Needing to Leave the House & Realizing That’s OK
There I was with a 2 month old for the first time in my life. My husband had returned to work, my mother had returned to Florida, and I found myself home all day trying to entertain all the needs of a 2 month old. My son, August, had finally graduated from the nurse, sleep on me, nurse, repeat cycle, which was good since I had created a much larger than desired indent on the couch binge watching Netflix while we went through this phase. However, the more “awake” times meant more entertaining required from me. Let me tell you, there are only so many times you can sing “Itsy Bitsy Spider” and talk with your beloved little one who can’t talk back before you start to feel a little stir crazy.
As someone who has worked full time since graduating college, I found myself struggling with what to do with myself and August all day long that was good for the both of us. You see, I was lucky to be taking 5 months off with him before returning to work, but that meant I still had 3 more months of staying home, loving and snuggling him, as well as helping him grow and learn. What on earth was I going to do all day for 3 more months?!?!?! That’s when someone at a new mom’s group mentioned Stroller Strides.
The next week I signed up for my first “free” class, and I was immediately hooked. I signed up for a membership package that evening. Not only did the class offer me the exercise I needed and longed for to start to get back into shape (see previous mention of large indent on couch), it also gave me a reason to get out of the house each day. I realized that I NEEDED to get out of the house each day for my sanity and for the broader entertainment of August. I loved that the classes focused on exercises with songs to entertain my son. Don’t get me wrong, my high needs August still cried during each class (and still does at some point to this day), but I know the classes were good for the both of us.
As equally important, if not more so, was the after class playgroups. As a first time mom, and the first of my friends to have a child, I realized that I needed other mom friends. My other friends were good about listening to my concerns or brags about August, but I know at some level they were humoring me. I mean, if you don’t have a kid, do you really want to be talking about poopy diapers, sleep deprivation, and such small milestones as blowing spit bubbles?
Because of the FIT4MOM classes, I was able to meet with other moms such as Erin, Megan, and Tiffinni that had little ones about the same age as August. Not only did meeting and speaking with them make me realize that I wasn’t alone in having this feeling of wanting, no NEEDING, to get out of the house each day and that this need was totally normal but we were also able to commiserate on how our little ones were reaching milestones and concerns we had about their sleeping, feeding, reactions to routine immunizations, etc. Since Erin and Tiffinni both had older children as well, they were instrumental in helping me to understand that everything I was going through with August was normal.
And I would be remiss if I didn’t give a shout out to all the other moms and kids in class. The great thing about FIT4MOM is that August and I were also socializing with women with children of various ages. This provided me the circle of knowledge and comfort to ask questions about August’s future (such as when it was time to introduce solids, or sleep training), and even my future on the road to recovery from childbirth and what it is to be a “mom,” a new role I am still struggling to cope with every day. You see, not every child is the same, not every childbirth is the same, but when you get enough people in the same room, you get great advice to help you through each stage of recovery, learning, and growth.
These “FIT4MOM friends” became more than that to me, they became friends that I’d be happy to BBQ with on the weekend, babysit for, or watch their dog. FIT4MOM not only provided an amazing workout for my body several times each week, but it also exercised both mine and August’s minds. And we made friends doing it. I was sad to start back at work in July, not only because I was leaving August in daycare, but also because I wouldn’t get to see all these lovely moms and children each week.
**Shaina Goldschlag has been a member of FIT4MOM Lorton/Springfield/Burke/Woodbridge/Kingstowne since April of 2017. She is mom to August (7 months old) and has since returned to her job outside of the home. However, Shaina is participating in our current session of Run Club and still comes to Stroller Strides and Stroller Barre classes! She is also a Mary Kay Consultant (www.marykay.com/sgoldschlag).
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