Tuesday, November 26, 2013

The Good Wife (and Mom)

Whether you're a new mom with your first baby or a new mom with your fourth baby, the effect of motherhood on your life is just as great. Becoming a mom changes you in so many ways and its easy to become kind of consumed in this new role you have. After all, you are now responsible for keeping a small human alive! However, while we are being sucked into a new world of breast pads, swaddling, and diaper changing we tend to forget our other role...wife. I know for myself I've let that role slip away from me. It's so easy to immerse yourself in this world of mommyhood and unintentionally leave your hubby out of it. So here are some of my biggest pieces of advice to moms about remembering your other title too.

1) Remember, he's a guy. They are totally wired differently than girls. He truly cannot understand what raging hormones feel like and any new mother knows hormones after a baby, well, it's not exactly pretty. You might find yourself sobbing one minute and furious the next. Try not to get mad when your hubby just can't understand why you can't just snap out of it. He literally cannot comprehend how you feel. Its not his fault, it's estrogen and it's best buddy progesterone you're really mad at. He hasn't had the same experience as you so of course he can't understand how you feel. Don't fault him for that though. Try to be patient with him. If you find yourself sad all the time or have harmful thoughts though please, please, speak to your doctor.

2) Remember he exists. It is super easy to focus only on your baby and push your husband to the back burner but remember he's there. Take time to talk with him, show an interest in his day. Just enjoy his company. Try to carve out a little bit of time each week to go on a date. Remember how you tried so hard to impress him when you were dating? Find that girl again! Put on some nice clothes, and I don't mean the yoga pants without holes, throw on a dash of make up and try to woo him once again. Just a small effort to make him feel as if he is also important goes a long way. Something as small as leaving a sweet note shows him you're still thinking of him.

3) Understand he is tired too. Oh boy I'm guilty as all get out here. When he gets home, every fiber in my being wants to say "here honey, take the kids!" What I forget is he has just worked 11 hours, is exhausted, and now I'm dumping two kids on him. So, next time he comes home try to give him 20 or 30 minutes to adjust to home. Let him get changed, take his shoes off, sit down for a few minutes. Then ask him to take kid duty for awhile. That little window of decompression can be a total game changer.

4) Speak the same language. One of my favorite books is called the five love languages. In it you learn there are different ways people show love. Kenny and I speak different languages and I've had to learn what "I love you" sounds like in his language. Imagine if I spoke Chinese and he spoke German. He could tell me all day long he loves me and I wouldn't get it and visa versa. So take the time to understand what language you're speaking and make an effort to speak their language. It will make a huge difference in your new, crazy, busy lives if you're speaking a language your partner can understand.

5) Last One, and possibly a little awkward here. Remember to be a lover. God gave us a beautiful gift in marriage: a physical and emotional bond that is beyond comparison. It is so easy to slip into the mom persona of being unsexy, or unattractive. I know when you look in the mirror you probably instantly see the stretch marks, the loose skin, those last few stubborn baby pounds (or is that just me?); but when he looks at you...he sees a beautiful woman. Guys are different. They don't see the same flaws we do. Often times I find I am my worst critic. I see things I hate about my body but my husband sees his wife. He sees me as beautiful even when I don't. I can't wrap my head around how that's possible, but I am learning to just trust that's truly how he feels. Probably the number one reason I see for women not wanting to be intimate after a baby is feeling insecure. So try to forget what you see through your eyes and imagine yourself as your husband sees you. You're still beautiful, still sexy and still everything he needs. And he does need you, because remember...he's a guy.

Women are remarkably versatile. We can seemingly do anything. We wear many hats and take on anything. It's fantastic but we have to remember just because we now wear the mom hat, or mom jeans, doesn't mean we can't wear the wife hat anymore.

I am going to also write a flip side to this post (hopefully) tomorrow for the guys on how to be a great hubby after baby. Hope you enjoyed my rambling thoughts from 3am. Until next time.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Learning Curve

So it's been one week since I drank the kool-aid and joined my brothers crossfit gym (Havasu Crossfit). I absolutely love it. I love the challenge both mental and physical. I love the high that comes from exercise and I love that I'm making my body healthier and stronger.

The unique thing about crossfit is the challenge it issues. Physically it is demanding, and you challenge your body to work like it has never worked before. Its tough but after your done you feel so good...and sore but it's a good sore. Mentally it will push you to your limits and make you explore parts of your mind you've never been in.

