Friday, 24 November 2017

Having Children and Having Your Career

Do you ever feel so torn between your career and being a mum? Or the amount of guilt you feel because you want to do something or even one thing for yourself whilst being mummy?

I do.....

I read an article the other day from Fergie the pop singer (in the dailymail) and it just caught my attention and I really felt I could relate to some of the things she mentioned...She started the article off with this statement;
"As a woman... the men can have all the career in the world and still have children. If you're a mum and you have a career... it's the mummy shaming: you can't do that anymore, you're a mum!."

This really saddens me... the amount of intensity and loneliness us a mums already go through transitioning from an independent ambitious woman to then becoming a mummy- where your life goes on hold for that first year/two/ten years/ever and then you hear 'mummy shaming'... *sad face*
 Luckily I actually do not come across 'mummy shaming', I actually come across ' How the f**k do you parent full time and work self employed WITH NO NANNY' .... that in itself literally says 'Career out the window...- because it is hard... however it is possible- I am doing it and so are a lot of other mummies!'

She then pulls me in even more as she mentions about her first time leaving her child to go to the studio and was in floods of tears.... now how many people can relate to this? ... definitely me
I remember the first time I left Carter (my first) I was crying so much.. and even with Jaxton-Black(11 month old) I cried and cheered at the same time hehe- second time round is definitely a little bit different because there is no breathing you do look forward to breathing/going toilet on your own hehe. Leaving your kids is very hard but I do believe it can be healthy for you and for them to an extent, however some have no choice which I completely understand too...

Fergie (pop singer) then quoted;

"What am I supposed to do? I love singing and dancing. It is who I am as a human."

This I can incredibly relate too.... Incredibly relate too. I absolutely love my career- I love helping women through their pregnancy and postpregnancy- it is who I am but I obviously adore my babies too. Men or even just the one with the biggest income' can actually have the best of both worlds' but just because you do not bring in the most money does that mean you career should take the backseat? Your career is just as important- it is you.... and what if your career actually has the potential to be big? Of course your babies will always be your number one but you are allowed to be you too...
I think us mothers put a lot of guilt on ourselves- too much guilt... when we are entitled to have a life too.. ' A Happy Mummy- A Happy Home' and I truly believe that.

I remember having my first baby boy; Carter. I did literally give up my career and it made me feel like shit. I felt I had lost my identity- the person I were, I remember having really down days. So this time round I have pushed my career even more and kept myself in the loop and returned to work much quicker. To be honest I do look forward to work it's actually a little break/a refresher, when I train my clients/teach my classes I feel like Kimmy and not just mummy'mummy..hehe...

With my work growing and becoming more demanding- time is needed and not just the time when I put my babies to sleep because there is a lot of times I actually pass out with them or sacrifice my time with my hubby...- the mum life hey...
So I have decided to make a plan of action and get some help with my 11 month old whilst my elder goes to preschool mon-weds...
However.....have I made it happen.... nope... why? because I feel blimen guilty... I feel I am the best for him, I want to be with him...... But in all honesty I need some help.... I basically run this ship by myself as hubby does hours from 6am-9pm tues-fri and half day sat- and my parents unfortunately do not live local and plus they are quite old.

I believe there are a lot of women out there just like me... torn between having their kids and their career- it is very hard. I think we need to find a balance.. maybe a good 2-3 days of work?... you are allowed your own life too.
We sacrifice so so much... I believe we need to be a little kind to ourselves. Having your first child is a massive life changing situation- mostly for the woman. I would say it takes at least a year to actually get in the swing of being a mummy....
If you are passionate about your career why not have both?! Make it happen- and that goes to myself too... this mummy is on it!


Sunday, 5 November 2017

Can I plank after pregnancy?

Lets jump straight to it.... should you plank after pregnancy?

No.... to my Knowledge/Research/My Opinion.... No you should not plank straight after pregnancy... Not until your body is strong enough to hold your own bodyweight' with good technique... i.e at least 9 months post-pregnancy to be on the safe side

My first forward-facing plank; 11 months postpartum
What is a plank exercise?
As you can see above it is a bodyweight exercise that your whole body holds itself as stiff as a board primarily targeting your core- the muscles that connect your upper and lower body as well as your shoulders, arms and glutes.

Now I want you to think about getting your post pregnancy body into a plank position.... this would mean you are basically holding most of your bodyweight on your postpartum core- your tummy and back- AFTER 40 weeks (plus or less) of pregnancy!
Look at my body below... does my body look like it could hold it self strongly in my core? no it doesn't and most women's body won't. I wouldn't even recommend to the most fittest of women' to plank through their postpartum journey. I would consider myself to be quite/very fit and strong and I have only just started to front-face-plank and I am 11 months postnatal from my second child.
After 9 months of your abdominals stretching, muscles weakening, joints' loosening, your spine alignment changing to suit your growing uterus, Do you really think your core is ready to hold most of your bodyweight?...

This is my early postnatal body.. Do I look ready to plank? My uterus is still quite enlarged which takes at least 6 weeks to go down after birth, you can see I clearly have no abdominal strength and you can even see I have hardly any strength in my glutes/arms/shoulders and mostly a weak back too.  
Take a look at the requirement from a plank exercise' ...Your entire body faces horizontally down holding yourself up with your forearms/shoulders and toes meaning that your whole body from your toes to your shoulders are basically depending on your abdominals... Sounds kind of ouch right?... Now we all know what our postpartum tummy is like... a hanging/loose tummy- whether its skin or muscle we have all experienced it....I remember in my first post-pregnancy recovery I turned to my side in bed and my tummy just hung to the side too... and its blimen normal- you have just grown and carried a baby. However, allowing your tummy to just hang exposed in that plank position will cause you more damage than good- even if you can hold it for a hour.

Look at my early postpartum-body- if I started planking I could tell you what kind of tummy I would have now.. a very similar kind to that early postnatal picture above and most likely with diastasic recti (abdominal separation) too. Unfortunately this tummy shaping post birth is very common and it could happen to you or it is you- not just because you planked but maybe because you wanted a quick fix instead of the appropriate journey.
Planking too early post-birth can deform your postnatal tummy muscles because you really do too much pressure inappropriately on your abdominals that are already over stretched and out of shape. Planks do not focus on shortening the abdominals and focus on strengthening the transverse abdominis muscles. Planks focus on holding your bodyweight on your core so you ideally need to have strength prior to planking and you definitely need to know how to engage with your abdominal muscles.

So when can I plank?

I would advise that you plank when you are able to;

  • Connect with your transverse abdominis muscles 
  • When you can prevent your tummy muscles from hanging' (abdominal engagement)
  • When you have 1 finger or less gap between your abdominal muscles 
  • When you are able to stay out of your lower back
  • When you can comfortably hold your tummy without your tummy doming' (i.e tummy tensed in a point shape out)

This is when you can start to plank....And when you do start to plank focus on technique rather than how long you can hold it for.
 I have only just started to forward face plank and I am 11 months postnatal.. even when I teach my abdominal classes in my early postpartum journey I would demonstrate and not participate because it was too much for me and I didn't want to cause damage.

Now is the time more than ever to invest in yourself...
I run a 6 month postnatal- myMummyFitness journey that will guide your through a safe and effective recovery to provide you with appropriate exercises to help strengthen and rebuild you postpartum body. Strengthening your body to the mumma needs' and get your sexy on not back! You are totally allowed to invest in yourself. Join now and email me we can do this together;

myMummyFitness journey 
myMummyFitness journey  

Myself with my two boys
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