Hello everyone!

So I finally made the decision and bought a domain and it’s been the best decision-well ONE of the best decisions! But Fit Foodie Mom Life is no longer hosted here. I am proud to announce that I have my own name now. Please hop on over and sign up through email to receive all of the updates. Thanks mommies!


The Birth Story Series: Meet Julie


Yay for another birth story on the blog this week! It’s time to welcome Julie on the blog this week.  Her story has a lot of ups and downs and ends perfectly. It’s crazy how birth can have the scariest moments and then once baby arrives, none of it matters anymore. Her story is posted below and make sure to leave her a comment.


family zach bornMy three birthing experiences were completely different. With my first son labor was natural with a midwife who performed hypnosis on me (which worked to reduce my pain for a good portion of the labor), and a bit of Pitocin to finish dilation. My third son’s birth was a planned C-section and interestingly the quickest and easiest recovery. My middle son’s birth had all possible labor scenarios: overdue induction, natural labor with a midwife, dysfunctional labor progression with Pitocin added, epidural pain relief, and physician performed C-section.

I was overdue with my middle son and the midwife would let me go two weeks overdue which I did not like. I wanted to get him out of me so I pushed for induction at nine days past my due date. We arrived at the hospital and were admitted at 9 pm. The induction began but had to be stopped immediately because my contractions became too strong. The medication was pulled but the induction had started contractions so the labor had begun.

Labor continued without induction meds throughout the night. I developed a fever and my son’s heartrate indicated some distress so the midwife strongly urged us to continue with natural labor because she said he would likely end up in the NICU if I was given an epidural. I was confident in natural labor because I had achieved natural childbirth with my first son’s birth. However, the labor would not progress and his heartrate continued to concern the midwife. I labored in different positons to try and improve his heartrate, but this did not help. She put me in the tub, but that just slowed down my dilation so I headed back to the bed.

I had the strange labor reaction of incessant burping which was awful to me. My son now finds this hilarious as burps are super funny to him. (A bizarre side effect with my first son’s labor I was plagued by hiccups.) I continued to burp and endure contractions all night long but every time my dilation would progress, it would immediately go backwards again. The midwife was mystified by how I would dilate to an 8 or 9 but shrink back to a 7 over and over again after each contraction. She gave me Pitocin but that did not work to progress my labor either. My son’s heartrate eventually improved so she wanted to try an epidural to see if I could sleep. She thought sleep would progress labor to full dilation. I hunched over for epidural placement at 7:30 am.

I could not sleep even though I could no longer feel the contractions. I was relieved his heartrate was better but I feared progression would not come on its own. By 10:30 am the midwife announced we were moving to C-section because of failure to progress in a dysfunctional labor. They used my epidural to administer more medication for the C-section surgery.

Being wheeled into the surgical suite scared me. I had never had surgery before but I knew I just wanted him out of me because it would be safer for him to be out rather than in me with his poor heartrate issues. The staff pulled up a blue sheet so I didn’t have to watch them cut me open. I felt only tugging and pulling. In surgery I became very cold and my blood pressure plummeted so they gave me oxygen and talked to me to keep me awake. My husband did watch the birth and he took pictures of the doctor pulling my son out of me. After the surgery I was able to look at the photos and I was thankful he took them.

I cried when I heard him cry because I knew he was out of me and he was safe. They said hezach born 4-2.jpg was a big baby as he weighed in at 9 lbs. 4.4 oz. Afterwards the physician told me he was so big she didn’t think I could have pushed him out because he never moved down into my pelvic canal. He would not have fit through my pelvic bones. I was relieved to have given birth in an age when C-sections are successful and safe because if it had been years ago my son and I probably would have died in childbirth or at the very least experienced severe complications. A very scary sobering thought.

We made it through a childbirth that had so many scares, twists, and turns. I am so thankful he is now a healthy 10-year-old boy who makes us laugh with his animated noises and amazes us with his inventions. He is a smart, athletic, and social by. We are so lucky to have him.


BIO: A mother of three boys, a Julie (2)wife, and a mama also to furry  babies: two rescue dogs and two guinea pigs. Julie writes on her blog about antics and life with all males in the house, motherhood, kids, family, faith, vegetarian/meat hybrid recipes, and parenting. Her essays/posts can be found on Her View From Home, Sammiches and Psych Meds, The Mighty, Scary Mommy, her own blog juliehoagwriter, and soon appearing on Manifest Station and Parent.co. Julie has survived working as SAHM, a pediatric nurse, a scientist, and a veterinary assistant.


