Hey, y’all! Welcome to the second installment of Super Useful Exercises Created by Dweej. I mean, I know how much you loved my extremely awesome Exercises for Pregnant People, so I felt obligated, out of my limitless generosity of course, to provide you with this extra helpful follow-up regimen. This is the regimen I’ve been following diligently for the last 7 weeks and have managed to…like, fit into my 1st trimester maternity clothes. So. Yeah.
Anyway. Enough about me. Let’s talk about you doing what I say!
This is a great one if you like combo exercises- bicep and abs in one! Hold screaming baby in your left arm, keeping right arm free for goldfish cracker distribution and dog-letting-inning and outing. Rotate body to the left and then to the right repeatedly for a minimum of 45 minutes. Keep those abs tight while you do it! Insert ear plugs if you must.
2. Baby Carrier Bounce
So the baby still won’t stop fussing and your left bicep is now on fire. Aha! Baby carrier/wrap/sling/papoose-ifier! Attach baby to your torso and get to bouncin’. Not just walking, because we all know that’s not nearly entertaining enough. No, no…gotta do the bouncewalk. Can you feel the glute burn? Mmmhmmmm.
3. Uber-vertical weighted squats
Now baby’s in the carrier and you’re bouncewalking and you step on another insert-expletive-here matchbox car. And you’ve had it. You have had ENOUGH of all the junk on your floor! …
Our fifth child was born 9 days ago. Just 9 little days. If anyone were to tell you that they have or haven’t done something (besides your basic life stuff…eat, drink, breathe. Sleep. Ahem.) for NINE WHOLE DAYS, you’d probably wonder if they weren’t being a tad dramatic.
Well put on your drama hats, folks because I have neither left the house nor cleaned the house in NINE WHOLE DAYS. And I wish I could say it feels good, but it doesn’t. It feels good to have a fantastic new baby in our house. It feels good to have a husband care for me and friends care for us. It feels good to know that I’m getting stronger every day. But not doing the things I want to be doing? Not good. That’s a hard pill for this control freak to swallow.
“I’m supposed to care for my house,” I said. ”Certain things have to be done,” I mumbled. ”This is my vocation! I’m dropping the ball on my vocation! Children! Quick! Start cleaning!” I hollered. And it was uncomfortable and I was irritating people and everyone was walking on eggshells, but hey….this is just my cross to bear.
Gotta bear that cross.
Gotta clean this house.
Yep. Duty time!
Except. Except. I was making everyone else miserable. Because do you know who really wants the house to be clean? Me. Do you know who cares about clutter and crumbs? Me. …
I’m a thinker. Not “Hey, let me do your thinking for you because I’m just SO good at it” but “Hey, maybe if I just think super hard about all the facets of this situation and imagine all the possible outcomes, I can will it into working out the way I want it to.” Why yes, I do have control issues. Thanks for asking!
So here I am, 38.3 weeks pregnant with baby number five, and I am doing my most very best, as usual, to outfox God. If you’ve never tried it, don’t. It’s really exhausting. And it NEVER works. But for some reason I can’t help myself. Something about those control issues or whatever, probably….
Trying To Outfox God (or TTOG. Patent pending.) starts innocently enough. First I tell myself that I’m just going to read the signs that He’s already so kindly given me. In this case, I’ll just look at all the days that my other kids were born in relation to their due dates, and I’ll be able to discern the arrival date of this one. No outfoxin’ here! I’m just a good listener!
Unfortunately, the answer I come up with is often, well…always, unsatisfactory to me. And that’s when I start treading on ice that’s just a little thinner. ”Well, other moms report a whole range of delivery dates for their many babies in relation to their due dates. Obviously previous experience can’t tell me anything. …
I used to envy my husband.
Maybe envy isn’t even a strong enough word. Let’s start over.
I used to nurse a precious little nugget of contempt for my husband. Because he…he will never have to be pregnant. He will never have to endure morning sickness or the feeling of a human’s head pressing firmly on his bladder from the inside. And don’t even get me started on labor and delivery and the lovely fourth trimester known as postpartum recovery from said labor and delivery. How terribly, horribly cruel it seemed to me.
