Women’s bodies are straight up amazing. We grow people and birth them. And then we use those same bodies to nurture and care for newborn babies. Does it get any more incredible than that? No. No, it does not.
And here’s what’s up – I totally get that we should be grateful and stand in awe of what our bodies have done after giving birth. I truly don’t think there’s another thing in this life that you can do with your body that even comes close to comparing with carrying and giving birth to a child.
That being said, I also didn’t quite feel like myself with the extra weight that hung around after having my boys. I’m fortunate in that most of it came off pretty easily after both pregnancies, but there were always those pesky last 5-7 pounds that made it a little more challenging than necessary to zip my jeans. And let me say this, if you’re ok with that, you do YOU, sister!
Personally, though, I wanted to feel like myself again and for me that meant kicking those final pounds to the curb. And here’s a disclaimer: I have NEVER gotten back into as good of shape as I was before having Beckett, my first. I’m not saying that it’s not doable, because it absolutely is. I’ve just chosen to spend my time in other ways.
And even though I’ve yet to reach my pre-baby level of fit in my post-baby life, I’m still at a place where I’m pretty comfortable with my body. I think if you do have a desire to either get back your pre-baby body or at least getting to a place where you feel good about your health, the secret to success is finding what works for you.
I’ve found my sweet spot, but mine may not be yours. So here are five different ways that you can incorporate working out into your newfound mom life post-baby.
I list this one first simply because it’s what works for me. Before having Beckett, I attended Pure Barre five to six times a week, and I. LOVED. IT. I was in the best shape of my life and enjoyed the actual work out. I tried SO hard to make it work for me after having a child, and long story short, it simply didn’t work.
Eventually, though, I came across Pure Barre On Demand, and it has been a Godsend. I can do anything from a 5 minute workout to a one hour workout in my home without finding someone to watch my kids. There are tons of options like this, but a few others that I’ve tried and liked are the Carrie Dorr Method, Sweat and the Nike app.
This is probably what most normal people do. I became spoiled by Pure Barre and now only want to do Pure Barre when I work out. But finding a gym with child care is probably the easiest option and will afford you the most sanity. You can take your kids, drop them off and enjoy some time to yourself. You don’t have to worry about them waking up in the morning or from naps before you’ve finished your work out like I do. And if you find a gym that offers group classes, it may be a great way to find other moms in a similar stage of life!
I sincerely believe that half the battle in working out is finding something you enjoy doing. Once I found Pure Barre six years ago, I was hooked. But before that? Well, let’s just say I was not a regular gym goer. So if you can find a studio class that works with your schedule or one that possibly partners with a nearby child care facility, give it a try! I’ve found that most people become passionate about working out after they’ve found their “thing” and their thing is usually in a studio. There’s absolutely a sense of community that you find in settings like this, and it makes you want to come back for more.
I remember desperately wanting to do this after I had Beckett, but I couldn’t find a group near me. If you live in any metro area, though, it’s likely that you can find one. FIT4MOM offers classes that you can do WITH YOUR KIDS. Y’all. This is groundbreaking when you have little ones. Not to mention you get to work out alongside a group of women with super similar interests to you: babies and getting in shape. They also offer prenatal classes, so if you’re expecting but wanting to stay in shape, this may be a great option for you!
The biggest problem I’ve had in incorporating workouts in since I’ve had children is creating the time to get it done. This all changed when I discovered the life changing magic of waking up before your kids. I know it doesn’t sound like a good time, but once you get in the habit you’ll actually WANT to do it. There’s something really energizing about waking up before your kids do and starting your day on your terms and not those of a screaming child. And I truly believe that starting your day with a workout has the power to set you up for success for the rest of the day.
If you have a baby who’s still waking up in the middle of the night, I 100 percent understand that this may not be the best option. I didn’t start doing this until Callahan was only waking up once a night, and even then it didn’t happen every morning. But it’s something to keep in mind for when your sleep schedule becomes a little more predictable.
I can only speak for myself, but I’m a more pleasant person and mom when I’m able to get a good workout in. I know that I’ve done something good for myself and my body, and it certainly helps to fill my cup so that it can pour over into my kids. Working out may not be the answer for everyone, but if you want to fit it back into your life after having a baby, I’m convinced that you can! Find the work out and the strategy that works best for you and commit to making it happen. You’ll be happy you did!