Once you become a parent, it’s natural for others to ask if you plan on having any more kids. That’s typically a question you ask yourself at least after the first year of the baby’s life. I can tell you that although Asher (our first) was not planned, once he was here the apparent question became when do we add more to the family now that we have one? If you want more than one child then it becomes strategy. How far apart do you want the siblings to be and what are the pros/cons that go along with that. One of the things you may hear a lot (I know I did), was going from “one to two [kids] is tougher than going from two to three”. Now, I may be a little premature at this point with my opinion, but I have to say I’d disagree. It’s been one month since we’ve welcomed our third little man into the world and I feel like I’ve really got my work cut out! Granted, it has been a particularly difficult month as we’ve dealt with some pretty unfortunate circumstances since the birth.
One week post birth, a close friend/athlete of Redcon1 (Dallas McCarver) passed away, which was a major shock to us all and really hit us hard. Making the decision to leave the baby for one night to attend his funeral out of state was not easy, but felt it was something I needed to do. Two weeks later we get hit with the news of a possible Category 5 hurricane (Irma) making its way directly to us. Aaron (who is a Katrina survivor) immediately wanted to plan for an evacuation. Although I wanted to fight it at first, I eventually became aware that we had no other choice. We didn’t have a generator for our home and attempting to stay through a hurricane of that magnitude would not be the wisest decision with a 5 year old, 2 year old and 3 week old. Through a ridiculously long and eventful/torturous journey to get out of south Florida, we made our way to New Orleans and back home after 6 days away. My world was totally rocked.
Needless to say, this first month of being a mom of three has been anything but “easier” than going from “one to two”. I will also add that it does make a difference what the age difference is between the siblings when comparing the jump in kids. Our oldest was 3 years old when we had our second, making him quite helpful and with the ability to communicate. Now for our third, our youngest was just turning 2 years old, in the prime of his “terrible twos”. My oldest (now 5 years old) also somewhat regressed in behavior after the birth of this child. All in all, I don’t remember ever being mentally this rocked after having my second.
Even when it came down to my fitness life, things were different. Due to the fact that I did not need stitches with my second or third, I was given permission to immediately resume physical activity. After my second I went back to the gym after maybe 2 weeks. I was itching. I took very little time off and jumped right back into my routine. Now, I’m the last person to ever want to discourage someone from being active, but I do believe there should be some balance. Looking back, should I have waited a couple more weeks? Maybe. Who knows, honestly. I can tell you that I do remember feeling discomfort in my pelvic region. Could I attribute this to getting active too quickly? I’m not sure. But this time around I decided to wait it out a bit longer. Mentally, I’ve been having a much tougher time so I could actually consider it a pretty vicious cycle. While working out may have helped me mentally, it was also the last thing on my mind. I wanted to take my time and enjoy this time off, with my new little man. Being on my third child, I know how fast time goes. Too fast. It’s scary. So any feelings before of “needing” to get back into the gym immediately really wasn’t there. Before I know it my littlest man will be 5 going into Pre-K like my oldest now. Everything in the moment feels like it needs to be rushed. However, it’s either a curse or a blessing knowing that time flies by quicker than you’d ever expect or want once you have kids.
So for this past month, in the midst of all the chaos, instead of running out to the gym to relieve any type of stress, I’ve decided to stay in and soak up these newborn days. Days we don’t ever get back and seem to pass in a blink. This time is also giving my body time to recover. It’s gone through some major changes and strenuous labor. I deserve this time off.
Now that I am 5 weeks post partum, I am slowly resuming my activity. I have done some cardio sessions as well as solid weight training sessions and feel good. I feel good about the fact that I’ve given my body time to rest and recuperate. Being back in the gym can feel like a mental struggle at times, but each time I successfully complete a session, I feel even better and more motivated. Ultimately, I feel best when I’m training, staying active and eating right. That is where I intend to get back to. I will also be teaming up with a very well respected coach in the bodybuilding industry. Although this is something I’ve done before on my own (losing baby weight), I’ve decided to work with someone this time to give me a clear direction. I’ll have new goals and visions. Let’s face it, that is something I will continue to encourage. As a mom, never losing site of your identity and giving up what makes you happy, in a healthy balanced way.