-ta, babble, blow bubbles/raspberries, and roll over both ways now.  He sleeps like a cute little inchworm with his bum in the air, and his smell is the best smell in the world (except when he has a poopy diaper).  He is smart and likes to turn the lights on and off when entering rooms (we taught him), his favorite toy is my mini kitchen whisk which he uses like a little sword, and he is pretty much sleeping through the night now!  He is sitting up mainly unassisted, and likes eating solid foods, except for peas which aren’t much of a hit.  He has also learned to communicate “no” by blowing a raspberry, and does this every time we wipe his nose, because apparently it’s the worst.  And he really loves sticking out his tongue.  He had a tongue obsession for awhile when he first discovered it!

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Picking him up from daycare is the brightest part of my day, and my heart explodes when we laugh together.  It seems that babies know genuine laughter and like to chime in when the hear it.  He also likes being thrown around, peek-a-boo and any sort of surprises.  Nathan is now easy to put to bed – he’s a great self-soother, and can play by himself for much longer periods.  He is the light of my life!  Now if he could sleep in after 5 AM we would be golden 😉

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As for me, I’m doing well but a lot of thoughts going through my head recently.  I was emailing my coach Marni the other day (though I’m not actively being coached right now), and I captured a lot of it… so here’s my update as of late:

Life is good (and I LOVE being a mom – it seems like each day gets better), but as a family, we have a lot of big changes whether we like it or not (ugh, price of oil!), and I‘ve realized that this isn’t the time is right for my focus to be on training or endurance racing.  David and I chose years ago and continue to choose the road less traveled, which will be harder on us in many ways, but we know we want adventure in life and not just to settle.  We’ve been making active choices that will enable change in our lives, and we hope to see the results of these choices soon.   More news to come soon!

Of course my health/fitness is still extremely important to me, and I’m able to get in 5-6 days/week of 45-60min workouts, but I’m focusing most on strength and interval training as I found that to be a weak area for me post-pregnancy.  And you know what, it’s really FUN!  I’ve found some workouts that I love and make me feel energized and happy.  And, since Nathan is almost 20lbs now, the more I improve my back/core strength the easier it is to lift and play with him.  It’s no secret that we’d like two children (no plans to have #2 anytime soon though!), but when it does happen I want my body to be strong enough to haul around both Nathan and a big belly.  I think that’s been my biggest learning that I’ll apply to pregnancy round 2: more squats, kegels and strength work in general.  Certainly I love endurance training and racing and want to see it in my future, but it’s just not making a lot of sense for me right now.  It will come again a few years down the line. 

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Cheering Dad on at the Houston half marathon

My Betty teammate Heidi Austin recently wrote this blog post about training expectations post-pregnancy that I thoroughly related to.  Especially as a new mom, it’s easy to beat yourself up for not being in shape for a half IM (which was my expectation for 2016 originally) or that your fitness levels aren’t bouncing back the way you expected them to pre-baby.  It’s true that I’ve waivered and questioned my “athlete status” lately, so I’m glad Marni reminded me that it hasn’t been taken away.  As much as I love triathlon, right now I need to find a way to prioritize and make a little time for everything (son, husband, work, fitness, me!).   It’s not like I’m sitting around being lazy.  My spare time is spent studying (I mentioned changes are coming…), preparing for the weeks ahead and spending quality interactive time with Nathan. 

Plus I’m not craving long rides/bricks right now anyway – it’s just time away from my two favorite guys.  I much prefer an exhausting 1-hour workout Saturday morning, then heading to the park with Nathan so he can see the dogs or enjoy the outdoors.  Or we find things we can do as a family on the weekends and include Nathan – sometimes a 30min stroller run followed by plyo/body weight work at home while Nathan plays nearby and watches us jump around is still a really good and fun way to spend time together!  I love seeing him notice the world around him more, and we are really enjoying family walks and new places and activities.

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Post-trainer core/strength in my Betty kit

This change of expectation was hard for me initially, as I saw a lot of post-pregnancy amazing feats via social media – athletes and pro athletes competing in IM, marathons, etc. – but I have to remind myself everyone is different and there’s nothing I need to prove.  As a side note, it’s taken me SIX months to be comfortable doing a lot of core work and running again.  I had separation in my pelvic/groin muscles from delivery that the PT told me would just take time to heal.  And until I stopped breastfeeding I wasn’t able to do many exercises such as push ups, side planks, jumping without ankle and wrist pain (due to relaxin).  It’s GREAT if you can bounce back that quickly, but don’t beat yourself up if you can’t due to factors that are out of your control.  Pre-pregnancy (and with an active, healthy pregnancy) I was extremely determined to bounce back right away and be at least in half marathon shape 4 months after birth – ha.  I laugh now at my sense of urgency to get back to my “old” lifestyle/self.  Now I realize there was really no reason to put so much pressure on myself at that time, and I had little control over a lot of it anyway. 

Overall being a parent is really is a precious experience that I’m extremely grateful for.  I still can’t wait to bring Nathan up with a healthy, family-oriented, active lifestyle and have him come to my races someday.  Do I still have goals?  YES.  Am I having fun and feeling good about myself?  YES!  My focus is shifted a little, but my days are bright, I’m energized at home and at work, and I’m looking forward to what this year brings.

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2 thoughts on “Mom & Baby at 6 Months: Changing Expectations

  1. So glad to hear all’s well! Nathan is adorable – what a happy baby! You have to do what’s right for YOU, and it sounds like you have some exciting things around the corner… studying?! can’t wait to hear more! 🙂

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