Today I attempted to do an exercise video on my freshly-vacuumed living room rug.
Jillian Michaels and her abs-of-steel counterparts ordered me to do all sorts of circuit exercises — and so I did, in between moving my 22-month-old daughter away from the 3 1/2 week old, who she kept poking in the eye while she restfully slept in her bouncer.
Of course I had to pee a couple of times during the jumping jacks and then there was the fact that Kate wanted to crawl on my face while I did crunches. And my hair rubber band wouldn’t stay in my hair. And my doubled-up nursing mom sports bras were too tight and cutting off my circulation.
Half-way through, I ditched the video and we had a full-out dance party, which was way more fun for all of us.
I did, however, have a successful run yesterday with the dog while my husband watched the children on his lunch break. And when I got home, I asked him: “Do you want me to be hot or a good mother and wife? Because I don’t have time to be both.”
[Of course that was a joke. And of course exercising and taking care of yourself is part of being a good mother/wife. I was being exaggeratory. And I know exaggeratory is not really a word.]
But I do think it’s funny how quickly the frump factor creeps in. And I’m not alone. I googled “new moms frumpy” for the sake of this blog post and the sweatpant-sportin’ sentiments started.
As a young mama on my third baby, I’ve lived in the postpartum “uniform” for the first couple months or so until I could fit into my old clothes. I’ve made the trips to Target with dirty hair and no make-up and spit up-clad yoga pants to pick up some milk. And I’ve also gotten back into fairly good shape, felt good about myself, and not worried too much about it.
Because what I’ve realized is, for me, the frump doesn’t come from caring less about myself — it comes from caring more about something other than myself.
Suddenly, these new little people have taken over my life — and I’m content realizing that my ever-changing body is growing people, feeding people, and caring for people in important ways. I may not be in the best shape, but my capable body is helping shape them. (And it helps having a husband who never makes me feel anything less than the most beautiful woman in the world.)
So, I’ll keep working out because it makes me feel good and healthy.
But in the meantime, I figure God knew what he was doing. After all, abs of steel aren’t very comfy to snuggle on.