Today, I am here to share the Top 5 Mom Excuses and how I’m slaying them at 42!
But first, let’s do a little flashback…
“Don’t you have plans of having babies?”
And I smile-a big, fake smile. I didn’t need to be reminded that my maternal clock was ticking as I battled with disappointments of not being able to fall pregnant at 39. Yes, I felt them all. I’ve lived them all.
Test results and doctors say WE WON’T BE ABLE TO CONCEIVE. But I held on to Jeremiah 29:11 and always declare that before 2017 ends, the Lord will bless us with a child in Jesus’ Name! On Dec. 22, 2017, on our 1st Wedding Anniversary, God gave us the most amazing and greatest miracle when we heard: “CONGRATULATIONS! YOU’RE PREGNANT”!
But, my pregnancy was not as beautiful as other first time moms. Age, gestational diabetes, growing fibroids, and a MACRO baby in my very petite body complicated my pregnancy. I was only 43kg prepartum and I gave birth through C-Section at 70kg!
Yes, I wanted a baby. But when my son came, my life stopped! Motherhood is HARD! Sleepless nights, exhaustion, pressure to breastfeed and the list goes on. I know this sounds familiar and you even read this line so many times. But I never thought I would gain a LOT of weight during pregnancy. I was such a workout buff pre-pregnancy and even vowed I would still look as fit as Kate Middleton if I get pregnant!
But it was a broken vow.
I had Postpartum Depression because of how I changed big time. I seldom looked at myself in the mirror. I hated that all I could ever wear were still my maternity clothes. Oh! That includes the underwear even at 3 months postpartum!
But I refused to stay that way. Now, this is where I need to explain myself. I love my son and so grateful to God with the miraculous gift of motherhood. But there is absolutely nothing wrong with equally taking good care of myself and my baby.
And let me include YOU! Yes you, momma! If you are a mother that still relies on the excuse of childbirth to let go of your body and good looks, then you better stop making those mom excuses now!
MOM EXCUSE NO. 1: NO TIME!
You would agree if I say a 15-minute bath is already long when you have a baby. It would seem like a valid mom excuse but here me out. Working back to be in shape after delivering a baby is not an immediate thing. At 2 months postpartum, I was eager to do my usual workout routines. I had a C-Section and my doctor scolded me for being so stubborn to immediately workout! Exercise can help you recover after childbirth. But no two pregnancies are the same. How soon you’re ready to start exercising depends on your circumstances. It’s better to check with your doctor first (just don’t be stubborn as me!).
It took me a year to be back on my pre-pregnancy weight. Yes, a year! My goal was to be in perfect shape on my son’s 1st Birthday Party and I did it! It’s impossible to have no time at all. Whether you’re working full time in an office or working from home, there is time to work out or do simple exercises. The biggest problem here is when laziness kicks in. It’s easier to use mom excuses such as “no time” or “I have work”, right? Or because you don’t care and you feel like working out is so tiring.
“Motherhood is so exhausting why would I even make myself dog-tired!?”
As many of you moms (and dads too!) can likely relate to, working out when you have a baby can be a struggle! You’re tired 24/7 whether you have a 5-year old or a newborn baby who wakes you up every night, Some of you even don’t have babies anymore or who have grown-up kids, and still, you use the mom excuse “I’m tired”!
No Time. No Nanny. No Energy.
It’s much easier to just Find Excuses.
With all the exhaustion and stress brought by motherhood, you feel like there is no time to rest. I’m pretty sure you know the difference you get from the exhaustion out of doing household chores from the one you get after working out. I do feel lazy sometimes to workout but I push myself to do it anyway. Even if I was tired the whole day, I noticed that I am more alive and productive after working out than being tired the whole day and skipped the routine.
CHANGE YOUR MINDSET AND COMMIT
Exercising is really an effort! You need to find the time by yourself. The key is to CHANGE YOUR MINDSET and COMMIT TO IT so it becomes part of your lifestyle. I started working out in my 20’s. I’ve always wanted to be active ever since.
You need to stop devoting your time to things that aren’t important to you. If you can scroll social media for 30 minutes to 1 hour a day, or you can watch K-Dramas for 3 hours, then you definitely have time to workout!
It’s alright if not every day but at least a few times in a week. Believe me, Zumba works! A 30-min Zumba or any dance workout video is so good! Instead of making mom excuses, find creative ways to exercise. Do them together with your family. You can dance with your kids or your whole family. It becomes a time well spent and worth the fatigue! You’re a working mom? Then set a consistent schedule for your workout. THERE IS TIME! You need to get past that mental barrier. Get it done!
Most of you don’t bother at all because you feel okay about yourselves and that’s alright. But even if weight loss is not your concern, perhaps doing exercises to become healthy would change your minds. I’m not saying that fitness should be a priority before our children but IT IS IMPORTANT AND IT SHOULD BE!
Being fit makes us stronger, more productive, and energetic. Exercise can elevate our levels of serotonin and make us happier. It makes our skin glow! And do you know the best thing about exercising? IT DEFEATS STRESS!
