I haven’t forgotten about blogging, let’s just say, I’ve been tremendously busy. Leela is now 9 months old and crawling everywhere. Reeyan has had a ‘speech spurt’, he’s suddenly talking a whole lot more and the house is now an incredibly noisy place. So much has happened and there have been many parental skills and health practices that I have come to understand in these few months. I wish to share….
Commencing with the beauty of bringing up babies. I have become a really relaxed mother, I now feel a sense of security and confidence in growing children, particularly when I am on my own. Roy is a typical working dad and unfortunately spends only a few hours during the week with us. So I have been, in affect, a single mum for 75% of the time. I have my amazing parents who enjoy spending a few hours a week with the children whilst I recoup and carry out other chores of maintaining a household. And then there is nursery, which Reeyan attends two afternoons a week, giving me plenty of ‘Leela time’. STRUCTURE to the week has not failed, its predictable and I can plan everything else around it.
Leela is still a champion napper and Reeyan has started to enjoy watching his favourite cartoons (on repeat, every morning). I have not been afraid to let Reeyan watch TV, I read with him, he plays – when he wants to, but he is so in love with the CBeebies ‘Bing Bunny’ that I had to purchase the whole series. He can say what he wants now, something that I was longing for when he was a baby. There is no harm in a little bit of TV, especially when I can have him distracted for just the morning, whilst I continue to keep all household aspects together. With the energy of an overactive two year old, that big shiny box, happens to be a lifesaver on rainy days. Unfortunately, there will be some doubt and I think it’s the psychologist in me. I have noticed that he forms an association with food and TV (and going out in the stroller, coming home from the park, travelling in the car and more..) the words ‘food’ ‘health’ and ‘toddler’ start to niggle at me. I find that sometimes I choose the easy option, but what’s wrong with that? It keeps him quiet and me happy. Well, I have started to change that and boy – have there been tantrums. They have been loud and squeaky; there has been tears and snot but my one-month-short of two year old, is learning and so am I.
Food and health has taken a huge leap in priority now that I spend much of my time at home. I am in charge of what I give my child to eat just as I am in charge of what goes into my tummy. Stating the obvious – I know, but this is something I would never have thought about had I not had children. I try to cook as often as possible but unfortunately, the word ‘time’ has been my fall-back and so I have found myself relying on marks and sparks meals oh and mum. One aspect that has fully governed the way I eat is the whole notion of counting and burning calories. Calorific intake has never been so controlled. I recently bought a Fitbit, the best piece of bling ever, which monitors my daily steps. It has encouraged me to exercise at least five days a week and to simply keep as active as possible. On the other hand I have also learnt about portion size and eating appropriately for the day. That may seem like gobbledygook to some, what I mean is that I have learnt that our body’s metabolic state is the most efficient in the morning. So whilst you may be tucking in to your cereal or toast, I am having my largest meal of the day – which on the odd occasion amounts to less calories than a bowl of cereal! (I’ve got to say a big thank you to friends who are personal trainers – for their input on this!)
I recently tore the meniscus in my left knee. As part of getting back my fitness, I knew that I had to incorporate some aspects of cardio into my exercise regime. Cue – T25. Now, I don’t know how familiar you are with this but it is a gruelling fitness video made by the beachbody team in the USA. I was on week six when I felt a tweak in my knee. I was gutted. I dived into a bag of crisps that evening and went through all my menstrual cycle emotions in one sitting (poor Roy). I felt like I had sacrificed everything to have these beautiful children and all I wanted back was my fitness. Hindsight, maybe there was a tad overreaction. In the voice of Beyonce, if life gives you lemons – make lemonade and so I worked around a torn meniscus. I have started to strengthen my quadriceps and hamstrings. I was worried that I couldn’t get that high-energy workout that I so loved and then I remembered that spinning wasn’t high impact! I try to attend group cycle classes at least once a week and I use the bikes even if no class is happening. I have also been introduced to PiYo another video by beachbody which is simply Pilates and yoga. I am still very far off the target for my ideal fitness but I am working on it. I have taken full note that exercise and eating is a huge part of my life and I love it!
So take home message:
If it keeps him occupied and you sane – TV for toddler all the way keeping an eye on those food associations. Look after yourself and then you can take care of the world!