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Women's Health Blog

The Nest: Hello, Gym: Momma’s Old Friend

Here I run on the treadmill, breathing rapidly with a mixture of anxiety (because I couldn’t find my “better” fitting leggings) and pure exhaustion. I’m beginning another year of New Year’s resolutions, and you can probably guess one of them – get back into a workout routine. If there was a conversation had between my disillusioned self and my post-baby body, it would go something like this:

Disillusioned Self: “I’ll just jump back into my work-out routine post-baby. No problem!”

My Post-Baby Body: “Absolutely not.”

Thanks to Pinterest, I’ve made yet another year’s worth of extremely unattainable New Year’s resolutions. It was as if last week I was a different person, writing down vague goals that apparently only women with the resources of Beyonce can achieve.

“Stay Focused” was number three; and I already can’t remember what I was supposed to stay focused on. Oh well, I’ve made 11 resolutions on a note in my iPhone so I’m sure the next one will jog my memory.

As I scroll through the list, I realize one of them should include forgiving myself or being thrilled with the progress I’ve made in certain aspects of my life.

Why did I create resolutions that make my life harder? I should be making resolutions like: Make our bed every morning or style my hair professionally each day. I write these over-the-top goals and expect completion when I would be ecstatic to come home to a nicely made bed. Now, if my husband was making the bed each morning... then we’d also have world peace and I am trying to stay realistic here.

My resolutions will end at some point – enduring the same fate that this treadmill will: I will be angry at them, I will be tired of them, and bored with the experience of them. I realize I won’t achieve them early on and I’ll forget the list until 2020. So, I need to reevaluate and rewrite my list of resolutions because self-reflection early on is a powerful friend.

My New, New Year’s Resolutions:

  1. Read a Book for Fun:  Please, yes. I want a sultry, trashy novel with a cheesy romance between a working woman who loves her independence and a hometown man who never thought he’d fall in love. Like “Lifetime” on paper. I don’t want an Oprah Top 10 Best Read, I want something easy on my mind and exciting, like my crush in 4th grade. Even if it takes me all year to read, just one book for fun is my first resolution.

  1. Family Time is a No Cell Phone Zone:  I grew up in a family that had a rule about no cell phones during dinner time. At 16 I hated it, but now I couldn’t thank my dad enough for it. Telling my dad he was right may be on my resolution list for 2020. Remember, not going for world peace. I hate that my baby catches me looking at my cell phone. No wonder five year olds have Snapchat and I don’t, they watch us constantly. I want my son to love reading, be a hands-on kid, and enjoy hunting more than video games. Disclaimer:  He is allowed to watch “Baby Einstein” on occasion because Momma’s got to get the laundry folded somehow. If I put my phone down my reward is twofold: I get to spend more time looking at, and interacting with him and my baby spends more time observing me OFF of my cell phone. If my phone isn’t important to me, then it isn’t important to him.

  1. Post-Baby Body Acceptance: God. Bless. America. This will be my most difficult resolution. There is evidence of this judgment all over my closet:  Shirts that are too snug thrown over my hamper, pants that just don’t fit the way they used to crumpled up on shelves, and even (hand me a tissue) expensive boots gathering dust that are too tight because my feet are now a size larger. Even if I wear something I am comfortable in, honesty will find me in the middle of the day after a big lunch. I wish I had the mindset of my overweight cat that absolutely rocks her fat pouch that sways on the floor as she runs to her food bowl. I digress, she is her own cat and I am my own momma. I need to stop putting the same amount of pressure on myself that a Victoria’s Secret Model would before a summer photo shoot. My body grew a baby, is feeding a baby, and keeps me alive and thriving each day. Plus, my body is probably so tired of hearing all of the things that are “wrong” with it. So I promise to speak only good things to this post-baby body, encourage it, support it, accept it, and work-out when I can in the form of walks with the baby and some awkward dancing to make him laugh.
  2. Call my Grandparents More Often: I told my 92-year-old grandfather I was writing a blog, and our next topic of discussion included his evidence on having two to three bowel movements a day to stay regular, but I love talking with him. Losing my grandmother a few years ago still weighs heavy on my heart and I need to use that as motivation to call the wise old owls in my life at least once a week. Plus, my grandparents are hilarious! I genuinely look forward to the day when I can curse freely without fear of judgment in the grocery store about the poor quality of fruit in aisle two and begin Happy Hour at any hour because – retirement. But in all honesty, I need to call them because their high-quality parenting perspective is invaluable to my life. And when they are gone, I will search for their wisdom everywhere.

So in 2019, I’ll strut my post-baby body a little more confidently, start that book in February and finish it on the beach this summer, and spend less time looking at my phone screen and more time watching my wonderful family enjoy the life we’ve made. When my grandfather isn’t telling me about his bathroom schedule he advises me, “This is a year you will look back on and remember as an older woman,” and he is absolutely right.

Reba Tappan

Reba Tappan

Reba Tappan writes The Nest blog. She is mom to an adorable little boy, who she enjoys pushing in the stroller around her neighborhood with her husband. She writes about life as a working mother while navigating the journey to maintaining a mom-bod.