At Body Beyond Birth, we’re down with all the Pilates workouts and giving you a great pregnancy and post pregnancy exercise experience. But we’re also about connecting women of all ages and stages of life through our program too.
As women with children, we often settle for things that we may not necessarily need to. We often keep these things to ourselves and soldier on. Usually because we think that being a Mama means we have to lose parts of us.
So today, we’re grabbing a cup of tea and sitting around the table to shine a light on some of the things we should be afraid to admit and discuss as happy, healthy Mamas that Pilates workouts and the BBB program can help with
I want to sneeze without wetting myself
Oh boy- you can feel that sneeze or cough coming, you’re walking along, and you’re not quite sure the last wee you did covered you until now.
Do you stop dead and clench, hoping things don’t get damp? Does it make you feel embarrassed and/or uncomfortable?
We’ve spoken to a lot of women in our time with BBB, with and without kids, which dread sneezing, coughing and laughing because their body is unpredictable. Or that the ‘new normal’ now means light bladder leakage.
You don’t have to settle for the wee escapee.
It doesn’t have to be a part of being a new Mum, an older woman, a woman that gave birth to twins (or more), a woman with digestive and bowel disorders, a woman that has had a termination or countless other impacts.
You can have a healthy, responsive and functioning pelvic floor with the right kind of Pilates workouts and physiotherapy based exercises. You can also improve things by obtaining the right advice from Body Beyond Birth based on your particular situation.
Plus, you don’t have to keep light bladder leakage under the blanket of shame and/or the casual joke when getting together with the girls.
A lot of women have this problem so you are definitely not alone. You are also not alone when you look for a solution.
I’d like to get a decent night’s sleep
We love our kids but it’s hard to maintain a proper sleep routine. It’s also particularly tough on women with a few children to look after and/or kids with health issues.
While everyone expects sleeping to be an issue as a new parent, where is the practical advice?
This is another reason why Body Beyond Birth is designed on a Pilates workout platform. Exercise helps us sleep. Stretching has been scientifically proven to reduce stress. And when you’re a busy time pressed Mama, you have to get exercise whenever and wherever you can. That’s why we break it down to 20 minute intervals and include incidental exercise.
Introduce other mamas to Body Beyond Birth Pilates workouts and see if you can notice the difference. Exercise helps reduce stress. Doing it on your own terms, in the privacy of your own living room and when it suits you is a lot easier to deal with than trying to face the gym or carving out exercise time plus travel.
Beyond what BBB does, there are also things we can do for our fellow Mamas to make sleep happen more often.
Some examples of looking out for our fellow Mama might be:
- Ditching the coffee and wine meet ups in favour of tea or walks down by the water and/or through the park. That way, you have less caffeine and alcohol disturbing sleep and can enjoy the calming, soothing properties of nature
- Recognising that every bit helps. The small bits of exercise, the small conversations and the little offers of help really do make a difference
- Share the workload. Some Mama’s find it great to join up for a MamaBake to share the chores and to have some company on a regular basis. Other Mamas benefit from rotating the play dates or covering each other re: babysitting. This is another area where small things can make a huge difference
- Don’t heckle the athletic gear. You might not plan for all-day Pilates workouts, but if you dress for the part, you’re far more likely to sneak that workout in than if you have to consider getting changed. Let’s be kinder to each other and allow women to do what they need to do to stay healthy, stress free and supported.
It’d be great to enjoy my kids more
We live in a culture that is steeped in a mythology that says we’re going to be instantly in love and connected with our child. The truth is different to this for a lot of women. Sometimes, it takes finding ways to love our children over time. Sometimes, the love we have for our kids is tried and tested.
As Mamas and as women, we need to allow our friends, family members and ourselves to wave the white flag of surrender. We need to be able to say that we’re not 100% happy with being a Mama 100% of the time. Certain situations are going to work our last nerve or sap our strength. It can be boring reading the same story over again or only having the kids to talk to. We may feel used and even resentful at the amount of effort we put in and the lack of recognition we receive in return.
And that is a natural part of being a Mama.
What isn’t a natural part of being a Mama is when we push through these feelings and bury them. Being able to enjoy the kids and have a prosperous relationship as well as get through the dreaded family flu or colic, toddler and teen tantrums and sleepless days and weeks means fitting our masks as well.
Why, when we recognise burn out in the work setting, do we refuse to entertain the same situation can occur with parents? We can understand nurses and doctors burning out. Yet we shy away from the mere mention that women can and do need a break from parenting.
It’s insane to expect that we would be this brave.
Enjoying time with the kids comes in many forms, but some of the things we’ve found effective are:
- Taking 20 minutes out for me time on a regular basis, away from family demands
- Incorporating exercise into your daily routine. That can be your 20 minutes or it might be resistance exercise or both time for you and your body
- Learning about mindfulness and meditation – and how to do that in the car waiting for the kids, in the ten minutes between waking up and being there for the kids and so on
- Applying incidental exercise to play time with the kids. There’s no shame in playing games and/or getting the coloured pencils out with the kids to help de-stress while spending quality time. In fact, we recommend it!
- Teach them your exercise crush. Kids benefit from Pilates workouts, bicycle rides, dance parties, rock climbing and more. So why not get the kids to join in and exercise with you?
Whatever your story, you can share the struggles and real like stories in our private Facebook group. And you can always find a supportive ear at places like Lifeline 13 11 14, Parent Coaching when dealing with teens via Reach Out or the government supported Raising Children website.
Why can’t I define what it means to be a Mum?
In a lot of ways, parenting without a rule book is scary. Everyone seems to have opinions and ideas. And there’s a lot of pressure on women to be what someone else thinks a mama should be.
One thing that often gets ignored is that the lack of set definition is a chance to exercise a certain level of freedom. It’s like a ‘choose your own adventure’ book for grown women!
Whatever your identity as a mum, you are also a woman, a partner, someone’s daughter, sister, aunt and so on. You’re someone’s neighbour, workmate, friend, former or current classmate- the list is endless. You have the ability to choose the expanse and breadth of your own identity as a wonder woman wearing many hats.
Isn’t that lovely?
That’s why a growing number of women grabbing onto movements like mumpreneur to define their own ideas and business. Other women are pushing themselves out of their comfort zones and setting goals like marathons or to help their school and general community.
A lot of women are now taking up causes like the environment, family violence and women’s health because we want to secure the future of our kids in a different way. Others become right into social media and share the parenting journey and the change of life within to help others.
We may be Mamas and good ones- but we also need to be the person that wants to have a coffee, read a book and be a friend. We need adult stimulation and intellectual challenges. We love our children, but we may also need to give to the community as well. Why can’t our definition of what it means to be a Mama be on our own terms?
That doesn’t means Pilates workouts, parents groups or attending the kids events is our only mama time either. We need to be able to grab hold of whoever we are and run with it. Because when we’re happier, the joy trickles into our family.
It’s your life (and it’s now or never!)
Cue the Bon Jovi and have a living room dance party. The truth of the matter is that we as mamas need to bust the myths that hold us back. By sharing these myths and looking at the world with compassion and foresight, we can tackle all kinds of things.
Looking for a way to put your best foot forward? Join us in our private mothers group for a chat and/or fire up some me time today with the Pilates workouts on BBB!