FINALLY, for the first time since becoming a mom, I got a gym membership at the YMCA- heard it’s fun to stay there- and have been loving it so far because of the group classes. It’s much easier for me to join a group and follow the leader than to create my own workout.
I’ve only been going a couple times a week for the past month now, and it would be generous to say that I am totally unfit. Haha. As I heave and ho my way through a group “cardio & abs attack” fitness class surrounded by mirrors and people- I thought to myself, Wow. Here is a group of people coming together from all different backgrounds doing the same workout, all struggling & pushing ourselves towards to do our best- and isn’t that what Motherhood is or should be?
Some of us are carrying heavier weights. Some of us are completely out of breath. Some of us are have been doing this for years and it shows while others are completely lost and just trying to catch up. Some naturally athletic, others took years of practice. It makes no sense to judge or compare because you cannot know another person’s journey by looking at their current state.
Some of those women were sweating a lot more than I was- but they were adding 10lbs more weight and really pushing themselves to the limit, whereas I was just trying not to fall over. Our goals, motives, appearances, and performances are completely different- and yet we are in it together motivating each other. Just as accountability can help strengthen our bodies, we can also strengthen each other as moms.
There are so many things to process when you become a mother, and such little time & energy to actually process it. These real life comparisons help me visualize and understand what this adjustment in my personal development is like and I hope it helps you mama to not feel insecure to be seen struggling getting into the grove of motherhood- but to allow yourself to be surrounded by other moms and not compare yourself to them. It’s a very vulnerable thing to open yourself up when you don’t feel like you have your life together. Naturally we don’t want people to see the things we are not good at, and so we hide ourselves away and choose loneliness rather than community.
If this is you, I challenge you to be brave and take a step towards transparency. Let someone into the struggle. Maybe you’re not ready to be surrounded by strangers and mirrors just yet- but find one friend who is either going through or has gone through your current season of motherhood. Someone who is safe and understands. Then ask them to introduce you to another friend if they can, and just go from there. It’s much better to find quality friends over a quantity of friends so just take your time getting to know the people around you.
If you don’t know where to find other moms, some ideas are playgrounds, the mall, Peanut (phone app), indoor play areas and churches or community centers. Sometimes hospitals or local organizations also organize “mommy & me” playdates, and often you can find community mom groups within your city.
It’s definitely hard to make friends as an adult- especially when your life is revolving around a tiny person’s nap schedule- but nothing tears down a person more than loneliness, so it is worth the effort for your self care.
I was at a Bible Study today and the speaker mentioned that during her transition to being a First Time Mom, she would take turns with friends going to each other’s houses and watching the kids. cleaning each other’s houses and cooking together. They would rotate houses and at the end of it, everyone was bringing home a casserole and the living room was spotless. Imagine how different this season would be if you had this support in your life. Now make a list of 3 people you could text and ask if they’d be interested to do something like this. I’m sure they would! We all need each other, and it’s not being we’re weak- it’s because we’re stronger together.
I hope this helps mama, and you’re doing a great job. We’re all in this together, so let’s do it together and have some fun.