Mother – this word means so much. Only now I can understand and appreciate what our moms have gone through, and only now I get it why this word is so important, powerful and beautiful. While I can honestly say that this journey hasn’t been easy, in fact it has been the hardest thing I’ve done, I have to admit I really am blessed. Motherhood has been simplified for me, thanks to the wonderful system of support called family. Having a part time nanny doesn’t hurt either. And I cannot even imagine what I would do without my biggest supporter, my other half, thanks to whom we can afford to have the lifestyle that we have and thanks to whom I can catch up on much needed sleep in the mornings. In addition, we have all the modern day comforts that make mothering so much easier, such as diapers, dishwasher, washing machines. (My mother didn’t have any of that in her days and had to do a LOT more with her hands that hold the baby). I have only one child, not five. I live in a country that takes care of mothers giving them a full year off work dedicated to motherhood, unlike USA or other parts of the world. I am healthy and well and so is my child. Yet, I still find it hard. But really, I have no right to complain!
I cannot possibly imagine what it must be like if you are a mother to a newborn who is a single mother. Its twice the work, twice the stress, twice the tears. Not having that person who can hold your hand when you give birth and be that shoulder to cry on when your baby won’t stop crying for hours must be hard.
I also really feel for those mothers who don’t have the luxury of staying at home with their newborn and have to rush back to work. It must be excruciatingly difficult to leave your sweet smelling, cuddly bundle of joy with someone else while you sit in the office away from your baby. Especially when this bundle of joy still breastfeeds, and instead of looking into his loving eyes during feeds, you get to look at the cold walls of a bathroom stall at work while pumping.
I can’t imagine what it must be like if you have more than one child and no help. Where you have to manage to feed, burp, pump, bathe, take kids to school and gymnastics, all the while trying to cook for the entire family, grocery shop, clean the house, pay bills, keep up all the doctor appointments, cater to the husband’s needs and somehow in between all of this find some time for yourself to look decent, or at least clean. Whoever said that males are the stronger species must have been on something!
It must be very hard to nurture and raise a baby when it is just you with no family to lean on. Even though, sometimes they come with LOTS of advice, I don’t know what I would do without grandmothers who come and babysit, bring yummy home cooked goodies, and sometimes even agree to take the baby for a night, so you and your husband can have a much needed night of peaceful sleep and romance.
I’ve only dealt with a sick child once, and it was just a very bad cold and nothing more, and even then I almost lost my mind when her fever hit 39. I can’t even imagine the strength and patience that one must possess to care for a child that was born sick or has some illness that requires extra care. Or what if the mother is the ill one? How hard it must be to take care of somebody else who needs so much of your energy, which you just don’t have because your body is too weak? I don’t know, but whoever has gone through something like that probably becomes an exceptionally tough human being.
Where there is no struggle, there is no strength, and a mother is somebody who goes through struggles every day, some small, some large, but all in the name of love. A heart that is filled with love is capable of magical things, and only when you become a mother you realize how much you can really love somebody and how strong you can actually be. I admire all mothers out there and want to wish all of you Happy Mother’s Day, and may your loved ones make you feel like the most cherished mother in the world on this wonderful spring holiday! <3
1) Go to Burning Man, Coachella or any other cool, hip festivals with loud music, art, dancing and enjoy that free spirited feeling that comes with dancing til morning with a cocktail in your hand and not a worry in your head. Trust me, there is no such thing as feeling completely free spirited once you have a baby. He or she will ALWAYS be on your mind. Oh and you definitely don’t want to be those hippie parents that get their babies all bodypainted and dance on speakers with them in a carrier. Believe it or not, those do exist! We’ve seen them!
2) Have lots of sex! Once you are pregnant, turning into a baloon and getting bigger by the day, you may not feel like the sexiest thing around or your husband may be one of those guys that won’t touch you if you pay him. Some guys get all weird with you getting all maternal and sh** and stay awaaaay. Some don’t. Hopefully for you, yours is the second kind! But just in case, have lots of sex now, because once you are very pregnant or once you’ve had the baby, sex will become number 25 on your list. So do it up now!
