Infectiously Happy

The Snapback Set Up.

big bellyI have been turning this post over and over in my mind, but finally I think I am ready to address it. I have a request really. It revolves around releasing attachment. I am not sure who decided the term “Snap-back” should be applied to a woman who has just had a baby, but as such a woman I need it to stop. This is about more than fitting your pre-pregnancy clothes or avoiding stretch marks. I find that this term and the ideology that a person can create another person in their body, begin to care for that person and at the same time they should work as hard as they can to be as closely resembled physically/emotionally/mentally to the person they were before, COMPLETELY ridiculous. The world is pushing images of celeb moms in their “perfect” bodies, strolling in stilettos pushing a stroller like that is real. Family and friends want to know why you are so unavailable. You are figuring out how to “snap-back”. So I am just going to say it… This is a set up! And in the end it can leave a person feeling overwhelmed and full of self-doubt. Becoming a mother has been the most incredible experience, with a level of love I had yet to realize. You should be allowed to bask in that, to feel accomplished when your baby smiles up at you without fixating on unrealistic pressures to “snap-back”. So before you become a mother or utter this foolishness to another expectant mother/new mother/woman or yourself let me give you some perspective to consider…

You will be changed. I could limit this to the fact that your body has contorted to amazing dimensions so it is reasonable that it will take time to regain its former size, but that is limiting the change. My body did change, but mostly my purpose changed. My desires and perspective on what it means to be beautiful and sexy have evolved. They had to. If I held my self to the same standard as before I was nursing, being wrestled and kissed with an open slobbery mouth, I would only find disappointment. For now I have to wear flats most of the time, let go of full face make up and dainty light materials. Cottons and prints are my new go-tos and my style needs to be able to roll around on the floor. I still work hard to eat well and be active but even that is different. Embrace it.

Stop looking outside. The truth is going to be different for each and every person. This is no less true for parenting. Just as I am unique, so is my son. Our family must do what works for our family and that can and will look different from other families. New responsibilities will change the way you can and will interact with friends, family and previous activities. People you love will put pressure about what they think you should be able to accomplish. You are going to have to be honest with yourself and those around you about your unique reality. You will have to decide what your life looks like once you add a little person to it without outside influences trying to make you feel as if you are missing something. Maybe you don’t return to work, 5 mile runs or exotic vacations at first. You have been called to a new life that will take some adjustments

Find the balance. The desire to be all is no greater than when you have created another person. They need everything from you, but the world you brought them into is still requiring things from you. The reality is that you cannot do it all. You shouldn’t. Do what you can, when you can. Ask for help. Do your best and find peace with the fact that some things (text message returns, social media, housework, working out) will have to fall in line with new responsibilities. Eat well, find ways to be active, take time to rest, but don’t beat yourself up if you can’t return to 6-1 hour workouts per week. Flat abs don’t help a baby sleep through the night.

Honor your Connections. Love is what created the little life you are now charged with, so in the myriad of old and new responsibilities be sure that you are honoring the connection that created this child. My husband and I love adventure together but that picture has had to adjust. We have new focuses, both financially and mentally. We have to carve out time for each other together and separately in new ways so date nights, vacations and even the simple act of going to practice yoga must be planned differently. Our relationship to each other has evolved because we share our love in new ways that were overlooked before.

When Palmer first arrived and I was figuring out my new body, new responsibility and how to “snap-back”, I was overwhelmed. I often felt like I was failing myself or him or the people I loved because I could not figure out how to get back to the life I had created before and then I had an epiphany… I shouldn’t be doing that! The idea that I should try to be the same is ridiculous. I am changed. FOREVER. I am more brilliant and beautiful. I have grown in ways that cannot be measured by pre-pregnancy jeans. The body I am blessed to have has evolved. Yes I could be a certain weight again, goals are healthy. I have goals for myself physically, but I also have a new level of compassion and understanding of my purpose. My body is still healthy and strong, but it cannot be the same. It’s not reasonable to ask that of ourselves. We have done something life changing.

Until next time :)

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7 thoughts on “The Snapback Set Up.

  1. Exactly Kelley – I believe the Snap Back term came during slavery time when the women would drop the baby and then get on back out in the cotton and tobacco fields. Thank you for the post because having a baby changes a woman in so many ways other than just their appearances, the love that explods for the little one along with the fear; how will I do this – can I do this – I am responsible for this person for next 18 years… LOL hasn’t that time frame changed. Once you become a mother it is Lifetime. You will always have their well being at heart. I remember hearing single women say she going to loose her husband because since she had the baby she has let herself go. Thank you.

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