Letter to My Kindergartner

On the BusI put you on the bus for your first day of kindergarten today. You were overall so excited, you were beaming; but I could still see some anxiety in your eyes. Could you see it in my eyes?

I question if I did enough for you.

Are you really ready? I know you’ll be fine with the work, but what about everything else? Have I prepared you enough to handle the mean girls on the playground? Are you confident enough with all your social manners? Are you confident enough with me to know you can come to me with anything? That I will always be here to guide you and support you with whatever you need?

I know I’m a good mom – that I’ve done the best I could with my situation – but I still question myself. I couldn’t spend as much time with you as I wanted because I had to work. Was the time I could get in enough? I had all these things planned that I wanted to do with my baby before going off to school, and there are still so many things left on the list we didn’t get to. It’s amazing to me how the rest of life can get in the way and suddenly you blink and the time has passed. Did we at least get through the right things?

There are so many things I want to teach you.

Things that should come from me and not someone at school. Did I build enough of a foundation for you? Did I give you the tools you need to make it through the rough waters of life? Are you confident in the morals of our family? Are you confident in yourself – do you truly believe that you have what it takes to do whatever you put your mind to? (Because you absolutely do!) That you are more than capable to take on this new world and all the crazy highs and lows that go with it? Do you feel a sense of obligation to yourself, your family, and your God to live in a way that honors your being and your roots?

Will you remember the talks we’ve had? Will you know when to run from strangers or from danger in general? Will you know when to run toward something great and push yourself to achieve the accomplishments you’re striving for? Will you take necessary chances to push yourself to new limits, or will you hide behind a wall of safety?

Do you know truly how very much I love you? How you are my very being?

Did I pack enough for lunch for you today?

A constant stream of questions filled my head as I watched you peacefully sleep last night. They choked themselves in my throat as you climbed those high steps into the big, scary bus that took you away from me, down the street and out of my view. I packed (and re-packed) your bag with your supplies for the day. I packed your body with healthy food to give you physical strength. I’ve packed in as many hugs and kisses as you would put up with (and then a few more anyway). Did I pack your early life with enough knowledge and special moments between us? Moments to carry you through the exciting journey ahead of you?

I put you on the bus for your first day of kindergarten today. And all I could do was stand helplessly on the side of the road, blowing a kiss as you entered a new phase of your life.

There’s no turning back.

Now, we just have to grow together and take what each day presents us one step at a time. I will be with you every step of the way, my baby. Know that I will always be there. Know that I did my best at the time. You are my everything. I am so proud of you. I love you.

Have a great day at school. I’ll be right here….

Love,
Mommy

Photo By: Silverpen Productions, LLC
Photo Copyright (c) 2015 by Silverpen Productions, LLC

Photos are not to be used without prior permission & license. 

Advertisements

Hey Moms – Ever Hear of Diastasis?

medium_8570833723Looking back on it now, there were so many things about pregnancy I didn’t know that I really wish I had! One of these was about diastasis. As with all women, my abs obviously stretched out while I was pregnant. After I had my baby, I noticed a line in the lower part of my stomach, right under the belly button. As I began to lose the weight, the line didn’t go away. In fact, it seemed like one side was actually lower than the other. I thought it was just a gross fat thing and that I just needed to do more cardio, but after discussions with a few friends in the fitness industry, they said that it might in fact be diastasis recti.

Diastasis recti is actually a protective response that often happens during the 5th month of pregnancy. The abs will split apart in the center since that area has less surface area to stretch. The split happens to help prevent the area from excessively stretching. However, if this occurs, the new mom should be focusing on specific exercises to help close the diastasis and shorten the abs back to their pre-pregnancy state. Without these exercises, the abs may not come fully back together and/or may come back together lopsided.

