My Seasons #Motherhood

IMG_0809Here’s Part 1 of my motherhood story. It’s raw, uncut and perhaps not well articulated. But really that’s the beauty of online journalling, it doesn’t need to be perfect. And to be frank, I wrote this more for me as I way to put how I sometimes feel down on paper, as a way to show my readers that we all feel the same, all question ourselves and are always struggling to figure out where we fit in this world of motherhood.

Since becoming a mother, I find myself questioning my ability, my confidence, and my choices more and more. For me, motherhood changed me so much and I am not just speaking physically. My perspective, my goals and my views on how I want to live my life and the sorts of lessons I want to teach my little one. It changes everything. I am saying this in a positive way, so don’t read between lines or read that I am unhappy with those changes, no that isn’t it. That isn’t the point of this post. As I said my point may not be articulated properly …

Recently, after feeling a bit overwhelmed with the chaos of working full time, parenting and mothering a child who is in the heart of “toddlerdom”, pursuing a side fitness business, blogging, and much more I decided to join an Encouragement Café. Originally, I joined so that I could hear and read stories from women, who share my passion to do it all sharing about their challenges and struggles to also balance all these things that they just don’t want to let go. Even if their lives have changed or perspective have changed.  How many of us know people in our lives who go about their days, never openly admitting that life changes as a mother? I am open and honest about these changes. I love building a community to share and discuss.

For me, I do it all because that is who I am. That’s part of my identity, of my being. Who says that when you become a mother, you need to stop doing the things you love? I have always shared that I do these things because my daughter is my driving force. She watches, learns and admires the things I do and often shares in my excitement.

One of our worksheets from the Encouragement Cafe (by Dr. Ariane Machin) required us to reflect on our “changing seasons” (metaphorically speaking). And for me, I think that my seasons changed a lot when I became a mom. It’s interesting really. As I have grown into my role as a parent, as a mother to this beautiful little girl, I have become stronger, more aware of the impact of my actions and the lessons I want to teach my daughter. But as an adult, as a working professional, I have started to question myself and my abilities. It’s like I have lost a certain level of confidence that I use to have. How does one get that back? It hasn’t impact the quality of my work, but it certainly has impacted how I view myself as a working mom.

My metaphorical season represented a combination of a few seasons, perfectionism, confidence and self-worth. I believe that the three of these can often go hand in hand. For some of you, you know that I have struggled with letting go of this idea of perfectionism. I have an issue of setting unrealistic expectations (I know it is important to set high expectations) but I continue to set ones that I expect myself to always meet and/or those around me to always achieve. And usually, given these expectations I find myself easily disappointed or frustrated if I can’t meet the goals I have set.

I would say that the combination of these seasons does have an impact on my personal life, and my husband and I have spent many hours discussing these issues and that for some people in my life, they feel like they can never meet my expectations no matter how hard they try. In recent years, as I became a mother I felt that my level of confidence decreased as my need to strive for perfection also started diminishing. I find myself constantly questioning my self-worth, measuring myself against friends and online mommy profiles, Pinterest pins and social media posts. As an intelligent individual I understand that these posts are unrealistic and often people share only the happy positive side of things.

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But I can’t help but second guess my skill set and abilities, second guess how the world sees me (and at times even my daughter and my husband – who cannot reassure me enough of how important I am to the both of them, and how great of a mother and professional career woman I am).

My personality is one that requires a lot of positive reinforcement, it always has been this way for me, it’s like the need for acceptance. When I don’t get it, I find myself questioning why or replaying the issue over and over in my head.

My seasons make me feel stuck in times where others do not understand my perspective on the issues I have just shared. I feel stuck when I am surrounded by draining, and negative views when all I want to share and have in my life is positivity. I want to be surrounded by positive people, be in positive situations and this doesn’t mean that I can’t handle the situations that arise that are negative or trying, it just means that when something happens I like to search for the positive outcome.

I think overall the seasons have helped me achieve certain things professionally, and in many ways personally. Stay tuned as I dig deeper into my soul to share with you how I have changed throughout my #motherhood journey.

Group Fitness Instructor Training Apprenticeship Hours Complete

Now what?

What a journey.

 

I debated for a long time whether to add the apprenticeship hours to my already hectic life schedule. Like all moms I usually feel guilty spending time doing things for “me” when I could be spending that time with my daughter and my husband.  After much thinking,  I signed up and for three weekends I attended the YMCA class to learn the important steps for becoming a group instructor. Because in the big scheme of things three half days is not a lot if it means that I can complete my certification sooner and start teaching.

The programming for the hours is broken into three sections and each week you start to build on the section from the previous week. By the third class you are teaching your peers a good chunk of a group strength class. You start with the basics like warm ups and work your way through what is required for building a strength programming focused on the various muscle groups (working from big muscles to small ones).


At the beginning of the course I was super nervous and feeling anxious about putting on a microphone and standing in front of a small room of ladies to teach them my “program”. When I say my “program” it’s a mix of work outs/exercises that I have watched some of my favourite instructors teach over the years.

I don’t know what happened to me, but the moment that I put on the microphone, grabbed the weights and resistance bar — something clicked. I immediately felt confident and no longer outside of my “comfort zone”.  I explained to my peers that this sort of thing is so different from my day-to-day job, or anything I imagined I would take on (despite always being an active and fit individual). I am not saying there were not moments were I forgot a segment or that I had to readjust my weights or angle to ensure proper form — it was NOT PERFECT.

But ….

I am looking forward to what’s to come in terms of completing the requirement teaching hours (2-4 formal classes) and the certification process. I am still nervous about this, but I know it will be fine. What is reassuring is the fact that all instructors (including the evaluator) started somewhere. For one reason or another, they too made a decision to become a group fitness instructor and to give back to the community.  Who knows, maybe in a few months I will consider adding some sort of nutrition course or sports nutrition certificate (also a YMCA program). 

Stay tuned friends, I am learning and hopefully can continue to grow into a healthier, fitter me, while sharing to the world my love to give back and teach those around me.