3) Spend money on yourself! If you aren’t already, you should be. Go and buy yourself those nice designer shoes or a bag, shop for you now! Soon you are about to find out how somebody so little can cost so much and need so many things. Before you know it, instead of hitting designer sales you will be hitting up Babies Are Us or BBBuggy on a weekly basis and shopping for your baby will actually be more exciting than shopping for yourself.
4) Travel somewhere far, exotic and cool! Go to Japan, go climb Machu Pichu in Peru, travel to Africa for a safari, go hiking in the Amazon – do those things now. There is no way in hell you can do that with a baby, unless your family takes extreme to the next level. But even if it does, it will be hardly fun for anyone, since you will need to bring your stroller, diapers, bassinet, toys, changepad, pacifiers, babyfood, breastpump, Sophie the giraffe, the list goes on – you will lose your mind just packing for a trip such as that! So just basically do it now!
5) Drink a whole bottle of wine to yourself or like four margaritas – go on, get wasted since you still can! Me personally, I have not done that for over 2 years now! When pregnant or breastfeeding you cannot drink, or if you are trying for a baby you are also kind of in a careful mode, because you never know if you are pregnant, and if you are, will that drunken messy night have an effect on your unborn child that you conceived yesterday and what if he will not make it to university because of that? Ok, maybe that’s crazy a bit, but you get the point. Basically once you enter the maternal mode, a careless wine drinking night becomes somewhat of an elusive dream.
6) Last but not least and potentially the most important one (at least to the sleep deprived zombie like me it sure feels like it at the moment!) – ENJOY YOUR FULL NIGHTS OF UNINTERRUPTED SLEEP! When you are pregnant you get up like 3-4 times to go to the washroom. Or you have pregnancy induced insomnia. And once you have a baby, just forget it! Not just you, your partner too!
So enjoy yourself right now and don’t be in any rush! Careless youthful years when you can live just for yourself are truly special and short lived. Because let’s face it, assuming you live til you are 90, 2/3irds of your life you will live for somebody else. And yes, those may be very rewarding and happy years, but never careless again!
A flat tummy is much harder to attain for someone who carried a child or two. You will need to do at least 10 thousand crunches and planks to get it back to somewhat decent shape. Yup, its much harder to lose the weight for a mom than for 25 year old who has a few extra pounds from having a few too many late night dinners and vodka cranberries (yup, those are fattening!) And I mean c’mon, for nine months you have a human being living in there! While this human being makes you the happiest you’ve ever been, he or she also stretches the skin on your hips and tummy, makes you pack on the pounds by demanding food and sweets at all times of the day, makes you tired and barely able to walk or move, especially towards the end of your term, butchers up your beautiful and accurate cookie making it look and feel like something ate and spit it out (at least in the first month after delivery) and sucking the life out of your titties, literally, (assuming you breastfed.) Of course, I wouldn’t have it any other way and loved every bit of this use and abuse and would do it again in a heartbeat, but restoring that body of yours and making it look good takes a bit more effort these days. That’s why those mommies that somehow manage to look like they never had kids get special praise in my books. Because it’s damn near impossible!
Treating my body like some sort of sacred temple is no longer the luxury that I have. I simply don’t have the time to run around the city for tanning appointments and fitness classes, or going to the gym to stay in shape. Nor do I have time for regular blowdry or facials. But I manage to multitask and involve the baby into these activities, working out from home, doing my own nails, using a daily scrub, taking bubble baths and going for a look that’s easy to attain, comfortable yet still chic. My highlights appointments, pedicures and massages are sacred though, and I try and keep them up no matter what.
All through pregnancy I applied olive oil twice a day to the hips, tummy and breasts and managed to almost avoid all stretch marks. I didn’t skip this routine ever, and still moisturize my skin on a daily basis before bed.
