Postpartum Goal Setting

Here we are at six months. I’ve never experienced so many different things in a six month span, and adding COVID to it was just an enhancement of what we know as “all the things”. I’m a sucker for goal setting and I realize that some of it is personality trait, but regardless of who you are goals can be really positive and motivating concepts. They don’t have to be stringent, they can be far more general, but they are good markers for progress especially as I am learning you adapt to a new body, a new lifestyle, a new world entirely.

I am no expert on postpartum or postpartum goal setting, but I am hoping the next few paragraphs and bullet points will help you establish a base of good mental health and motivating yet practical goals in this season.

So here are a few goals I set for myself:

  • While I am breastfeeding, eat as much as I felt hungry for without calorie counting.
  • Lose 70% of the weight I had gained in the first 6 months
  • Get to double digits in mileage by six months
  • Go to counseling for the first 12 weeks (at least)
  • Find other moms who are newly out of the season that I could be open and honest with

Did I hit all of these exactly? No. Did I give myself extra grace? In some moments yes, in some moments no. As a c-section it was tough having a baby the exact week everything locked down – no one to come over, bring meals, hold your baby (with the exception of my parents). So you have to pull yourself up by your bootstraps and get it done. Maybe that helps build stamina, and in some of those moments it helps to be an enneagram 8 whom has the most energy of all other personality types. But it’s neither here nor there it’s all hard, but God equipped mothers for their specific situations and timing – YOU CAN DO IT.

The pandemic absolutely helped me slow down as it has for most, and it helped me not push where I might have been tempted too, so with all the challenges it also has allowed for slower moments and not missing out on these major milestones of the first year. So YOU CAN DO IT and YOU CAN STOP.

So here are a few things I have learned, they might seem standard or cliche, but as a woman who can read advice and God-breathed truth and breeze right by it the more you say it, the more you hear it, the more you start believing it. I hope this is for someone.

  1. There is NO set timeline for how your postpartum journey should be. Have you suffered from PPD or breastfeeding vs not breastfeeding, c-section vs natural delivery it all makes a difference in our recovery, on top of the fact we are all vastly different people to begin with.
  2. You can set lofty goals but listen to your body! If its causing pain (actual pain – being uncomfortable and sore is different), then stop and rest, but don’t be afraid to gently push yourself when things are feeling good.
  3. Put your mental health first. For me, eating and weight loss were something I made sure to talk through with
  4. Stop googling random things, I read so many “all-natural mommy blogs” during pregnancy and I realized a lot of them were so siphoned into one particular way it was stressful and not realistic. I am sure the intentions were fine, but when I really wanted information I went to trusted medical sources such as the American Academy of Pediatrics or the WHO for postnatal care. Don’t @ me.
  5. Sleep reigns over workouts and what foods you eat. Not saying those aren’t important, but I have a sleep tracker on my arm and even at 6+ months PP I am still not quite getting enough restful sleep. Even if you get up right before your first meeting – get the extra sleep at least in this season.

I hope this is helpful for someone! You are doing great mom, keep going.

Jordan

Babies First Beach Trip and Gulf Coast Miles

We celebrated our 5th wedding anniversary with what originally was planned to be a two week Hawaiian adventure, became a Pacific Northwest excursion with the surprise addition of E, which then settled to be a beach trip with the surprise addition of COVID. Then, Florida & Georgia couldn’t get their act together so we cancelled that beach trip. The week drew near and I felt disappointed, and then I felt guilty I was disappointed. There’s that cycle again. So the weekend before we made the decision to rebook a long weekend at the beach, we would spend a few hours just the two of us in the morning and then pick up E and head down to the gulf. I felt like a lot of the memories I so desperately wanted had to be thrown out the window, but his first beach trip before he got too big was something I wasn’t willing to sacrifice.

I was nervous about the car ride, E had done several 2 hour car rides but five and a half hours was a whole different animal. Jon and I hiked up in North Georgia that morning and then packed up the car, got E and were on our way. For two hours this babe was great, mainly he slept and I drove, then, we hit Alabama and the tides turned. He didn’t want to sit anymore so I headed to the back with him and coaxed him to calm down with applesauce, and some playtime. We got another 2 hours out of him and then it broke loose, we were crossing into Florida, it was way past his bedtime and I was VERY uncomfortable squished between his carseat and everything we had packed. Probably my least favorite 1.5 hours of his very short life.

But then – we made it and this child immediately passed out.

The next morning I couldn’t wait to get in some Florida flat miles. Unfortunately, the humidity coming from the storms headed in from the tropics was gruesome and while great for endurance training didn’t make for the most comfortable of runs. I settled for a 3.5ish point to point which thankfully ended at the Donut Hole, our family’s very favorite gulf coast breakfast spot.

After the running and the donut that followed we put the babe in his little big boy suit and headed to the sand and waves. It was as magical as my mind had dreamt it up, he put his little feet in the water with uncertainty and then a BIG smile, the sand was fun to kick up, and watching his face scan the horizon at all the new scenery was the childish wonder that I love.

The next day I tried to get out for a “long run” which was the first workout PP I ended up failing. It was a moment of disappointment but also hope. The run was humid and my body felt trashed from time changes and different food, but in that twisted way was an encouragement that I was at the point I was failing workouts again. Now, I don’t like to make a habit of it, but in the world of competitive running it happens.

We spent more beach time as we watched the outer bands of the tropical storm that was making its way towards the gulf started to churn the water and provide a shady covering, and then Jon let me do one of my favorite things. As he watched from our balcony I headed down towards the water as the waves were some of the biggest I had seen in the gulf. Also side note if you are not a strong swimmer I would not have made this choice, but I knew I could get some nice body surfing in – so for the next 30 minutes the waves battered me and threw me into the sand, and it was some of the best moments in this season. If you think that’s weird its okay.

On our last morning I took off with little man for a short one before packing up, we got donut hole to go with plenty of donuts and sat back for the mostly peaceful drive home. While it isn’t the most convenient to travel with a baby we are so glad we did. It gave us a breath, helped me change up training, and it’s helping teach Elijah what it is to adventure and see all this amazing creation around us.

Some of the things that made this trip great:

Until next time!