Typically, a postpartum plan* should first focus on the transverses abs and pelvic floor strengthening. Once these areas have begun to heal, you should then focus on closing the diastasis recti. During this time, it’s important to stay away from exercises that require a strain on the rectus abs (the center). This includes exercise or movements that require you to lift your head and shoulders off the ground and/or lifting both legs up in the air. (So don’t jump right into those sit-ups!) Once the diastasis is fully closed, then you can move on to more advanced ab work.

Be patient with yourself and don’t rush it. Debbi Goodman, MSPT,** states, “On average it takes most women (even extremely fit women) approximately 6 months to 1 year to regain full integrity of the abdominals. So, this is a slow process and one that should not be rushed. Advancing abdominal strengthening too quickly can jeopardize the joining of the recti and leave women with a central weakness.”

It can be frustrating waiting to get your body back, but trust me, it will be much more frustrating to have it heal incorrectly!

I know those first few months postpartum are so exhausting and finding the time for yourself sometimes seems impossible. But if you can, it is so worth it to work with a professional trained in these postpartum exercises to help you through and to make sure you are doing it the right way to properly heal your body. You could either work one on one with someone that has this specialty, or look for an ab rehab type of class or postpartum specific Pilates class taught by a qualified instructor. It will definitely be worth it in the long run, and at least this will be one thing that you won’t have to say, “I wish I knew….” for!

 

*It is important to talk with your doctor about any exercise program before starting. Be sure to discuss with him/her first!

**Debbi Goodman, MSPT is a licensed manual physical therapist with specialties in women’s health, dance medicine, and sports medicine. Debbi has had a private women’s health/orthopedic practice in New York City, and since moving to the Albany, NY area in 2004, she has developed a private practice in the Capital District. Debbi is one of the few physical therapists trained in internal evaluation and treatment of the pelvic floor muscles. In addition, she is specifically skilled in treatment of pregnancy problems including: sciatica, back/neck pain, pelvic pain and rib pain, and postpartum problems including: cesarean section recovery, urinary incontinence, pelvic/vaginal pain and post-delivery scars. Debbi teaches continuing education workshops for physical therapists, trainers and Pilates instructors focusing on exercise during pregnancy, and she is an instructor for prenatal and postpartum group fitness classes.

Source: Postpartum Recovery: Helping New Moms Get Their Bodies Back by Debbi Goodman in Pilates Pro

Another Interesting Article: Bigger Postpartum Challenges Than Just Baby Weight, by Sarah Nassauer in The Wall Street Journal

Photo Credit: Kit4na via photopin cc

Letter to My Younger Self – It’s Not Perfect

medium_4698434786Hi, it’s me. Just thought I should check in. I know you’re busy right now. College classes, shows, activities, friends – you’re having a blast, aren’t you?

I know you’re thinking ahead – thinking about the “adult world” and having a family. Looks like a great plan, doesn’t it? Finish college. Get a job. Find the perfect husband. Have the perfect wedding. Buy the perfect house, and have 3 kids running around all while you keep your career, do your hair every morning, and all before you’re 30.

It won’t be perfect.
I’m not trying to shatter your dreams, because it’s not necessarily a bad thing. I just want to warn you – It isn’t perfect. You can’t control who you fall in love with. The first house ends up being a lot more work than it seemed like it would. And you won’t get pregnant right when you want. In fact, it will end up being such an ordeal that you will almost be at the point of giving up. But don’t – it will happen. And when it finally happens, you’ll be a lot older than you hoped, but you’ll be ecstatic. You’ll treasure each moment so much more. You’ll be in complete awe of everything miraculous. Everything you will ever need in life will be wrapped in that little, tiny blanket in the hospital that day. But it still won’t be “perfect.”

You’ll be tired.
So. Very. Tired.
You’ll have feelings of extreme inadequacy. There will be many days that you won’t do your hair. Some days, you won’t even shower. It took so long to get the 1 kid, that the thought of 3 will go right out the window.