As for da boobies, those require special attention as well. While right now, since I am still breastfeeding they look great, I know I can’t do it forever. Sagging or dropping of the breasts is a natural, inevitable process that happens to all women at some point. Breasts can start drooping at any age, because they do not have muscles in them, or because the muscle doesn’t get enough attention. So here are a few things that apparently help prevent this process:
Here is a few additional tips on how to NOT gain weight when in vacation mode:
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Prior to giving birth I did my fair share of homework and was sure that the only right way of doing it was natural and without drugs, ideally at home, with candles, zen music, breathing the pain away and actually perhaps even reaching euphoria and enjoying the process. I watched youtube videos of women delivering their babies in the bathtub and having an orgasm in the process and read books on breathing techniques and hypnobirthing methods. I practiced meditation daily. I learned to breathe with my abdominals. I did whatever the books said and was trying to convince myself that I can triumph in letting it happen au naturel and that everyone who takes drugs is just too spoiled. Afterall cats and dogs do it, so can we. Women did it through generations, so can we. Nature can’t be wrong.
I had a perfectly planned birth plan from the white gown that I want to be wearing during birth down to the tracks I will have playing in the room for the crowning moment. I made 10 copies of it for every nurse on the hospital floor and was determined to decline drugs.
The beginning was promising. Water broke on its own, like in the movies. Contractions were bearable. I was doing reggae type dancing throughout them and was bragging that its a piece of cake. But soon enough of course I was swearing and screaming and squirming like a possessed demon on a birth ball, but still determined to do it. No breathing techniques or meditation was helping and the suffering was just agonizing. I knew I was done. I asked for drugs.
I made it through five hours of intense contraction before giving in. Maybe its not good enough. I couldn’t help but feel a bit like a failure as I lay there having them insert the needle into my back. The pain has stopped. I was able to talk again, I stopped swearing, and I lay still and passively waited. I no longer was in control of my body. It was at the hands of the doctors and the drugs they kept giving. A bit more of this and a bit more of that. I felt like a corpse and not at all like a birthing goddess who moans with pleasure and does some sort of magical tribal dance while birthing her baby. Ok at least that was the image I cultivated by reading too many books on the subject of natural birth.
My daughter was born finally after 16 long hours. She came out into the world and I instantly fell in love. She was healthy and beautiful, so small, so fragile, so precious. Buuuuut.. before she made her entrance, she got stuck in the birth canal since it just wasn’t opening as it was meant to and her heart rate was dropping rapidly. A cut had to be made for her to come out and if there were no doctors and scalpels around she could have died. The doctor saved her life. This was when I realized that if I had been a bit more stubborn and chose to stay at home and do a bathtub birth, things could have ended much more tragic….
As much as I am a believer in all things natural and a holistic way of life, hospital birth with doctors is definitely something I would choose over and over again. Amen to the 21st century modern medicine and all the lives of mothers and babies saved because of it! Also, I’d like to officially admire all those mothers who were able to labour without drugs. You are heros and your strength is inspiring!
Today my daughter is six months. She is the most amazing thing that ever happened to me. The moment I first saw her and put her on my chest was the most intense euphoria I ever felt. Somehow in all that chaos of labour she did manage to enter the world to Ave Maria track playing in the background. So may the angels and St. Mary watch over her and grant her a very happy life! Happy 6 Months Birthday, Amelia!
<3 <3 <3
My diet did not change much from what it was before I got pregnant. I eat 70 percent of the time healthy and 30 percent of the time I indulge. Actually to be more accurate, I am a foodie, and really enjoy spoiling my taste buds, so eating strictly kale, chia seeds, fat free, gluten free and flavor free food just ain’t gonna cut it for me. I’d rather be happy and with a butt than super skinny and miserable. No offence to those clean eating obsessed, health freak individuals, but that’s just not me. Never was, never will be. I love fatty yogurt, stinky caloric cheeses and can’t live a day without freshly baked delicious croissants and French pastries. I can’t go to bed unless I’ve had chocolate, and don’t drink tea unless there are cookies. What it comes down to is having a healthy relationship with food and having self control.
I’ve always been a happy medium kind of person, not an fanatic of any kind. So if I am eating a cookie, it will be just 1 or 2, not the whole box. If I am having a drink, it will be a glass of wine or two, not the whole bottle. (Unless its a special situation, but that’s not what this post is about. ) If I am going to have pizza, it will be thin crust and I’ll only have one slice. Same goes for everything indulgent and delicious, don’t get carried away and know when to stop! Don’t get me wrong, I do eat healthy most of the day, squeezing in my fair share of salads, greens, fruits and veggies.
