(This is a guest post from Jade Anna Hughes of From the Inside.)
My gosh, when I found out I was pregnant the first thing I started to do was to make resolutions. Stop smoking? Check. Stop drinking? Check. Make sure I drink 8 glasses of water? Check. It took me a few weeks to realize that 8 glasses did not actually mean 8 pint glasses… No wonder I spent the first two months of my pregnancy trying to find the closest restroom! Only eat organic vegetables and immediately stop eating my favorite-snack-of-all-time chips? Hmm. Half check allowed on that one?
I was determined to be super, super healthy, follow all protocols and make sure I only ate and drank what was recommended. Most of that (apart from the obvious) kind of went out of the window after a few weeks. Wasn’t this supposed to be the time to really, really enjoy eating? I was always on my feet at work, always hungry and my favorite meals was cheese quesadilla with a side of guacamole (handy seeing as I was working in a Mexican restaurant).
I grew up in France, what do you mean I can’t eat Brie?! Ok then, no Brie. I kept that resolution into my third trimester and then couldn’t stop eating Brie sandwiches. I figured if I bought the Brie myself and cut it myself and refrigerated it myself it would be fine, right? The nurse at the prenatal clinic asked me if I was getting someone else to change the cat litter while I was pregnant. Pregnant women shouldn’t go near cat litter! Hmm… Was wearing a mask ok? (I used it once). You don’t REALLY need to eat for two you know! Well, you know what? Peanut butter on an everything bagel is a perfectly good snack at any time of the day (or night), full of protein. And I still stand by that statement, pregnant or not pregnant!
I had many resolutions for the future. Pregnancy was only a temporary state of being and I had a (long) 41 weeks to plan out the next 18-20 years of all three of our lives. So many resolutions. I would never drink again and never, ever go anywhere near a cigarette EVER. Those two were pretty easy to keep – I’m still breastfeeding 8 months later and we want another child pretty close to our first, so I’m not really interested in drinking. I just need to think back to my not-so-distant past of whisky shots and hangovers to still shudder at the idea of that hell cumulated with the needs of a very loving but very demanding infant. And although it’s a little hard to avoid walking through clouds of smoke on the streets of NYC, it’s a great deterrent to ever wanting to smoke again. Those were the easy, and most important, resolutions.
What about that one resolution that I made to lose the 54 pounds I put on while pregnant in no time at all by eating a very healthy diet full of (only) fruit and veggies and grains? Did I miss the memo that during the first two months after having a baby it’s hard enough to remember to eat, let alone nip off down to the farmer’s market at the break of dawn to nab all the best veggies and then cook them into delicious meals? Ah no, pasta was my best friend during that time. I guess that other resolution about having 2 hour brisk walk every day was another silly one. I didn’t really think about the whole 95 degrees of humidity in the summer weather thing, did I? And then there was that resolution to not try on any new pairs of jeans until next spring because I would just leave the changing room in tears? I kept forgetting about that one, and I don’t understand why as I don’t even want to wear a pair of jeans. Leggings are so much easier to wash and dry!
What about all those resolutions I made for my daughter? I will never let her sleep in the swing at night! Third sleepless night in a row I gave in. No pots of pureed foods ever! She currently will only eat pureed green beans; everything else ends up on the table and down the bib, so there goes that resolution. Strict early bedtimes so she sleeps all night! Who was I to think that I would be the one to decide that?! We currently hover between 7pm and 11pm and my daughter is obviously as stubborn as me, but wins the battle every time. No TV EVER!! Hmm yes, and how am I supposed to ever watch my series then?! We will read books EVERY DAY! Wait, we actually do that one most of the time!! I could go on and on, and I know I am not the only one! There were days at the very beginning where I would be so exhausted but still refuse to give in, because, oh my gosh, I am going to be a disappointment to motherhood if I don’t follow all of those rules I set in stone!!
Nowadays I just have to laugh at most of these resolutions and at how serious I was about them all. The important ones I have kept to, but the rest were packed away as fast as my daughter’s newborn-sized clothes were. In the end we can make all these promises to ourselves, but the only important ones are that we do our best to keep smiling, be happy and healthy and make sure we keep our children happy and healthy.
And with that I shall go and enjoy that delicious bar of chocolate that is waiting patiently for me in the kitchen, and thank myself that we still don’t own scales. Not weighing myself til spring.