You are going to do a good job.
You’re a great mom and you find your way, but you will have moments of extreme Mommy guilt. You’ll feel like no matter how much time you spend with her, it won’t be enough. You’ll feel like this precious preschool time is just slipping away from you before you even get to experience it and you’ll want to hold on to each moment as tightly as you possibly can. You’ll try desperately to do anything you can to slow things down, to do it all right. You’ll make mistakes – you’re human – but you’ll do a lot of things right too. And you and her will have an incredible bond that will pull on your heart every time you look at her.

You won’t have the career you thought you would – at least not yet. You’ll feel torn by that one for a while – on one hand, you want to be home with her as much as possible to take full advantage of these precious first few years. On the other hand, you want to show her that women can do anything they set their minds to. They can be a great mom and still have a passion outside the home they can follow successfully. After a while struggling with it, you’ll realize that you’ll still have plenty of time to follow your outside passion later. For now, you’ll follow your heart’s passion and find a way to make it all about her.

You’ll be content knowing that you are doing all you can, but you will still feel like you’re making mistakes. Just remember that you’re doing a great job. Everyone can see what a fantastic kid she is. She’s so smart and playful. Imaginative, inquisitive, creative, strong, funny, and kind. And that’s because of you – she learned that from you! She doesn’t know that you’re making mistakes. She just knows that you’re mom – Super Mom in her eyes. You can see it every time she looks at you. And she’s happy and so full of love. Your heart will melt every time your eyes meet, and your soul will fly every time you hear her laugh.

No, it will not be perfect.

But the thing is, when you look at her,
It Is.

 

Photo Credit: Www.CourtneyCarmody.com/ via photopin cc

Tips for Dads with Daughters

Saw this post on Life to Her Years the other day and absolutely loved it.  It is so right on!!
So in honor of the upcoming Father’s Day, I am posting it here for all the dads out there with little girls. And also for all the girls out there who love their dads!

Happy Father’s Day!

dad and baby

 

50 Rules for Dads With Daughters

1. Love her mom. Treat her mother with respect, honor, and a big heaping spoonful of public displays of affection. When she grows up, the odds are good she’ll fall in love with and marry someone who treats her much like you treated her mother. Good or bad, that’s just the way it is. I’d prefer good.

————————————————————

2. Always be there. Quality time doesn’t happen without quantity time. Hang out together for no other reason than just to be in each other’s presence. Be genuinely interested in the things that interest her. She needs her dad to be involved in her life at every stage. Don’t just sit idly by while she adds years to her life… add life to her years.

————————————————————

3. Save the day. She’ll grow up looking for a hero. It might as well be you. She’ll need you to come through for her over and over again throughout her life. Rise to the occasion. Red cape and blue tights optional.

———————————————

4. Savor every moment you have together. Today she’s crawling around the house in diapers, tomorrow you’re handing her the keys to the car, and before you know it, you’re walking her down the aisle. Some day soon, hanging out with her old man won’t be the bees knees anymore. Life happens pretty fast. You better cherish it while you can.

————————————————————

5. Pray for her. Regularly. Passionately. Continually.

 

Finish reading (and see the great pictures that go along with it!) at: http://lifetoheryears.com/50rules
One of the best posts I’ve seen in a long time and well worth the read!

 

Photo Credit: Solis Invicti via photopin cc

Recipe Corner: Sunshine Booster Smoothie

I saw this fun recipe the other day – It seemed like a perfect, refreshing drink to celebrate the weather finally getting somewhat “Springy” out!

The mega health benefits of the pineapple mixed with some super anti-inflammatory ingredients make this a great drink for the whole family all summer long.  Lots of fun ways to put a twist on it too.  We would love to hear what your favorite way to make this drink is!

Happy Almost Summer! 🙂

 

Pineapple Smoothie

Photo by: Jennifer Kass

Ingredients Needed:

Frozen pineapple
Coconut water
Ginger
Turmeric
Lime juice

Click here for recipe originally posted on Well & Good NYC