Other rules I follow are: eat dinner at least 3 hours before bed and eat small portions frequently throughout the day. Also forget to eat because you are too busy! That rule is new!
Another point I’d like to make is about pregnancy. If you want it to be relatively easy to go back to the old you postpartum, then don’t stuff yourself with food when you are pregnant. You will be told: “Its ok, now is the time to eat, eat crap, now you can!” Don’t listen to them. If anything pregnancy is when you want to eat good nutritious food to build the healthiest baby. Not to sound like a hypocrite, I did eat my deserts, nobody could take those away from me. Just not much and not all the time! So basically if you end up with 50 extra pounds once you’re done cooking your munchkin, it will be a mission and a half to lose it all, so think before!
My exercise routine is really quite simple: walking up and down the stairs hundred times a day with a 20 pound baby, lifting a 15 pound carseat with a 20 pound baby in an out of the car, bending down and squatting about a thousand times to pick up toys, pacifier, baby, baby’s things and wipe down spit up off the floor, singing and dancing for the baby to keep her entertained, and having 2 hour daily walks with a stroller no matter the weather because that’s about the only way to put baby to sleep. I have no idea how many calories I am burning, but its gotta be in the thousands, because usually towards the end of the day I cannot move, speak or lift a finger.
I am back to my pre baby weight fully, in fact I weigh even less than I was before pregnancy. In addition to this “workout”, I’ve been doing a basic Vinyasa Yoga routine for about 20 minutes a day every other day, plus some sculpting Kama exercises for the midsection, which still needs work, but tummy is getting fitter by the day. The stubborn belly won’t go away on its own entirely, so a specific set of exercises is required for that. I will soon share my exercises that help to get back in shape after giving birth in a video segment. When moms say they just don’t have the time for a workout, I don’t believe them. If there is a will, there is a way, that’s my opinion. Even when my baby is up, wired and needy I still creatively find a way to squeeze in some exercises, even if I have to sing and make faces at the same time. Or I’ll incorporate baby into my workouts, lifting her in the air or doing squats with her in my arms. She squeals in delight and mama gets a workout – win win for all the parties involved!
Before I had the baby, I was warned that my life would change, and I wouldn’t see friends anymore, would completely stop going out, be constantly tired, sleep deprived and have no time for me. It may be true to some extent for some people, but I was determined to prove that you can indeed have a life, find time for fun and look put together no matter what.
First few months after my daughter was born was pretty hectic and took some getting used to. But even then I made sure to sneak out for an hour away from the baby to get a pedicure or a massage. This to me was what I needed to stay sane, because crazy and tired mother and a wife does nobody any good. It’s very easy to lose your mind and complete sense of your identity when you become a new mom. Spending hours and hours on end locked away in the walls of a house without any contact with the world will only add to your insanity, so stepping out for dinner or to see people at least once or twice a week in the evenings was also an absolute must.
All in all I managed to establish a pretty good balance between motherhood and me time. I enjoy being a full time mom so much, could never imagine having my child with a nanny or anyone else for more than 3 hours at a time. At least not now, not while she is so little, cute, precious, helpless and delicious – they grow up so fast after all! I want to be fully involved there and present for all those milestones! 70% of my time is hers. But that 30% is me time. At the moment it is all I need to feel like nothing is missing. Maybe for some this ratio is different, but it’s what works for me.
Before I became a mom I:
-Slept as long as I wanted and never worried that I am staying up too late. There is always a chance that i may be awakened every hour and be a zombie the next day
- Never tripped on toys and never had my house look more colorful and color uncoordinated- baby stuff has taken over as much as i was fighting it
- Never wondered about the ingredients in household cleaning products and what will happen if you lick the furniture surfaces.
-Never cared or wondered about shots and whether to do them or not. (Except maybe about different kind of shots on a Friday night)
-Nobody ever barfed on me, or pooed, or chewed my clothes or tried to rip out my hair.
-Before I used to be fully in control of my life, my schedule, my brain and things like when I want to eat or take a shower. No more of that, now I have a boss!
-I never looked at eyes filled with tears and feel like i am ready to do anything at all just to make it better and not see this little person sad. ANYTHING!
- I never thought you could be THIS happy just to see somebody smile at you or laugh.
