5 Ways That Moms Can Support Each Others Health Goals
I got into my very first Facebook debate. I'm not sure what caused me to type my feelings in the comment section since I've never felt inclined to before in my 29 years of life, but I typed my rebuttal and hit the post button. I am sure you are wondering what this debate was about? Well, it showcased the lack of support for other women's opinions and experiences. I joined this Facebook group to get motivation from other like-minded women, and to make deep connections, but once an unpopular opinion was posted by another ”sister” in the group a lot of the women decided to rebuke her, their sense of support, and her feelings. This woman's opinions did not cross the line, hurt others, or wreak havoc on the board rules, and yet the once supportive group had ”thrown her under the bus”. I was sitting holding my son while watching my weekly trash TLC show and I was heated. I wondered how could women who call themselves your ”tribe” just disregard your feelings, call you a ”hater”, and pull out their love and support in the tap of a keyboard stroke.
In my personal and professional life, I believe that every situation that we experience teaches us a lesson. So, after doing a couple of ”woosah” breaths I started to ponder ”How could I apply this situation to my Mama clients?”, and after much thought, I found that a common theme that so many Mom's and women in general, are missing is the lack of genuine support in regards to their health choices pre and post-baby.
From the moment we leave the hospital Mom's have this immense pressure on us to snapback, fit into our old clothes, and while in our sleepy Mama fog create a magical fitness routine. I then asked myself where does all of this pressure come from? Why do we feel this way? In my personal experience, I found that it is usually other women pushing these standards! That's right our other Mamas friends, celebrity Mamas, heck even our own Mamas.
Then I imagined what if we lived in a society where women, embraced their current situations and made health a marathon and not a sprint? We could empathize with our other Mama friends, encourage them to work at their own pace, and cheer each other on no matter how fast or slow the process is, and if some of us take different routes we wouldn't shun them. I'm gonna just say that version of the world would get Mamas moving, it would take away the scary stigmas about exercising and prenatal and postnatal health, and it would make Mama's get serious when taking their own health goals into account.
So, since we live in an imperfect world, I've put together 5 ways that Mamas can ditch the judgment (yuck), and show our support for each other in positive ways. Check them out below:
Be a cheerleader. If a Mama likes Cross Fit as her method of exercise, great! If she prefers Prenatal Yoga, great, or if she does squats in her living room while watching Maury, right on Mama! As cheerleaders, we cheer for each other's efforts, no matter how small or how big. Progress is progress, no matter how you obtain it. As long as you are following proper health guidelines, and stretching properly, you cheer, it's as simple as that.
Always be a student. Even though I am a certified health & wellness coach and prenatal and postnatal specialist, I learn something new every day from the women I coach, teach, and network with. I never claim to know everything, and if someone claims that they do, run. We as Mamas can constantly learn from each other about different health choices, conditions, exercises that worked, and recovery tools. Never be so closed off that you can receive knowledge, and once you receive it, share it.
Ask Questions, for the purpose of positivity. Ditch the underhanded nice nasty questions and comments. You don't understand why a Mama makes a certain choice about her health? Ask! Ask with the intention of learning and not teaching. You will be surprised at the amount of Mamas that you can relate to, and when you ask out of a place of positivity you will gain new insight and even a new friend.
Get out of your comfort zone. Just because you have always done 6 squats and then for pull-ups doesn't mean the Mama next to you has or ever will. If you are struggling to improve your health join that group fitness class! Become a member of that Mommy group that runs every morning. Nothing amazing every happens in your comfort zone, don't be afraid to venture out because once you have experienced something you are more likely to support it.
Show Empathy. This is #5 on the list, but #1 in my heart. Not every Mama is where you are in her health journey. She may still be sitting on the couch in the same sweatpants from yesterday. It is our jobs as supportive Mamas to not judge her, but to uplift her. Being a Mom is hard damn it! She could have only slept 2 hours, have Postpartum Depression, or a kiddo who has an unseen condition. Don't be so quick to judge her. Motivate her. Tell her how focusing on your health has changed your life. Invite her to outings, send her a motivational quote. Above all, just meet her where she is in her health journey. I can bet you $100 she will be touched that someone is out there in this big crazy beautiful world truly ”get” her.
So, if you take away anything from this article, or if you just read the bold parts, please remember that we are all Mamas just trying to figure out how Motherhood, Health, Fitness, and Family works, choose to make someone's day brighter, the favor will be returned back to you.
Mamas! If you have any other ideas or stories of how we can support each other let me know! I will feature them in an upcoming project. Sign up below for more updates, and ways that support can be offered to you!