While I was pregnant with Oliver I remember thinking about how strange it would seem after his birth to no longer be a party of two all the time. I became so accustomed to my plus one hanging out in my belly that being alone in my body started to feel like a foreign concept. Nonetheless, with all the aches and pains that accompany pregnancy, it was one I was looking forward to.
When Oliver was born and the doctor cut the umbilical cord, I thought our physical ties had been severed and I was once again my own person. Boy was I wrong. It turns out having a baby is a lot less like popping out an independent little being and a lot more like growing an extra appendage. Only this appendage enjoys swatting at my face, ripping out chunks of hair, and trying to pull my shirt down in public places like my boobs are a 24-hour drive-thru. With Oliver riding around on my hip all day, I was starting to feel like an amorphous mommy-baby blob.
So what’s a mom to do?
For me, working out at a gym where I can send him off to the playroom for an hour is the best way to differentiate myself from that blob. It’s my daily dose of “me time” where my movements are not in response to my baby. I’m running, lifting, and stretching to feel my muscles strain and my heart pound, not to chase the dog that is running off with the pacifier or pick up the spoon that Oliver decided to throw on the floor for the tenth time.
Not to mention, after having a baby, my body was feeling a bit like an amorphous blob even without the baby in tow, and the strong, active woman inside was itching to get back into shape. As Oliver approaches his eight month of life, I’m happy to report I’m stronger, faster, and more fit than I was before pregnancy. To celebrate my return to fitness I’ve decided to run the Toledo ½ Marathon on April 28 with the goal of beating my old record of 2 hours 1 minute and 37 seconds.
As a stay at home mom my goals for the day rarely extend beyond 1) don’t break the baby and 2) keep the apartment from looking like a disaster area. It feels good to have a goal that’s outside of the mommy bubble that is purely selfish in pursuit. It’s my reminder that there is life outside of motherhood, and the aspirations I had before having a baby don’t have to be sidelined forever.
And after I check this goal off my list, I’m looking forward to the summer when I can strap Oliver in a jogging stroller and run with my baby in tow. Not one big mommy-baby-stroller blob but one big mommy-baby-stroller blur, racing through the park. Because even though I could still go solo, sometimes it’s nice to share your passions with the ones you love. And hey, it’s never too early to start training my future running partner.