#BodyAfterBaby and Why the gym is my new favorite place

gymOne of the best things I’ve done since becoming a stay at home mom is join a gym with child care. I’ve never had quite such great incentive to go work out. No time for yourself? Kid driving you crazy and you need to recharge? Maybe all you really want is a hot shower? Go to the gym for a stress-relieving hour and a half break!

I’ve never really been a gym person. I prefer to workout at home, in private. But now that privacy is a something I’ve given up in favor of motherhood, I have to go out and seek ways to find me-time. Some days that “me-time” comes in the form of slowly peddling a recumbent bike while checking my e-mail.

And while I may often take advantage of the child care just to get a much needed break, just being at the gym so much has inspired me to start working out for real. Some days I surprise myself and actually get sweaty. Within my first few months of going I lost a stubborn 7 lbs. of baby weight that I’d been fighting with for a while and now I’m working on the last five. I think some parts of me are permanently changed in shape just due to housing a child for ten months in there, but I’m excited to now be fitting back into some of my favorite clothes.

And now that it has become a habit and a welcome break, I actually miss it when I don’t go. I even went on a Sunday last week! Normally I don’t even hit my FitBit step goal on a Sunday so this is quite a change for me. I even signed up for some fitness challenge apps, but am saving that for a future blog after I get some results!

Discovering the gym was a real sanity-saver. And the big bonus is I look better, feel better and am happier for the little break every time I go. I highly recommend giving it a try even if you aren’t into working out. You may surprise yourself. I know I did!

 

Learning to stop and play

playAs a busy mom, I’m always trying to do a million things. Laundry, wash the dog, feed the kid, shower, maybe even attempt to exercise.

My son is also trying to do a million things. Create more laundry, harass the dog, feed his teddy bear, get dirty and also, get me to play with him.

Sometimes I get so focused on “getting things done” that I just want to keep going like how I would in pre-baby days. Do all the things! And do them all now! But in pre-baby days, there wasn’t a small child creating messes while I’m cleaning messes and constantly going “mommy, mommy, mommyyyyy” while I zoom around the house.

And then there’s this nagging memory I have from when I was little, where my mom would pretend to play with me while she doing housework. Like I’d be playing Monopoly and badly want someone to play with so she’d tell me to set the board up for two, and then play for her. So basically, my mom was my imaginary friend. I also remember thinking this arrangement sucked. There are some obvious drawbacks to being an only child.

(*As a side note, so as not to suffer future wrath from my mother, I have to say she really did make time for me. This was a just a memory that sticks from a particularly busy day.)

So on a daily basis, no matter how busy I am, or how much I need to get done, I make time to stop and play throughout the day. Whether it’s crashing cars off a ramp, building train tracks, or just sitting with him in his favorite chair while he watches a show, I make sure to stop and give him my full, undivided attention.

Because every time I realize he’s been begging me to play with him for too long, that Monopoly memory kicks in and I realize the laundry can wait. Who wants to do laundry when you can lie on the floor and color anyway?

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It’s so hard, To say Goodbye, To Yesterday…

baby sleepingEspecially when yesterday your toddler took a 3 hour nap! I hate to say this, but I think nap time is coming to an end. I’ve been dreading this day and it’s hard to accept.

Our first year so tough. So tough. We took baby nighttime shifts and slept in the guest room so the other person could get sleep without hearing the screams on the monitor. I don’t think either one of us slept more than two consecutive hours for a year and a half.

And then suddenly he started sleeping all night. It was magical. And then the 30 min nap turned into a 2 hour nap. And then it became a 3 hour nap and I was SO thrilled. It was good times. I started getting stuff done.

But now, it’s going away. Nap time is becoming a fight and it keeps getting later and later and is messing with bedtime. We’ve skipped it some days and he did fine, and even went to bed a little earlier.

I am mostly hanging onto it because naptime=metime. I’m not ready for it to go away! I was really hoping it would last until he started kindergarten, lol. I keep trying to tell him, one day, you’ll appreciate a good nap! I know I do.

I Don’t Know How to Not Work

I’m currently in the process of closing my business I’ve run for the past 11 years. I grew it from a little kitchen table eBay enterprise to a real brick and mortar boutique. It was something I dreamed about doing since I was little. I wanted to grow up and own a costume store, so that’s what I did.

I’ve always had my own business. I started at 6, coloring rocks and selling them door-to-door. I can only imagine if there was an Internet back then, I’d have a rock decor empire by now. I started this business making costumes myself and then expanded into retail and then manufacturing my own line of corsets and costume items.

I always said if I had a baby, I’d just keep right on working, and I did just that for the first year. In fact, I couldn’t wait to get back to work. Then a funny thing happened and I couldn’t wait to get back home. Instead of thinking about work all the time, I was looking at photos posted by the daycare and seeing my son playing, painting, learning and doing all the things I wanted to share with him. And here I was, stressing out over other people’s orders and watching my son grow through pictures.

So I decided to take on a new job. If I was going to be a stay at home mom, then darn it, I was going to embrace it and become CEO SAHM. And to do that, I needed to cut out all the distractions and close my store and main website. But, I also can’t stop doing what I love! So I will continue to make costume things for my Etsy shop when I can. I’m not pressuring myself to crank out a huge inventory, or take a lot of custom orders. I plan to just go back to making what I want and posting it for sale.

And if you happen to like costumes, corsets or cosplay – check out the site before I shut it down Dec. 15th. Everything is marked down below wholesale, and there is a still a good bit left:  www.3MusesBoutique.com

 

It’s all about the activities

Since I don’t intend on just sitting around the house, I am on the hunt for activities for my son and I to do now that he is home with me. There’s always the scramble to get the house/work/life stuff done, but I don’t want him sitting around watching me try to get things done. I’m intent on experiencing things together. So I spent this morning scouring the Internet for toddler-friendly activities that are also free or pretty cheap. I’m trying to save money on daycare and not make it up in pricey activities! I actually had a great (and free) morning at the park, where we jogged around the lake a couple times and then he played so much that he took a 2 1/2 hour nap. Score!!

So far I’ve found:

  • Barnes & Nobles has free story time
  • All the local libraries have free storytime and arts/crafts
  • Our museums have a free day but not sure how excited he’d be about that
  • The science museum has fun stuff but he’s still too young for the events I saw posted
  • There’s a bouncy place called Rebounderz that has special toddler times for $8
  • There’s an art class I really want to do called Color Splash but you have to buy the whole month and it’s $90-$110! I wish they just had per class options.

So, I’d love to hear from other SAHM’s about where they find activities and what I should check into!