Isn’t that our main enemy?
MOM EXCUSE NO. 2 : “MY TUMMY BULGE IS PART OF MOTHERHOOD”
If you haven’t heard about DIASTASIS RECTI, then READ THIS NOW! This is the postpartum body problem no one talks about. It explains why your tummy still looked pregnant even months after delivery you still have that Mommy Bulge or Mommy Pooch! No one told me about this but I learned this from browsing Youtube Videos for my workouts. I came across this channel that says “Do You Have a Mommy Tummy That Won’t Go Away?” I started to shed off pounds at the 4th month postpartum. Yet I still looked pregnant!
The main culprit is Diastasis Recti or DR.
Diastasis” means separation. “Recti” refers to your ab muscles called the “rectus abdominis.” “Diastasis recti” means your tummy sticks out because the space between your left and right ab muscles has widened. That space is commonly referred to as the “gap”.
Perform a self-test if you have it. Lie on your back, knees bent and feet on the floor. Press your fingertips down on your belly. With shoulders stayed on the ground, lift your head forming into a mini crunch-like position. Feel for the sides of your rectus abdominis muscles. See if, and how far they are separated. Separation is described through finger widths. For instance, two or three (or more) fingers’ separation. If you have at least a 2-finger gap separation then you have Diastasis Recti! A postpartum condition that you were completely unaware of for a long time and not doing anything to heal it. If you also suffer from incontinence and back pain, all which you started to feel after giving birth, it’s still Diastasis Recti that caused them!
CLOSING THE GAP
My gap was more than five fingers! Yes, that big because I was so petite before I became pregnant. I was 43-45kg pre-pregnancy and I gave birth to a whopping 8.7-pound baby! I was serious and motivated to be fit again so I did more digging on DR. I studied the proper workouts for my core. The good thing about being aware of this is that it prevents you to do movements or workouts that make the gap wider. If you have DR, then you should be avoiding exercises that will worsen the gap. Some of these are Russian twists, crunches, burpees, and downward planking.
My core is not yet totally healed. Yet, I was able to close the gap now for just 2 fingers. It’s more than a year of not just any exercises but relevant, proper, and consistent workouts. Before, I used to work out for at least an hour, 5 times a week. My workout routine consisted of 30-45 minute cardio. I followed this with a strength workout using weights. And finishing it off with recommended core exercises for DR. I also do pelvic floor and kegel exercise. Again, it’s not an excuse if you can’t afford to go to the gym (not sure if that is applicable now due to COVID).
I never had any fitness instructor. I do my workouts with the abundant resources on Youtube. I have my dumbbells for strength training, not to mention my 7-liter Wilkins-filled water for my side bends. I even do my workouts in our small bedroom with space just enough to place my workout mat in between our bed and cabinet.
Now that I am a WAHM, I could only workout 15-30 minutes for about 2-3 times a week. Though not my usual duration and frequency of workout, I didn’t let my work stop me from getting fit and healing my core.
Having that mommy pooch because of childbirth is not an excuse to leave it like that. It still can be healed and have that strong core again whether it’s been 10 or 15 years already. For more information about DR and how to restore your core, check out mamamindyfit.com or her instagram @mamamindy.fit
MOM EXCUSE NO. 3: “I’M BREASTFEEDING, I NEED TO EAT A LOT!”
I’m also exclusively breastfeeding my son for almost 2 years now yet, I eat a lot!. I eat whatever I want. I have a sweet tooth! It’s a must that I eat any sweets after meals or in-between. I love doughnuts, cakes, cookies, pastries, and all the carbs in the world! I love how Lactation Corner keeps me fit with its delicious oatmeal varieties but I equally love and am addicted (and my son Zey Zey) to Ava’s Kitchen lactation spreads. Plus, I love milk tea! (Upsize!)
But think about this: Our children had nothing to do with our weight problem. Yet, you may hear mom excuses such as, “I can’t diet because I’m breastfeeding!” or “My children made me fat!”
They should never be used as an excuse for inactivity or weight gain. It wasn’t their fault! It’s not them who finished the whole bag of Tostitos-with dip! It’s not them who devoured 1-2-3 cinnamon rolls in just one sitting (Hello to my bestfriend Emilyn! Haha!) and it’s definitely not them who gobbled that large milk tea (Oops, this is me!).
I don’t diet with the kind of eating habits I have, but I know what I eat and when to stop. I see to it I’d burn it if I already ate too much. If I feel like I couldn’t suck my tummy in, that’s the time I stop. Is that right? I’m not sure! But at least I know when to stop and control it.
I am just being realistic. It’s hard to deprive yourself from eating what you love. I am not like any other healthier moms who eat only veggies and watch their carbs. But I still take good care of my body and I know what to do if I’m gaining weight. Drastic dieting isn’t a good idea, as you need to keep your strength up to look after your baby. Take things slowly until it becomes a part of your system to be conscious of what you eat. Eating consciously means you know how much to eat and when to stop.
It all adds up to discipline and control. Hard right? It is!
Doable? Oh definitely!
The question is, when will you practice discipline and control?