Julie can be followed at the following links:







Julie, thank you so much for sharing your story. I am so thankful everything turned out perfectly and you have a beautiful family. Many blessings to you! Make sure to stop by her blog and also leave her a comment below.

Also check out last week’s post from Amber.

Happy weekend mamas!

The Birth Story Series: Meet Amber

IMG_2027Meet Amber, the second mama in the Birth Story series. Her story is so sweet and can I just say I love all of the pictures? The moments captured are beautiful and bittersweet and I am a little jealous that I don’t have such great pictures from my son’s big day! 😉 Read her story below and make sure to leave Amber a comment and follow her blog here.



Nearly three weeks ago I was in labor with this beautiful soul. She came rushing into this world just minutes before midnight. I can’t believe that so much time has already passed and that the first month is already nearly over. I’m desperately wanting time to slow down, especially knowing that this is most likely our last. I’m trying to absorb every tiny newborn detail and fully appreciate everything as I won’t likely have this opportunity again. There’s a certain sadness that comes with your last baby. It’s your last first everything when it comes to parenting and mothering…

When I went into labor with Aiden, I was fairly certain from the first contraction that I was in labor. With Brielle, it was a bit different. My stomach had been slightly upset for most of that Monday morning and I had some minor cramping. I had had cramping the last week or so as my body was most likely preparing for labor (I had just seen my midwife the Friday prior). After a few hours I realized that those cramps were indeed contractions and were consistently occuring. Around 10am I decided that I should probably give my husband, Ryan, a heads up that I thought labor was imminent as he was at work. I had been very nervous most of this pregnancy about how quickly that labor could progress considering that Aiden made his appearance quite quickly (he was delivered less than 2 hours after arriving at the hospital). I told him to just keep his phone nearby in case things began to progress as my contractions were still 8-9 minutes apart at this time. I decided to give my parents a call as well to let them know that we would likely be having a baby that day! My dad was our on-call babysitter for Aiden so I wanted to be sure he had plenty of time to leave work and get to our house.

The rest of the afternoon I spent puttering around the house, trying to relax and snacking on food when it sounded appetizing. Ryan made his way home and my dad also came over so we could leave quickly if need be. For most of the afternoon my contractions weren’t too uncomfortable and slowly began to get closer together and more intense. I spent a lot of time just sitting on the couch with my first baby, Aiden, soaking up the last moments of him being my only ‘baby’ and bouncing on a yoga ball to help ease contractions and help Brielle move into position.

We made our way to the hospital around 6pm when my contractions were less than 5 minutes apart. When we got there, they checked me and found I was only 2cm dilated and 60% effaced. I won’t lie, I was disappointed as that was barely any progress from my appointment the week before and began to become a bit worried if I could handle the pain and go medicine free again. They decided to have me stay a bit to see if I’d progress and Ryan and I walked circles in the hall hoping to get things moving. I was really, really hoping that this was true labor, as I wasn’t ready to go home and continue to feel this way. Thankfully, my contractions slowly moved closer together and they admitted me. After walking around for what felt like a 100 times, we ventured back to the room to relax a bit. I bounced on the ball and we halfheartedly watched The Bachelor (haha) to try to distract myself.

This was such a different experience than with Aiden. With Aiden, I arrived at 4cm and within 45 minutes was at 10cm and pushing. Everyone always tells you that your second labor is quicker, so I was expecting to have progression move much more quickly. The slowness made me begin to doubt myself at times.

At about 7cm my contractions became more intense and painful. I was regaining confidence in my decision to avoid using any pain meds or an epidural, but there were moments that doubt would sneak in. I continued to trust that my body could do this on its own and I focused on each contraction and visualized that it was working to help prepare my body and her for delivery. I really believe that keeping calm and focused helps my body to relax enough to continue labor on its own. During both my labors, I get into a deep focus and really start to tune everyone and everything else around me out. It’s easier for me this way and allows me to really immerse myself in the experience and tune into my body.

