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What to do if it’s just not your season

Ganley children
‘Tis the season of motherhood over here — my little loves, Analisa, Robby and Bridget

As many of you know — especially if you read this blog regularly! — my husband and I welcomed a baby in mid-November.

Bridget is our third, and we are so delighted to have her as part of the family. In some ways, it’s like she’s always been with us. Just the other day, I asked myself, “How has she only been here 11 weeks?”

Man, 11 weeks. Think about how SHORT that is, in the grand scheme of things. She didn’t even exist (earth side, at least), as of Halloween 2022. Very surreal! 🤣

Anyway, I had a relatively easy pregnancy, and I only gained about 15-20 pounds. I guess I have to thank the gestational diabetes for that — not being able to enjoy much sugar or many carbs; and of course, I abstained from alcohol because that’s just what you do … so it meant no extra calories from cookies, bread or wine (which are usually some of my favorite things!)

I most certainly gained less weight this time around, than I have in the past. And that SHOULD be a good thing, right? Less gained, less to lose?

The day before Bridget was born

I am pretty eager to return to my (hot hot hot) yoga class, get into a good walking regimen, maybe lift some weights or initiate a new routine with my kettlebell, which was my go-to during the pandemic.

There just hasn’t been any time. I’ve struggled with that, a bit.

And I don’t have that many pounds to shed, if any. I’m right back where I was in early 2022, pre-baby #3, according to the scale. But this isn’t intended as a brag. My body still doesn’t feel very firm, and I have some work to do, so there are definitely some goals I’d like to accomplish: A tighter mid-section, achieving more strength, more muscle definition, etc.

The scale doesn’t always tell the full story, as you likely know! 🙂

In fact, I got into a bathing suit a few weekends ago, and I tried to give myself grace, still being very postpartum and all — but like I said … I’m not quite where I’d like to be.

The whole thing got me thinking, especially when it comes to TIME and timing: Maybe it’s just not my season.

At least, not yet.

As much as I’d LOVE to get back to that hot yoga class 5-7 days a week (which is where I was before I got pregnant), I don’t think it’s in the cards for me right now.

As much as I’d love to get back to some of the aspects of my gestational diabetes diet (low-carb, high protein, minimal sugar actually left me feeling pretty good!), I’m not sure that’s in the cards for me, either.

Lactating makes me HUNGRY — hungrier than I’ve ever been, times 10, and I don’t always have time these days to meal-prep and grocery shop and do all the work I did while pregnant … I have a family of 5, a full-time job and some things to catch up on! — so I hate to be all excuses on this front, but the diet change might have to wait, too.

I know, of course, that you can make time for things that your really want. But that’s just not where my priorities are.

I was recently feeling frustrated by all this, and then I remembered something I had heard once. Something to the effect of, “It’s just a season.”

Meaning, life is a series of seasons.

And I don’t mean just winter-spring-summer-fall.

There are seasons of good, seasons of joy. Seasons of heartache, transition and struggle.

I remember crying right after I had my son, because he was THE most reflux-y baby of all time. He was what the doctors called a “happy spitter,” meaning he was still gaining weight just fine; there was no need to medicate him. But I’ll be darned if that wasn’t the most frustrating thing in the world, at the time. I’d spend all this time pumping him milk (as he had feeding difficulties), all for him to vom it back onto my shirt, 10 minutes after taking a bottle. I wailed to my mom on the phone one day, “I can’t live like this forever!” And she reminded me, gently of course because she’s the best, “But it WON’T be forever. It’s just a season.”

Somehow, that helped.

It’s true especially with motherhood — one day you wake up, and the thing that had been stressing you out for weeks is just DONE.

When we stress and panic, I think we tend to forget that things don’t last forever.

And that’s what’s beautiful and also bittersweet about life. Things don’t last. The good times sometimes don’t last. But the hard times don’t stick around forever, either.

The baby analogy works here, too. Bridget, who is also a bit of a spitter-upper, won’t throw up in my hair forever. (Phew! I need that reminder lately). But she’ll also never be 11 weeks again. I’ll look back at these pictures someday and have a hard time remembering what these days were even like, how we kept busy, what her laugh sounded like, because time is fleeting and I already feel this way with my older two. Some moments are so precious, I wish I could bottle them up.

Nothing lasts.

Life is a series of seasons.

So, that was a long-winded way of reminding anyone else who’s in a difficult season: Whether it’s new motherhood or something else entirely — you won’t feel like this forever.

If it’s not a great season for hot yoga classes or healthy eating or religious calorie tracking, just let it be.

Do what you can.

I will.

I’m going to aim for baby steps — skipping dessert on weeknights, eating the pizza but a reasonable portion of the pizza rather than the 8 slices I’d like, perhaps opting for mushrooms instead of pepperoni as my topping, sticking with water instead of pop, etc.

It can’t be an “all or nothing” mentality. Or it’s never going to click.

After all, baby steps might be small, but they’re still steps, and they’re absolutely steps forward. If I keep making small tweaks, those will add up over time. And they’ll put me in a position where, when I *am* ready to return to hot yoga and overhaul the rest of my diet, maybe the stage will be set for my success.

All we can do is tackle what’s in front of us. Make it manageable. Make it obtainable. If life is in your way, shoot for small. It’s better than nothing!

I would most definitely rather soak in the baby cuddles, than sculpt the perfect body right now, regardless of how I happen to look in a bathing suit.

I’ll have time for yoga another day, but I’ll never get back this random Monday that I have with my (almost!) 3-month-old baby.

Bridget, at 11 weeks

Perspective is key. Don’t lose sight of what’s important. It’s all a balancing act. Life’s a marathon and not a sprint, or whatever they say.

Do what you can, there’s always tomorrow, and I hope you’re in a beautiful season at the moment — but if you’re not, just know that you’re not alone. Baby steps do count, and I’m with you in solidarity.

Maybe it’s not even that deep, from where you sit. Perhaps it’s not financially your season, or something else entirely. I think this could be applied in many walks of life!

I realize this was a little rambly today (reflective of the chaos swirling in my brain!), but I’m hoping if anyone can relate, that this resonated with at least one of you! 🙂

Until next time, Michelle

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