- I never watched anybody sleep, sometimes for hours, and sometimes checking if they are indeed alive and breathing.
- I never thought you could be so happy just to feed someone and that feeding somebody can make you high with love, especially when you see their big blue eyes staring at you while at it.
- I never wanted to open a bottle of champagne just to celebrate that somebody finally had gone for number two after going days without it!
- I never missed anyone after not seeing them for as little as 5 minutes.
- I never thought that something so small can have such a huge meaning in your life.
- I never knew what its like to be one with another human being and what its like to be needed this much!
- I never thought i was capable of feeling something this deeply and this intensely and that love like this truly is possible.
With love, <3
I hope I will find the time to keep it up, as life of a new mom is very different from a carefree 20 something who has tones of time on her hands to dedicate to exercising, writing, editing, travelling, making videos, teaching classes, researching and running a brand. Now things have changed, and all I do is change diapers and walk around the neighbourhood with a stroller. Sleepless nights took on a new meaning as well. No more nights out dancing with a glass of champagne, only maybe dancing with the baby in my arms to get her to sleep. But i do find the time to work out no matter what. And i even was able to almost fully get back to my pre baby body in just 3 months. So I will do my best to every now and then upload new updates, articles, exercise videos, especially focused on postpartum work. In the meantime I wanted to leave you with a list of facts of my new mommy life.
My biggest fantasy of the moment is a full night of sleep from morning til night.
First two weeks after the baby was born I would swear I would never have child number 2. Now I am ready to have one every year, because motherly kind of love is the strongest, most overwhelming, magical feeling you will ever feel. Ok, maybe one a year is a bit of an over exaggeration, but certainly one more!
Baby brain really isn’t a myth, I’ve never been more forgetful, absentminded and uhhh dumb. Sometimes I forget the name of my own street. Your body and brain are in overdrive caring for your young, hence no energy is left for anything else, which includes using your brain for other things.
Looking put together requires some serious effort these days, which sometimes requires doing your make up with a baby on your arm. You become a queen of multitasking.
People who cough and sneeze make you paranoid as if they have some rare flesh eating disease, and you wash your hands hundred times a day like an obsessive compulsive maniac.
Random people in elevators, coffee shops and malls who grab your baby’s hands and say: “How cute! “ annoy the hell out of you. Look, but don’t touch, I don’t know you and definitely don’t know where your hands have been.
I will never touch someone’s baby prior to asking the mom if its ok. Most definitely if it is a stranger’s baby.
Desperately trying to keep up your social life and bringing your baby to parties makes others look at you funny and probably think you are completely crazy. And you probably are.
You become much more responsible and overprotective than ever before and you worry.. a lot.. And apparently this never ends.
You realize that your old self was probably a lot more fun.. Your friends also think that. And more and more the non mommy friends begin to become less and less available.
Every day is the same. Eat, sleep, feed, change, repeat.
Waking up, no matter what time becomes impossibly difficult.
Sleep deprived and caffeine free is extra hard.
There is nothing more excruciating than hearing your baby cry. Nothing.
If you are toying with an idea of having a child, right about now you may be changing your mind, aren’t ya?
Breastfeeding, despite all the hardships and pain that comes with it in the beginning can actually be close to orgasmic.
When your baby smiles at you or when you watch your little angel sleep, nothing at all matters, all your cares fade away, and pure love and joy is all you feel – so it makes it all so worth it in the end!
<3 <3 <3
Beautiful back and correct posture is not only a sign on health, but it is also a sign of confidence and always attracts attention, regardless of how old you are, how much you weigh or what body type you are. Slouching on the other hand, easily adds a couple of years to you, makes your internal organs suffer and often results in chronic back pain and muscle imbalances.
So the solution for these problems is simple: don’t wear super high heels if you can’t walk in them properly, or just spend some time practicing in front of the mirror, because otherwise it is a sad picture, even if you are wearing Louboutins and a five thousand dollar outfit! As for the slouched back issue, it can also be easily fixed with just a few tips.
To help your back you can do the following:
In the beginning you may feel awkward keeping your back straight, because the body simply got too comfortable and the back muscles have not been stimulated properly. But if you persist and keep trying you are guaranteed to have a beautiful back and turn heads!