I should mention that I had originally planned on having a midwife be there for my delivery. I saw a midwife for all my appointments and had extensively talked to her about my wishes and desires. That morning when I called the office (she worked under several OB’s), I was informed that she had to have emergency surgery and the other on call midwife wasn’t able to assist either. I was bummed and nervous because now I had NO idea of who would be taking care of me and baby. I knew that the hospital I was choosing to deliver at were open to midwifery and their practices, so that gave me some comfort. That evening at the hospital, they had very few doctors on hand and I didn’t know until an hour or so before labor who would be delivering. Thankfully, we had a great doctor who didn’t try to rush anything and let labor take it’s own course. I never once felt rushed or that my wishes weren’t respected (I did have a general birth plan that my midwife has signed). I really can’t say anything but great things about the doctors and nurses that took care of us.

At 11:10 they checked me again and I was nearing 8 1/2 cm dilated and they decided to break my water (I’ve never had my water break on its own). I felt the warm gush and my contractions became even more powerful and intense. I’d have one extremely tough contraction and the next would be weaker. It allowed me to gather some strength and focus between those intense contractions, but my goodness, some of those contractions were incredibly tough to get through. I remember trying to vocalize and ride them out. Some of the nurses were laughing a bit because I’d almost sing through them because for some reason it made me more comfortable. I really try to avoid screaming, cursing and so on because for me it doesn’t seem to help and instead makes me feel frustrated and frightened. It’s always amazing to me to see the different ways that people deal with the pain and labor experience. I always feel a bit bad because I really tune people out. My wonderful husband is so helpful and encouraging throughout it all, and I feel like I barely respond.

I vividly remember feeling her move and turn into the birthing canal. It was an unreal feeling and I knew at the moment that it would be very soon that we would meet our little Brielle (unnamed at that time) would be there soon. Several incredibly intense contractions passed and the intense pressure and feeling of crowning and she was nearly here. After 14 minutes of pushing and one last powerful push that took the last of my energy, and she arrived! 11:56 PM on January 25, 2016. She weighed in at 7 pounds, 10 ounces and 21 inches of adorableness.

They quickly placed her on my chest so we could meet and I was in awe. She came into this world quietly and was wrinkly and purple. The distress from labor caused her to have some issues with respiration so unfortunately our immediate bonding time was very short lived. After Ryan cut the umbilical cord, they quickly moved her to the newborn station (which was in the room with us) to suction more, do the APGAR and monitor her to make sure that she was improving. She slowly improved and after about 20 minutes I was able to hold her again and marvel at all her tiny, delicate features. It was definitely a bit nerve-wracking waiting those 20 minutes, but I was assured that she was okay and that they just wanted to make sure that she improved and to monitor her closely. It wasn’t ideal, but at that moment I only cared that she was going to be okay. Due to her increased respiration we weren’t able to breastfeed until about an hour after birth. This initially concerned me, but she latched like a pro and we haven’t had any issues since. Daddy finally was able to hold her as well and meet his little girl.

The relief that comes after labor is immense. I felt my body relax immediately and that surge of adrenaline. I swear that getting through labor makes you feel like you can take over the world. There’s such an intense and raw high that you get from it.

The last few weeks have been a sweet bliss. I can’t stop staring at that sweet face and smelling her newness and newborn smell. Seeing the love that her brother has for her, makes my heart explode a hundred times over.

Welcome to the world precious Brielle Adalyn. We can’t wait to see the journey you take in this big, bright world!


Amber lives in Fenton, Michigan with her wonderful husband, very curious and loving toddler boy and sweet baby daughter. momandbriShe’s a Central Michigan University alumni and studied public health education and health promotion. She has experience working in pharmaceuticals and in higher education developing wellness initiatives and programs for students. She is a yoga lover, fashion/beauty obsessed, running fanatic, book nerd and loves creating new recipes for her friends and family to enjoy.




Amber can be found below at the following links:

Snapchat: momgonehealthy

Bloglovin: Mommy Gone Healthy | A Lifestyle Blog by Amber Battishill https://www.bloglovin.com/blogs/mommy-gone-healthy-a-lifestyle-blog-by-amber-14838995


Thank you Amber for sharing your beautiful birth story. Your daughter is absolutely precious and perfect. You are a wonderful mama and you are doing this whole motherhood journey with so much love for your sweet family. Blessings to you!

This is the second post in this series. Here is last week’s post from Tineke.