When will you stop making mom excuses?
MOM EXCUSE NO. 4: “SELF CARE IS A LUXURY!
I just turned 42 yesterday. I do get comments that I don’t look like my age. It’s important for me to have good and healthy skin. I don’t have a perfect skin but I try to have at least a youthful skin. I’ve started using beauty products in my 20’s and anti-aging creams in my 30’s. Like my body, I also take good care of my skin.
I stopped using my skin care when I was pregnant. My face was dreary and puffed postpartum. I truly accepted that because I just gave birth! Yet, accepting it doesn’t mean allowing it to remain like that forever. I guess most moms are stuck in this stage. As priorities shift after becoming a mom she begins to care less for herself and more for her child. This mindset doesn’t change as the child grows, either. They just started to care less for themselves.
If you have found your suited skincare products, good for you!
Skinvest or Self care whatever the term may be, we all deserve it! I know you hear all this all the time about how we need to take care of ourselves as moms or about how we need to find a way to make it happen. And I’m that mom writing and talking about all the self care blah-blah now.
A SLICE OF HEAVEN
You probably blurted this: “How could I find a way to take care of my good looks when money and time are tight?”
I am not recommending all the skinvestments I did for myself to everyone because it’s not cheap. If you know Ultherapy then I guess you know what I mean. But I maintain a home skin care at least and I always include that in the budget. Don’t ever hesitate to buy that soap, cream or serum, whatever beauty product that you think may improve your skin. Your children will still live and eat if you buy that cream!
Sometimes, mom-guilt prevents us from doing skinvestments. It’s a mom excuse that is dictated by our brain. You know that voice in our heads that tells us “What kind of mom are you, putting your own needs ahead of your kid?”
As moms, we need to keep a little slice of heaven for ourselves. We don’t have to put everything into our kids and parenting. We do have individuality apart from being a mother. Anything that makes us look and feel good is a need to be happy. It benefits our well-being. Skin care is Not Superficial. It is not a Luxury. It is Health Care.
Let’s talk about strategy. You can save money and time by doing meal planning and having freezer stash. I prepare my son’s breakfast, lunch, and dinner ahead and store them in the freezer. But I always include fresh fruit or vegetables in every meal. Grocery shopping is costly if you don’t plan it out. Look at your expenses and determine which are unnecessary ones. Cut them out and paste it in your budget for skinvestment.
Self-care is necessary to feel good about who we are as a mom. There’s nothing wrong to take care of our looks especially when it makes us happy. A happy mom follows a happy wife. A happy mom follows a happy baby. A beautiful skin brings happiness by enhancing our holistic health, and boosting our confidence. Beauty sprinkles happiness and happiness brings smile. The last thing that your baby wants to see is your sweetest smile, not your frowned stressed face!
The best beauty advice I had and it’s still my mantra: “Start young so that you will age gracefully”.
And oh, the most important thing? Your husband should have full support on this! You need to be on the same page. You should let him understand why you deserve it. You have to show that you are equally taking care of yourself and your children. With this, a shout out too for my loving and supportive hubby, Dino. (Wink! Wink!)
I am a Christian. I fully accept myself and how I look. How I look means accepting the fact that my nose is flat. I am short. My tummy now is full of stretch marks and loose skin due to child birth and the list goes on.
But let me put it this way, we should not try to perfect ourselves more from the outside. God would rather see us work on becoming beautiful on the inside — the kind of beauty that lasts forever. Exercising and staying in shape is a good thing, but God expects us to stay in shape spiritually as well. While there’s nothing wrong with wanting to look pretty and sexy, we need to make sure it’s in balance.
Our lives should not revolve around how we look. We don’t need to change for Him. We change for ourselves- to be better, healthier and happier. He won’t love us more if we change and He won’t love us less if we don’t! It’s He who He is, because God is love.
The reason we care for our bodies is not to prolong our own lives or gain popularity. It is because we value and desire to steward God’s gift to us. He wants us to live life. It pleases God when we are happy, fulfilled, prospering and healthy.
God would rather see us work on becoming drop-dead gorgeous on the inside rather than the outside. That is the most important thing!
So let’s not use mom excuses involving God. Please?
Mom excuses are just reasons not to do things that you simply don’t want to do. It’s fine if you do nothing about it but it’s the main cause why everyone feels like motherhood is the end of their individuality and let go of their bodies as well as good looks. Motherhood doesn’t mean to stop beautifying yourself and give everything on the plates of your family. Motherhood doesn’t mean to work 24/7 for your family and forget about yourself. Loving your body means taking care of it.
We just need a routine and a system that will simplify and automate our lives to get rid of these mom excuses. Our job as moms is so important, and we want to do it right. Looking and feeling good about ourselves is the core of everything we do.
We are not expected to bounce back after babies but we are meant to leap forward into more powerful and best versions of ourselves.
I’d like to motivate you to think about what you use as a reason to not be the healthiest person or the most gorgeous mom you can be. You may be surprised that those reasons are just mom excuses. Find a way to get out there this week and begin!
You’ll be glad you did.