Taylor Walker Sinning’s Advice to New Moms
Last week, while taking my little one for our routine walk, I threw on a podcast and they said something about motherhood that was so profound. It went a little something like this: “In our culture, mothers have a tendency to feel like discarded vessels.” BOOM. There it was. In plain earshot, exactly how I had been feeling all this time — like a discarded vessel.
Think about it, we spend nine long months eating and drinking and shopping and googling all for and about the baby. Then, he or she joins us earth-side and in the selflessness that is motherhood, we spend our entire day caring for others; our children and partners, but as this podcast went on to say: “who is mothering the mother?”
If you are lucky enough to live close to family, then you know the benefits of being surrounded by your village. Unfortunately, I did not have the luxury of living close to family and with a husband who travels for work often, I had a tough go after all of the familial visits came and went. I found myself lonely, tired and uncomfortable in my skin, but the more and more I made the effort to speak and connect with other moms, I realized that I am far from being alone.
Before I knew it, my sweet babe started sleeping longer stretches; I began thinking a little clearer and day-by-day felt a bit better both physically and emotionally. It was when I turned this corner that I took a little time to write down my goals for how I wanted to feel in body and mind when CJ would be six months and then at twelve months. Little by little, I started working toward my happy.
I think many people believe that happiness is something that falls in your lap, but I learned a long time ago that happiness is not only an achievement, but an achievement that takes a lot of work.
If you are in a similar place and in need of a bit of self-love, I encourage you to try some of the steps I took below and simply jot down what you want your life to look like in three months, six months and a year from now! Here are some of the things I did to help get you started:
Create a Monthly Mantra
A monthly mantra is a simple saying that you live by! It can change from month to month, week to week, whatever feels right for you. In the early postpartum weeks, I did a lot of self-talk using mantras and it helped shift my mindset to a more positive place.
Our bodies are made up of over 75% water, yet most of us rarely take to hydrate properly. Drinking water is such a simple action that can help your body run more efficiently and can lead to more energy and a clearer mind. A lot of women wonder: how much water should a new mom drink? I aimed to drink half of my bodyweight in ounces daily and refill with every feeding, aiming for 20 oz. at least four times per day.
Also, taking time to massage and hydrate your midsection, shoulders and neck. Be grateful for the magnificent belly that created and housed life. Acknowledge that the change in your body was hard, but worth it.
A little self-massage is a great way to start and end your day. Having your partner do it for you would be an added bonus, but sometimes the gentleness and familiarity of your own hands are all you need, and massaging your neck and shoulders and delicate belly to start and end your day is the perfect way to relieve stress and relax.
Find Time for Friends
Taking time to be with friends is nourishment for you soul. When you are at your worst, your friends can be there for you. I remember being home and exhausted to my core and 30-minutes with a good girlfriend was all I needed to turn my day around.
One afternoon my best friend came in my house and filled my fridge without me even knowing. It was like having a real life angel as I had anxiety about running errands in the first couple of months. It is amazing what a simple act of kindness by a friend can do for your soul.
These days, I make an effort to have a friend date with or without kids at least once per week. I even joined a friend finding app named peanut! It really has helped meet other moms in the area.
We hike, go for coffee or hang out at one another’s house to play. It makes new mom life a touch less lonely and we make each other smile in the midst of the crazy.
Find Your “3-Minute Face”
Since we do not have time to spend an hour in the mirror every morning, I suggest finding a beauty routine that makes you feel confident and refreshed.
I always start the day with Honest’s Organic Facial Oil and and beauty balm on my lips and eyelids.
From there a little concealer, cream blush and mascara and I feel confident enough to run errands, meet a girlfriend or even talk to the mailman. For me, it is the perfect no makeup, makeup combination.
Postpartum life looks different for all of us. As a fitness-professional, I crave movement. With that said I made sure to take the full six weeks after delivery to recover.
I practiced deep breathing to reconnect to my core and did not do a single abdominal exercise during that time. I am still cautious with twisting and make sure to listen to my body and give it what it needs.
Today, I am back at the gym and exercise for my mind as much as my body to help me keep up with the demands of motherhood and well, I crave the therapeutic effect of endorphins. I joined a gym with a daycare because I have realized it is OK to put myself first every once in a while and it makes me a better mother and wife.
Best Exercise Moves for New Moms
Today, I wanted to share a postpartum abdomen exercise routine to help you connect and rebuild. Make sure to take your time and get to know your body better with every rep.
Start by taking two minutes to take deep breaths filling your whole belly, lungs and diaphragm.
Alternate deep breath to bridge inhaling and exhaling at the top and bottom. Perform breath to bridge 15 times.
Start in a quadruped position with a flat back. Inhale, round your back and tuck your pelvis to engage and lift your pelvic floor. Exhale to flat back. Repeat 15 times.
Inhale and extend opposite arm and leg. On the exhale your bring elbow to knee. Perform 12 reps on the right and 12 reps on the left.
Lay flat on your back with your elbows wide and legs in table top position. Inhale and on the exhale tuck and lift your pelvis and shoulders to connect elbows to knees. Repeat 12 times.
Make a triangle with your legs and arms overhead. Inhale then exhale reach through your legs thinks about tucking your pelvis, lifting your pelvic floor and pulling your bellybutton back to your spine. Repeat 12 times.
Alternating Toe Taps
Start with legs in tabletop parallel to the floor. Alternate tapping your toes right and left. Making sure to keep your low back glued to the floor. Perform 15 reps (1 right and 1 left =1 Rep).
Sideline Leg Lift
Start in a seated position. Inhale and on the exhale press up and kick the foot out flexed with your knee facing forward then return to the seated position. Repeat 12 times on the right and then left.
Stretch and give thanks to your beautiful body. If you woke up today, smile, it is another day to love yourself.