Be blessed mamas. ❤

The Birth Story Series-Meet Tineke


First mama in the Birth Story series is Tineke! She has a great birth story and a super cute little guy. Read her story below and make sure to leave her a comment and check her site out! 🙂


At about 28 weeks in my pregnancy I was admitted to the hospital because of many Braxton hicks or practice contractions. After a week in the hospital on contraction stoppers I was sent home with complete bedrest until week 36. Since I never noticed these practice contractions (they didn´t hurt at all, I only noticed if I had a hand on my bump) I was a bit nervous that I would not notice it either when I would go into labor for real. Another worry I had was that I wouldn´t get to the hospital in time to still get an epidural (One of my proud points when talking to friends at home in the Netherlands, in Spain everybody who wanted to would get an epidural not just if they doctor thought it was necessary!). But when I talked about these worries, most people laughed a bit: “If it really starts you will definitely notice, believe me!” “If you´re too late in the hospital for an epidural then the worst is already over so in that case you will survive that last part also”. Boy I wished they were right! But things went a bit differently…

During a night 10 days before my due date I woke up at 2am to pee, I noticed I might have lost some liquid but somehow I expected “breaking waters” to be a bit more dramatic, like lots of water and not just a few drops. So I went back to sleep. When I woke up at 7am I told C about it and he got a bit nervous so we decided to call his mom who works as nurse in the hospital on the newborn ward. She told us to maybe just go to the hospital to check but to first have breakfast and take a shower, no stress.

We left the house at 8:15 and in the car I noticed a bit of pain in my back. When we got to the hospital they told me “I had done a great job at home already” (which job? I hadn´t noticed anything!) because I was already 3cm dilated. So I had to stay but they told me to take it easy, this would still take a while. I was nervous but also still somehow calm (yes! I had arrived on time to get that epidural, everything would be fine), but that calmness might have lasted for about 3minutes. What hit me was a labor storm where contractions happened non-stop. So within 10minutes I was completely dilated and they told me I was going to deliver this baby right now. I panicked (what happened with my epidural? Where was C?) and when they lost the baby´s heartbeat the doctors (my mother in law´s colleagues) started to panic a bit as well. More and more of her colleagues came in to make sure everything would go fine, and although it was great that they had so many doctors and nurses on standby, it was so chaotic and I couldn´t deal with the pain, the fact that C wasn´t allowed to be there because of the risky situation, and that everything was happening in Spanish (my Spanish seemed to disappear at that moment). My bed went back and forth between emergency C-section or delivery room, but it was too late so I went to the delivery room.

In the meantime, C was waiting outside and one of his mom´s colleagues tried to be nice and did some chitchat to distract him. He asked her whether I was the one screaming so much, and she wanted to calm him down and told him it was another woman. If only the screaming wouldn´t have swopped from English to Dutch by then, he might have believed her…

At that point I wasn’t really collaborating anymore so they gave me something to put me out for a little bit. Five minutes later at 9.43am Lucas was born (so I was told), and when I opened my eyes a few minutes later C was standing next to me with a baby in his arms. It was so surreal because I thought the pushing “fun” still had to begin so I was really confused on whose baby that was….

UntitledLess than 1.5hours between my first bit of pain in the car and the birth, and they were quite chaotic and stressful. In the end everything turned out well, Lucas was healthy, I was fine but we we´re told afterwards that we had been very very lucky that we hadn´t waited any longer at home because the situation got very complicated so I don´t even want to think about what would have happened if we wouldn’t have been in the hospital!


Bio: I am Tineke, a Dutchie living in Spain, happily not-married to César and mommy of Lucas. Before becoming a mom, I always thought I was busy, however since we have Lucas the term “busy” got a whole new definition!  And all of that in a country which is not my home country and therefore causes quite some cultural clashes in this whole motherhood thingy.Untitled.png0


Want to read more about my adventures as a working mommy abroad? Would love to connect!


Instagram: @workingmommyabroad

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/workingmommyabroad/

Twitter: @tinekefr

Pinterest: https://nl.pinterest.com/tinekefr/


Thank you so much Tineke for sharing your story on the blog! Motherhood is beautiful and scary, but perfect at the same time. Can’t wait to read other birth stories. Stay tuned.

My Birth Story: Eli Thomas


Hey y’all! Guess what? I’m starting a new series on the blog and I am so excited to announce that I will introduce a few other moms throughout the coming weeks who were so kind to allow me to share their story! I decided to kick it off with mine. Make sure to come back every week to check for new posts.

