I know, I know, it’s been a minute. You’ll be happy to know that I’ll be getting back into a regular posting schedule after my four-week hiatus.
If you follow me on social media, you know that I recently returned home from vacation to Mexico with some of my closest friends. We had been planning the trip for almost a year. I think at the beginning we all said it but not sure if we could actually bring it to fruition. I am so happy that we did. The last vacation I went on was to Kauai, Hawaii with my family over two-years ago. I was 17 weeks pregnant at the time and was at an awkward stage of being uncomfortable, not noticeably pregnant and not able to drink. Needless to say, this time around I was excited to have my pregnancy behind me and let lose.
We booked the trip in the early fall of 2018 and made it real. We had committed. My first obstacle was to prepare myself physically to be able to spend a week in a bikini. I had some lofty goals before I would personally feel confident in a bathing suit. I had reached an all-time non-pregnancy high with my weight and it had put my confidence jeopardy. Even with all the challenges ahead, I had something very exciting to look forward to.
I immediately started working on my fitness and nutrition and had great success early on. You know the deal; exercise every day, eat more natural foods, less snacking, etc. I stayed committed even on the weeks I made no progress at all on the scale. My diet wasn’t always perfect, but 95% was great in my books.
Two weeks prior to vacation I reached the lowest weight I have been in over three years. It wasn’t my ultimate goal, but I was proud to say I had lost 25 lbs. I can say now after having shed the weight that I am not looking at the number on the scale. My fitness goals are no longer based on a metric in pounds, but in functionality, strength, endurance and competitiveness. I could and will write an entire piece on this at some point. My perception of what being “fit” means has changed so much in the last six months.
As I lost weight, my confidence was boosted along with my outlook on life. As so many of us have experienced, it’s hard to overstate the benefit that regular exercise has on your mind set. You start to feel different almost instantly.
Our vacation slowly crept up and before we knew it, we were days away from taking off. I started to wonder how I would feel on vacation and being away from Emelia. I had some waves of guilt and questions I could not get out of my mind. Was I being a bad parent for enjoying myself without her? How much would she change while we were gone? Would she miss us?
The day I dropped her off with her grandparents was difficult. I was overwhelmed with emotions as I walked out the door and hopped into my car. I can’t tell you how many times I wanted to turn the car around and go back for one more hug. I quickly realized that would not help her transition. It was more to make me feel better. So, on my way I went to finish getting packed.
The following day we did our last-minute packing and the feelings of guilt were still looming. When our group met up for the first time at the airport and went through security we almost immediately started talking about our babies. Conor had to keep reminding us that there was more to talk about than our kids. We couldn’t help wondering what they were up to and how they were doing. As we boarded the plane the conversation quickly changed to the amazing trip we were about to have. The guilt slowly started slipping away and I started to relax.
Just like every flight, we had a few hiccups and delays but finally arrived at our resort around 10pm. We got settled in our rooms and ventured out to enjoy the rest of our evening. By this time the guilt had almost completely disappeared. It was then that I knew I had not made any mistakes about leaving her at home. She was in great hands with her amazing and loving grandparents. They had been looking forward to spending this time with her for as long as I had been looking forward to the vacation.
We spent our days eating, drinking, singing, enjoying the pool, watching spring breakers and venturing off the resort to see what kind of trouble we could get into. The answer?? Just kidding fellow vacationers, our secrets are safe. As enjoyed our vacation, I started to learn a few lessons about myself:
First, I am fun.
After becoming a parent, I began to wonder if I could still be the fun person I was before. Ironically, since having Emelia, Conor and I probably get out more than ever before but the inevitable task of parenting the next day will haunt you like a vicious ghoul. The hang-xiety is real people!
It was liberating for me to realize that I have not lost my fun side. I would go as far as to say I am more fun now than I was just two or three years ago. Not only did I keep up with the rest of the crew, I had a few moments where I was leading. Sometimes when you’re parenting you forget that the person you were before is still in there somewhere. I encourage you to let that person back out every now and then. You just might surprise yourself 🙂
Second, I am not just a mom.
There are many rolls that I fill when I am at home, but being a mom tends to overshadow the others. I am a fun, adventurous, outgoing and loving wife. Seeing as it was a group trip, we obviously did not spend an entire week alone, but my husband and I were able to unwind and enjoy the trip together. We spent time snuggling, getting ready together and dancing up a storm. A few of the things we don’t often get as much time to do. Since our move to Toronto last year, Conor has been working tirelessly to bring his vision to life while still being a doting and outgoing father and husband. It’s rare, but it was great to see him take his mind off of his responsibilities and just enjoy.
I am also a friend to the group of people I surround myself with. At home, life gets in the way and time with friends goes by the wayside. This is never something that happens on purpose, it just happens. Our trip together was amazing and I couldn’t have chosen a better group to spend a week with (those who couldn’t be there know who they are and were sorely missed). We were able to spend time together not talking about work, kids and all of life’s challenges. It was the highlights of the night prior and who sang the best. These are the memories I will never forget. That’s right! Our shameless dance moves will forever be etched in my memory! And in videos I found on my phone when we arrived back home…
Third, I am a better mom when I am happy.
We all have our challenges and I know for me personally I sometimes let them eat me alive. Prior to vacation I started to overcome mine and the trip was perfect timing. I was on my upswing and it brought me to a place I haven’t been in a while. The months of hard work at the gym had me in a better place mentally and allowed me to just be present and have fun. I also know that I can not be the best parent when I am not mentally at my best. The time away has brought me back a more refreshed and happier mom. I have an extra spring in my step and am excited to watch my little girl grow and learn.
It doesn’t have to be an elaborate vacation or getaway. We all just need to remember the value of me time and giving yourself a parenting break. Not to mention the importance of regular fitness and exercise. These things are essential to a balanced life.
Sometimes just looking forward to a little time to be yourself is enough to keep you going on the difficult days. Whether you’re covered in spit-up and poop, or drowning in work or anything else that brings you down, remember under all of that is still a fun and amazing person with endless potential. Don’t let life wash away your shine.
It feels great to be back! Stay tuned for more.
Until next time!