The Most Encouraging Environment
How FIT4MOM Changed My Life
Every mother has her own journey. Sometimes that journey can take us to places we never could have dreamed. For me, my motherhood journey began when I was young, I had always dreamed about becoming a mom. As a little kid, I played house with my younger sister and I would always be the pregnant mom using a pillow as my belly, or I’d carry a baby doll and that was MY baby. When I got older I was addicted to the SIMS game and would build pretend families. I knew that someday I would be a mom.
I had this idea in my head that I would go to college, meet Prince Charming, we would then get married and soon after have a bunch of monsters 😊 Easy, right? Have all of this done by twenty-four. That was the plan, it’s what I saw with my parents and grandparents... I figured this too would be my reality.
Well, twenty-four came and there I was single, I had kissed a bunch of frogs, but none of them were my Prince. I decided to throw my plan out the window and focus on other things, like living my life independently and focusing on my career. Which was hard when the only thing you ever wanted was a family of your own and seeing ALL of your friends have that, it was kind of lonely.
BUT years later, I finally meet my Prince! We get married, and I’m thinking – Finally, it’s time to start trying for a family. But that too didn’t happen according to my plan.
The first year of our marriage all I wanted was a baby, every day and every day my husband told me no. He said X, Y and Z had to happen before we started to try for a baby. You can imagine the stress on our marriage because of this. I eventually got over my having a baby obsession and went back to focusing on my career – I joined a friend in a startup company flipping houses and that became my baby.
Shortly after we started the business I started to feel different. I felt sick all the time, and instead of crazy I was super crazy, and I honestly couldn’t figure out what was going on with me. Until it dawned on me, that there was a possibility that I could be pregnant. And sure enough, I was so very pregnant.
Instead of feeling giddy inside, I cried! I cried because I was thinking that the timing wasn’t right, I’m not ready to be a Mom, and I wasn’t sure if my husband was ready to be a Dad, because X, Y, and Z never happened... But to my surprise telling my husband the news wasn’t awful. He was my rock and I knew I married him for a reason. I then knew that everything was going to be OK.
Except for I HATED being pregnant, and I felt awful for feeling this way. The physical side effects like morning sickness, a weight gain of 80lbs, and the bad acne made me feel worse than I already did. I was a little depressed, most of my ‘friends’ dropped off the planet once they learned I was pregnant, and I was sick all the time, so I couldn’t commit to work. My life had turned upside down. And to top it off, my husband informed me he was deploying in July (Lizzie was due in June).
The closer I got to having Baby Lizzie, the more unsure of myself I became. I met with a support group to help me put my feelings together. I was overwhelmed, exhausted, and still dealing with daily morning sickness that had persisted into the last week of my pregnancy.
On Thursday, June 15th I had Lizzie at 10:09am via scheduled C-section. It wasn’t in my birth plan. I wanted to try for a natural birth, but unfortunately that just wasn’t an option for us. The first month of Lizzie’s life was a blur. I had a ton of emotions between recovering, taking on this new role of motherhood, and mentally preparing myself to be a single mom for the next six months was a lot for me to absorb.
But I tried to keep busy with coaching Field Hockey, and family coming in and out. That was the only way I didn’t lose my mind. Some days were really great. Some days were really hard. But you could tell there was something missing in my life.
My husband had arranged a playdate since he knew I needed to meet more moms. I remember wanting to bail as I was nervous about hanging out with someone I had only met a couple of times with my husband. But she was the ONLY person I knew with a tiny monster. So I sucked it up, met her at a nearby park and truly had a good time. She was the one who suggested FIT4MOM, to me.
That night I didn’t do much research on FIT4MOM. I just signed up thinking that something was better than nothing, and knowing that I could bring Lizzie along was huge for me. I showed up a few minutes early per the email I received. Again, I was super nervous, but somehow, I got out of my shell. All of the moms were AMAZING, they were friendly and you could tell that this was an encouraging environment. Once class had started, I remember thinking what am I doing? Am I really singing ‘Row Your Boat’ and sweating? As I was soaking everything in I noticed that the babies were content and the toddlers were mostly entertaining themselves with their snacks. But then my biggest fear happened, Lizzie started to scream… The instructor, Katie, came to my rescue and that made me think, ‘wow this is really great; an hour that focused on me, that was also entertainment for my baby, and HELP if needed?’ Even after class moms actually stuck around to mingle. After my first class, I knew I was hooked on something that would change my life.
FIT4MOM soon became my new lifestyle! I literally arrange appointments around Stroller Strides classes! It has played such a positive role in my new life as a mom; I’m out of the house, working out, meeting other moms, making friends and Lizzie is growing up around other babies!
I figured out what I was missing before I joined FIT4MOM – I was missing interaction with other mom’s hearing their stories, and knowing I wasn’t alone. That genuine support from a Village in the most encouraging environment – has centered me in a way I’ve never imagined.
My life has changed because of FIT4MOM and it is truly awesome to be a part of this Village.
**Brittnay Watson has been a member of FIT4MOM Lorton/Springfield/Burke/Woodbridge/Kingstowne since September 2017 and is now our Community Builder - Local Partner Ambassador. She is mom to Lizzie (June 2017).
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