Many of you probably already know this but I miscarried before I had my son. You can read about the miscarriage in case you haven’t already. Obviously, I was devastated and when I mean devastated, I was depressed, angry, hurt, and emotionally drained. I was also a newlywed so things weren’t starting off too great for us. The doctors also told my husband and me that we will never have children. I’ll have great success getting pregnant, but carrying a pregnancy full term was another issue. Of course I thought every single day how I would never be a mother and then suddenly all my friends ended up pregnant, one by one. Babies were born and still nothing happened with me. June 2014 came and my husband left for training with the military and was gone for three full months. I remember crying myself to sleep many nights because I was lonely, frustrated, and mad at myself for not having a body capable of producing children. In July I saw a specialist and we discussed my options and if my body could undergo surgery to make a pregnancy easier. The doctor wasn’t so caught on that idea and told me to get pregnant. What? For some reason when a doctor gives you the green light it’s often like, “whoa, okay, YEAH!” My husband returned in September and by October I found out I was pregnant-again.

All of the past emotions from the previous pregnancy stirred in my mind. I was scared. I was happy. I was worried. I overwhelmed. I was excited. I was nervous. I was hopeful. And most of all, I prayed. Seven weeks hit in my pregnancy and things were going good. I had crazy nausea, headaches, and all of the unpleasant first trimester symptoms. My husband left for a sea trial and I was home alone working on school. I suddenly had a crazy urge to go to the bathroom and that’s when I didn’t get off the toilet. The emotions hit all over again. The blood. The memories. The pain. The shock. The questions starting piling up in my mind and I immediately called home. My mom starting praying with me but she was over 1,000 miles away and couldn’t do anything. I couldn’t get a hold of my husband and I knew no one. After sitting on the toilet for what felt like 12 hours (but more like 5 minutes), my husband called! The ship pulled in early. Total God moment. We rushed to the ER where we waited for 8 hours until we found out if this baby was going to heaven–too.

The ultrasound tech led us to another room and did the exam to check on baby. I remember she turned the screen away from us! I was furious but also scared and didn’t want to know because I avoided feeling pain again. Finally by 4 in the morning we got the news. Baby had a steady heartbeat. I remember crying, crying, and crying. My legs went weak and chills raced around my spine. Baby was okay. I was diagnosed with the term, “possible miscarriage” whatever that meant. But the words on the slip of paper the doctor gave us said I could miscarry within the next 48 hours. I went home, got on my knees, praised God, begged God to let me keep my baby, and got on progesterone cream. The bleeding stopped within 2 days and things were looking good again. I was considered a high-risk pregnancy but I prayed against that, trusted Jesus, and let God take control.

Every single doctor I saw said I would not have a full term baby and lose the baby around 24-30 weeks. Well, June 25, 2015 came and I was 39 weeks and 3 days. Labor started fast. I went from 3cm to 9cm in 5 hours. I labored at home and delivered my sweet, healthy miracle and rainbow baby in my bed at 8:31, pm, 7lbs, 4oz and 20 inches long. 11178201_672282292902950_5985436663880951870_nMy water broke 10 minutes before he arrived and my husband caught baby and cut the umbilical cord. The birth was beautiful, miraculous, and relaxing. I pushed a total of 20 minutes before my son came into the world with a beautiful little scream. My heart dropped because he was finally here. And every single doctor didn’t understand the power of God. The pain feels like a forever ago because once he was placed in my arms, every single worry and anxious thought vanished forever.



He is perfect. And being a mother is perfect.

I know this is more about my pregnancy than the birth but I believe both of them tie in together. Check the blog to read more stories in the coming weeks!

I’m that Mom


Because I’m that mom who lets her child stay up and experience something new, fun, and exciting.

Because I’m that mom who works around nap time and bed time and doesn’t let it control her.

Because I’m that mom who rocks her baby to sleep every single night.

Because I’m that mom who checks on her sleeping baby at least five times a night.

Because I’m that mom who lets her child walk around in just a diaper.

Because I’m that mom who lets her child play for hours in the sand, water, or mud.

Because I’m that mom who snuggles her baby at night.

And you know what? I may get a ton of raised eyebrows at most of these “bad habits” but someday he will be 20, on his own and not in need of his mama as much. So if I want to have him in the bed tonight, I will. If I want to rock him to sleep, I will. And if I want to take him swimming at 7pm, I will.

These days don’t last long and I want to cherish every second. So even though he may not sleep through the night, I’m okay with that because I get to feel his chubby hands wrap around my neck in the middle of the night. I get to comfort him when he’s scared.

I’m a mama and I love my mama life.

