Mama time: That rare but beautiful moment when you take the time to do something for yourself. A bath, a mani pedi, a trip to the store alone… maybe you just end up in your car eating a cheeseburger, scrolling through Instagram (insert possible strawberry shake here.) Or maybe you shut your door, lay down on your bed and fall asleep mouth open accidentally drooling. It can take on so many forms. I have done yoga, reorganized my closet, went on a run, got a massage, (paying bills does not count!) had lunch with a friend, and burned incense while taking a bath and drinking a glass of wine.
We can all pretty much agree when we take “mama time” and do something relaxing or productive or whatever it is we need to do in that moment, we hope that this is a positive experience that gives us an hour or three to refresh, recharge, and reboot right?
This brings me to a day a month or so ago when I decided to get a massage from an AMAZING masseuse. After breastfeeding Wyatt for two years, then getting pregnant with Esme and now breastfeeding her for a year thus far, I have some serious shoulder curling issues. Could I have sat up straighter, stretched everyday, and taken better care of my back and body…. UM yes. Most of the time if getting the baby back to sleep means doing a hand stand with a boob out and my neck bent sideways this is what I do.
The day of the massage I lay down on the table for what I know will be the most incredible hour, and after about twenty minutes this person warns me that I am on the road to having… wait for it…. wait for it.. a hump back. Yes you heard that right. I was like, “WHAT? A humpback, what do you mean? How can you tell?”
At first I thought he was joking but then he said (and I quote,) “Look, you’re not going to die, but this will probably become a big problem in like ten years.” TEN years?? That’s so soon!!
At this point my massage flew out the window and for rest of the hour I asked him a million questions and was in a sort of laughable panic mode. Ten years is so specific, and who starts a sentence with “Look your not gonna die..”?? Because the only word I heard in that sentence IS die.
He did tell me this is fixable as I am now sweating under the blanket, if I get chiropractic/ massage work every single week for the rest of my life. HUH?!?!?! Who has that kind of time or money?!
I should insert here that I have since talked to a couple of other massage therapists and a chiropractor who told me that this is not the case. Yes I have some shoulder curling, breastfeeding mama back/neck issues, BUT there are other ways to help assist the body in releasing tension and strengthening back muscles to restore a straighter spine.
This is why I have been posting so much about Body Love Pilates. Yes, that may have been the most shocking hour of the week but I am grateful that this therapist (in his own way) reminded me that taking care of my body is crucial. I am not being paid to talk about this program, I actually found Ali through Your Zen Mama. She wrote to us about submitting some articles and when I read her piece about Diastasis Recti I realized this is what had happened to my tummy. I am grateful there is someone out there who focuses on the issues we deal with during pregnancy and postpartum. Also, the fact that most of the workouts are ten to twenty minutes is incredibly helpful, because most of the time I have two kids crawling around me and on me while I am doing them.
I actually met up with Ali who owns Body Love Pilates while I was in NYC working last month and she gave me a session at my hotel.
The way I felt when we finished was astounding. All the little pains, and big pains I had been ignoring had been dealt with in some way, and released. The most positive part of this is that I have a plan, and it doesn’t involve a drive to the gym or a personal trainer. All I need is a yoga ball, some blocks, two dogs, two kids, my computer, and a cup of coffee.