For me the challenge to do better, and achieve more keeps me coming back for more and more. Physically I'm not in that great of shape. I never really exercised. Like EVER. So I'm starting out with a pretty weak body but that just means I have a ton of room for improvement right? Actually before my first workout I thought I wasn't too terribly out of shape. I was wrong, very, very wrong. It kicked my butt and knocked my ego down a few levels. Of course that just makes me want to work even harder.

Mentally I've been challenged to push past the idea of "I can't"  and keep going. My ego has been good and properly deflated but that's a good thing. Realizing where you really are is crucial.

Last night was tough for me. Coming off the heels of what I thought was a less than stellar workout the previous night I came in with huge determination. The workout involved lunges and ring dips (mine were modified but they still suck) and at first I thought I was going to crush it. I was going to own that WOD. Oh boy was I wrong. Almost halfway through my legs started to shake but I pushed and kept going. Shortly after the shaking started my muscles couldn't take it anymore. They were shaking and cramping so badly I couldn't stand on them. They just wouldn't support my body. I had to stop. I hated stopping. I wanted to push through and get up but when I did I just fell over like a baby calf. I was furious with myself. I was angry my body wouldn't behave the way I wanted. It's good that my brother made me stop or I probably would have really hurt myself.

I realized something today though. Yesterday I did the worst thing I could have done...I drank very little water and I had two diet Dr. peppers. I sabotaged my own body. I paid for it dearly.

It is all a learning curve. Learning what your body can safely be pushed to, and learning how to give your body the best possible chance at success.

We have been doing much better about eating. Not perfect but for once our fridge is full of meats, fruits and veggies instead of our freezer being full of frozen meals, and a pantry stuffed with boxed processed food. There are still some junky things like pasta (I don't think I can ever cut out pasta) and some jarred things like sauces, but hey...baby steps right?

Last night really made me realize I can't be the diet soda drinking, junk food junkie I am and expect my body to do what I push it to do. It will give out. Like a car with sugar in its gas tank.

So for only having one week under my belt I have learned so much and can't wait to get back out there and do better. I do have a new rule: no more soda on workout days, and no more than 2 on rest days. I want to work on making it none but for now it's an improvement.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Getting Healthy- The Crossfit Bug

Little disclaimer: I posted this from my phone so I apologize if I miss any typos.

So tonight I had a crazy experience. I did my first crossfit workout. My oldest brother started our local crossfit gym and its exploded in this town. This was 2 years ago. Now normally I'm all about the not exercising thing. My favorite joke was that I was allergic to exercise. It made me all sweaty and out of breath. After going to the sic fit competition a few weeks ago and seeing the crossfit family competing I realized I wanted that. I wanted to look in the mirror and be really happy with what I saw, not just ok. I wanted to push myself and challenge myself. So I finally did it. I went and joined my brother's crazy cult. I love it.

We had an orientation tonight and although I'm horrendously unbalanced and can't do a proper squat without help my brothers were great at right away making sure I was being safe but still working my butt off. Literally. Kenny even joined with me! It was a lot of fun getting to do this as a couple and I'm proud of his accomplishments just in tonight's work out. We did one workout and even though it lasted less than 8 minutes...I was pretty sure I was going to die. At the very least I was sure I would throw up. Later, when I got home though I felt great, almost like being high. All those endorphins had really kicked in. It was awesome and I can't wait to torture myself some more.

    I'm really wanting to finally get our family healthy. My brother nailed it tonight when he said it was about improving your quality of life. I'm young now but I will someday get old and I know that by building the best foundation I can now I will have a much easier time in old age. I want to be that crazy grandma who is running marathons with her kids. I don't want to idly sit by and watch my body breakdown. So that's why I'm trying to change our lives. I'm starting to actually cook meals, like...nothing coming from a prepackaged mix or box. Thanks to bountiful baskets I'm able to incorporate so much more fruits and veggies into our meals without spending a small fortune. Now all I have to do is buy meat and dairy and voila, food! I used to think eating healthy was too expensive for us but as long as I'm careful and shop good sales...it's proving to be cheaper! Imagine that.

I'm very excited about all these new changes we are making as a family. I can't wait to see the results from it.