What I Did With My Kitchen Wall

photo_0161521646siawmdI don’t know about you, but I find such crazy hope, trust in Jesus. The past few days have been far from perfect. My son has had many, many meltdowns. I’ve tried to stay cool for most of them, but had to walk away a couple of times. Yet through all of this mess I find myself completely restful, calm, gentle, and patient. I know for a fact that this is CHRIST in me. I could not do half of the things I’m doing right now in my life if it weren’t for my Savior holding my hand and guiding me through all of it.

So just a few days ago I dug my nose in bible and came across strong encouraging verses and immediately knew these verses would help me, guide me, strengthen me, and lift me up on my loneliest, darkest days. And so I decided to use the wall behind the stove as my “prayer wall”. I cook every day. I often stand in front of the stove for minutes stirring a pan of veggies or scrambling eggs. I figured I might as well feed my mind with the word constantly. If I walk away from the encouraging Word God has given me, I immediately feel attacked, discouraged, and overtaken by the enemy. But in the NAME of Jesus we are commanded to fight against the devil with prayer and that is what I have been doing. I shout out loud and tell him to get the heck out of here. He has no place in this house, in me, or in any of my family members. He just tries to sneak his way through and kill and destroy that joy and peace I have.

And who knows what my prayer wall will look like next year when my husband returns. Right now I have three notes taped to the wall. And it’s real interesting to see what season I am in right now because the verses are on faith and not fear. Trust and not worry. Rest and not anxiety. I’m excited to see how the Lord will move with this.

How have you been encouraged in tough seasons/days?

Why I Love His Boots

Most days when my husband comes home I usually say something about him leaving his huge, bulky, stinky, sweaty boots in the middle of the floor. Those boots walk many miles everyday. They are worn every single day, from before the sun rise40fb985e13b2471591ffe59ec7507ee4s and until it goes down. The boots are a part of his life and ironically, they are also a part of my life. When the boots are in the middle of the room, he’s home. And when there are no boots to be found, he’s gone. Yes, I often get frustrated when he walks all around the house with his boots on, especially since they travel everywhere. Yes, I get annoyed when I fall over the bulky things. But on Tuesday night I stared at those boots and my heart ached. Those boots were leaving. In less than twelve hours they would be gone and on their way to a very, very far place. I realized I wouldn’t see those black dusty boots for the rest of the year. I totally have a love hate relationship with those boots. But when the boots are gone, it’s just another reminder that the man who wears them on a day to day basis is also gone. 2a0f52173d05438fa16a0d418c15651d

That’s when I look at those boots and tell myself, I love those boots. I love having them around. I love falling over them. I love all the dirt they track in. But more importantly, I love the man who wears them and comes home at the end of a long day.

This is deployment. It will not kill me. I will kick it in the butt because there is always an end of the day and a tomorrow. And I will win. I will not be overthrown. I will spend every single holiday alone, anniversary, and birthday, but by the end of the day, I am one day closer.

I didn’t see the boots last night. I didn’t see them this morning and I won’t see them for the next many, many days. He took his boots with him and the ship took my man.

Why Staying Fit Helps

I had the opportunity to write a guest post for Kim over at Always a New Day Blog! It was so much fun writing out my post and actually seeing why I love to work out and also why I do it. I have plenty of reasons but I think my post really narrowed down the “real” reasons. Kim is doing a series on The Healthy Mama and the posts are so encouraging and motivating. Head on over to her blog to get all her updates! 🙂 And below is my post!


I’m a mama. Most of you reading this are probably mamas or mamas to be. Let’s be real for a second. Mama life is wonderful AND challenging, but mainly wonderful and sweet, with exceptions to those really rough days that make you forget you can totally do this beautiful job you were called to do. Because there are many days as a mom that you can barely go the bathroom, and who has time to style their hair? I’ve been a mom for eleven sweet months. There have been many up and down days, more up days though! But even though I’m a mama and I take care of my son 24/7 and rarely have downtime, there is one thing I try and make sure I always have time for. And even if that means waking up half an hour earlier, I do it.

Guest Blog Post CollageSo what do I make time for? Exercise. You know why? Because when I get a quick work out in every single day (or at least 5 times a week), I feel empowered, strengthened, and energized. I need that. I need those 20-30 minutes of just Vanessa time. I want to be a fit mom so I can keep up with my son. But that’s not my only reason.

