It’s all too easy to fall prey to whatever the masses are doing. I know this first hand. Not only did I conform my beliefs around weight to fit the majority of dieters many years ago, recently, I conformed to fit in the world of American mothers.
See moms in America do things differently than other cultures. And while there are some fantastic choices and ideas from American mothers, there are also some pitfalls.
Like most things we Americans do, motherhood requires far more sacrifice and impossible standards making it challenging to find your place in this new role. During pregnancy, we are told what not to eat, what to make sure you eat, how to exercise, how not to exercise and basically how to live our lives for 9 months.
It is packaged as the strategy for perfect motherhood. As if you follow all these guidelines and somehow birth the perfect, healthy baby. But while pregnant moms run around attempting to follow all these “rules”, they sacrifice peace and serenity. And most importantly, intuition.
Thankfully, I already went down the path of ignoring rules through my weight loss journey, and therefore allowed pregnancy to feel good to me, regardless of what the books say to do. I ate healthy and took care of myself on my terms, even with a deli meat sandwich and sushi. I also gained 50 lbs in my pregnancy without over eating or binge eating. It’s just what my body needed to do apparently.
As I easily shed my post-pregnancy pounds as I knew I would, I was not able to easily ignore the mass amounts of expectations around being a mother. Women in America are meant to do it all, do it all perfectly and never let them see you sweat. We are supposed to relish in extreme sacrifice and put our role as mothers before all other roles. This does not sit well for me.
And so as my son turns 2 next month I finally have the courage to be the sort of mother that I would like to be. And yes this includes relying on daycare, eliminating the guilt associated with doing many activities for me, and maintaining all the other hats I have besides “mom”.
I don’t believe sacrifice is necessary for motherhood. Will I do things for my child? Of course! However, the balance of being there for your child lies within also doing things for yourself. It means extreme self-care, self-love and wholehearted living.
It is my belief that the best mother I can be for my son, is the one living an incredibly full and fulfilling life. The way I do that is by spending a fair amount of time helping others lose weight. By performing in musical theatre when the opportunity arises. By giving myself enough time to play guitar, write blogs and do homework. All while maintaining my peace and serenity.
I challenge you to define what your ideal life will look like. Don’t worry about the “how”, simply design what you desire. The first step is to get clear on what you want. The opportunities to fulfill this will always present themselves. The most important question is: What do you really want?