Did you ever see the article discussing the infamous “fit mom” and her harsh words on excuses for getting back in shape postpregnancy? Really the message was there is NO excuse to NOT be in shape after you pop that baby out, and she challenged readers to give up their reasons for feeling as if it’s difficult. OK, lady. Personally, I enjoy exercise. I have never been more grateful for my health. I think regular activity made my pregnancy much easier, and I want to get back to the strength and ability I possessed prebaby. But let’s get real; there ARE excuses, plenty of them.
This doesn’t solely apply to exercise. In fact, I can get behind that more often than not. For me, I have trouble doing other things with my time and find myself making excuses for things like putting away the laundry once it’s done. (I have a bad habit of leaving laundry in the dryer until another load needs the vacancy.) I struggle to meal plan and cook in general. I rinse out the same glass and coffee cup to drink out of every day. I take too long to change the sheets and towels. Yeah, gross things.
My “excuse” for any shortcoming is I am too consumed with her happiness and wellbeing to focus consistently on my personal agenda. That sounds like a cop-out, but I mean it. I really want her days to be as happy as possible, and I am the thing that makes her happy! If I have something I need to focus on, I take care of her first. I try to blend our wants and needs as much as possible, too, but overall, I have adopted a posture of being completely devoted to her in her infancy. If I go, she goes. If it works for the both of us, great! If not, I will try again later. I’m not interested in missing a milestone or failing to notice a new skill she picks up. I never want her to feel sad, alone or scared. I pretty much live for her smiles and her joy. Initially my shortcomings made me sad because I felt inadequate. However, I now realize it was coming from a place of promise to my baby, and that’s something I will never apologize for. It’s easy to not view unchecked to-do lists as excuses when you have a super happy baby to love on. Her love and affection for me validates any choice I make to be there for her instead of whatever other thing I thought was important.
I realize “fit mom” wasn’t exactly saying her fitness took priority over her children. In fact, I know this wasn’t her angle. I just think the idea of “no excuses” is not true in every circumstance! There will be another time and place when Bellamy will be more self-sufficient and independent. She will long for alone time and the ability to navigate things on her own. She will feed herself and be able to put herself to sleep. I think for things we find important, we don’t make excuses for not doing them. For me, this is my daughter’s happiness and positive growth. I am always going to stop when she is smiling at me, speak back to her when spoken to, and encourage as much laughter as possible. I will continue to get up early, go to bed late, answer the cries and put her first.
These days are numbered, and I will never get them back. I may not be accomplishing a ton on paper, but I know for a fact I make a genuine effort to do my best for her every day. My “best for her” will change as she changes, and she will eventually need to see me complete said to-do lists and drink out of another coffee mug before Friday. She will learn from me forever, but for now, I am communicating unwavering love and devotion. I don’t need an excuse for that.