I definitely don’t have that child who has slept through the night from six weeks on. In fact, he’s eleven months now and still wakes up at least once throughout the night. And let’s be honest right now. Sleepless nights suck. LIKE BIG TIME. It’s so easy to lose your focus on whom you really are and become super depressed and frustrated because lack of sleep will totally do that to you. There have been countless nights where I slept on the sofa or paced the living in circles trying to get a baby to sleep. But you know something I’ve always tried to do? Work out. That is something for ME. And the second I finish an intense kick butt work out, I feel as if anything can come against me today.

Some mornings I manage to finish my workout before Eli wakes up. Other mornings I’m jumping around him, lunging next to him, using him as a weight, and working on my workout while also trying to occupy him. Those mornings are challenging but just like anything else, I don’t give up because I love to see the results my body has made. It is incredible to watch the progress your body goes through. Seriously, you can do anything with your body as long as you keep up with it. The hardest thing for me is consistency because being a mommy definitely means your little routine you had before babies goes out of the window and everything changes. I’m a control freak so I’ve hMyMorning Routine*ad to learn to accept the changes that come with every single day. So now I wake up at 5:30am every day just to get a work out in before the little one wakes up. I want to be a strong mommy. I want to show my son that health and fitness are important.

Most of the times I just finish my workout, sweaty and all, and I hear Eli in the bedroom, awake. So I put my mommy smile on, open the door, and greet my sweet baby. Truth is I don’t really have a lot of time to fit my workouts in. I have a baby that needs mama. I have housework that needs to get done. I’m married to a Navy man so I’m mainly alone and parent solo. But I do what I can, when I can. And that makes me feel worth it. My baby comes first, BUT mama also needs to look after herself. And for me, working out feels good for my body and also does wonders for my mind!

Do something for you every day. You are worth it!

My Confession

So yesterday afternoon hubby took me on a date. Understand that a date is a HUGE thing
for us these days because it rarely happens. We both live 1,000 miles away from any family so we don’t have the privilege of having “free” babysitters. Also, he’s in the Navy so our time together is ALWAYS limited. And whenever we do get a chance to get out alone, we try and fit everything in about three hours before picking up the kiddo again. Well, yesterday we decided to do pretty much nothing and head to the beach. Because the beach is free entertainment, beautiful, relaxing, and why not tan while lounging around. Even though the beach wasn’t super packed, I realized something about myself.

I have low self-esteem. There, I said it.

I did not have the nerve to take my tank top and shorts off and swim in my swimsuit. I couldn’t do it. Even though the beach was practically empty, I felt way too insecure. I work out. I consider myself fit. And when I see other moms on the beach with stretch marks I want to cheer them on. I want to tell them “Good job mama! You are beautiful, gorgeous, perfect, and worth it!” But instead I tell myself my tummy is gross, wrinkly, and totally unattractive. I allow my mind to play all these lies and give in to every self-criticizing thought ABOUT ME!

YMy Confession (BLOG POST PIN)esterday evening I talked to a good friend of mine and she made the same comment. She can’t even get herself to make a trip to the beach/pool in anything less than sweat pants and an oversized shirt. I laughed at that statement but then thought about it for some time. Why are we ashamed? Why do we have to feel embarrassed? Now, I’m not all about ignoring weight issues. No. If you are unhappy with yourself because of weight problems and this is something you CAN control, get yourself into a work out routine. I’m talking about moms who are in great shape and feel fit but still feel embarrassed. We freaking carried babies. Our bodies were homes to another human being for nine months. STRETCH MARKS ARE OKAY! And hey, I’m definitely speaking to myself here on this one. I think everyone will look at me and judge me and then talk about me behind my back. But honestly, I don’t know that and that’s most likely not the case.

Moms, don’t be ashamed of your body. You are beautiful. You can put your mind to anything and can change your body. Pregnancy is a wonderful miracle, but let’s be real, it changes your body in so many different crazy scary ways. But it’s okay. We’re in this together. I admire you mamas who wear a bikini and actually rock it and feel like a freaking rockstar. Yay for you. I’m working on that and don’t know if I’ll ever get there. Maybe I need some inspiration and encouragement from you! 😉 Because the reality is I’m fit. I feel incredible. I look ten times better than I did before pregnancy. But those handful of silvery lines on my lower tummy freak me out.

My final point is DON’T hide yourself and make up all those lies about what you’re not. And remember, you can do anything with your mind as long as the mind is in the same place. And your babies need to see mama loves herself and is proud of the body she has!

You are worth it. ❤