And then something crazy happened. We bought this dilapidated fixer-upper and we started fixing it. And oh, it was so hard. And it lasted so long. And some days we were so tired that it seemed impossible to move forward, but we had to. We had no choice. There was simply no turning back. And those days…well, those days were not nearly as hard for me as they were for my husband. Because I felt like we were in labor. And I knew there was no way out but to have this baby, and having this baby was going to be hard and it was going to suck. But someday it would be over, that I knew.
My poor husband had no such frame of reference. He had never looked down that tunnel of sheer exhaustion and not been able to see a light shining for him at the end. …
You know what’s a huge pain? Sacrifice. I mean the real kind, where you have to actually sacrifice something. Man, I pretty much totally hate it.
See, I like the kind of “sacrifice” that makes me feel…awesome. You know, like fasting (but only when I’m not pregnant. Of course. See?). Or getting up super early and powering through my day on very little sleep and saying “look what I accomplished! Go me!”. Because those things aren’t, and I’m giving myself away here, actually that hard for me to do. So I can wear my “Check me out with all my awesome sacrifices” t-shirt and strut all over town without actually having to feel very put upon at all.
But then the time comes for me to make some kind of sacrifice for my family or others that actually inconveniences me and BOY HOWDY do I throw a fit. Usually not in front of my children (anymore. Thank you Jesus the power of grace) but in my head all day, and then in the general direction of my poor husband and night, yes sirree.
Like right now. Right now I’m throwing a complete and utter tantrum in the back of my mind. Because do you know what sucks and irritates me and seems so unfair and makes me wanna throw stuff? Having only one car. UGH! It’s starting to drive me crazy! 4.85 kids, homeschooling, lots of neat field trip opportunities, classes for the girls to sit in on or participate in and we’re stuck at home.…
It seems that being an 11 year old girl is really hard. I mean, there’s a lot of heavy sighing and eye-rolling to be done. You have to constantly correct people even when the situation doesn’t pertain to you in any way. And OOF! Pretending not to know what people are talking about if they don’t use the precise vocabulary you deem appropriate? Exhausting!
Plus, your parents are always intentionally making your life difficult by demanding that you call upon your God-given talents in order to properly open a box of granola bars or properly close a box of cereal. Totally unreasonable.
Folks, we have an 11 year old girl living in this house. She goes by the same name and likes the same basic things that my eldest daughter did, but she is…well, have you seen my real daughter? The one who is eager to please and amicable and compliant? She was way easier to manage than this new model, I gotta be honest.
Things irritate her these days. Lots of things. And people. And when she’s irritated, she shows it in her body and on her face and with her voice. There’s no subtlety with this one, no ma’am. If looks could kill, I’m quite certain our entire family would have been a smoldering heap of ashes as of last Thursday.
But if my looks could kill, she’d have been a heap of ashes way before she could incinerate the rest of us, anyway, so I guess there’s not really anything to worry about. …
As I approach the second half of my final trimester of my 5th pregnancy, I am mindful of the wisdom God has bestowed upon me over the years via the soon-to-be 200 weeks of gestation I’ve enjoyed. And by enjoyed, I probably mean endured. And when I say endured, I should probably add the word grudgingly to the front. Because I’m the very picture of maternal grace and fortitude, haven’t you heard?! Gaw.
So in celebration of being almost almost done, I thought I’d share just a few of my tips and tricks for surviving pregnancy with all of you, starting with…..
Dwija’s 5 Favorite Exercises for Pregnant People
1) The Clutter Buster
Locate an item of clothing or small toy that has been abandoned in the middle of the floor by a kind member of your family or their equally generous friends. I mean, they obviously know you’re looking for a way to get in a workout.
Balancing on your left leg, use your right foot to pick the item up off of the floor, using your toes as if they were fingers. Channel your inner monkey if you must. Quickly pass the item from foot to hand.
Repeat with opposite leg.
Advanced Level: toss the dirty laundry or toy into its proper receptacle using your foot, bypassing any hand participation whatsoever. Keep those abs tight, ladies!
2) The Kneeler Wobbler
Go to Mass. Attempt to kneel without your belly ricocheting off the back of the pew in front of you.…
I’m starting to think God was on to something when he came up with this whole kid-raisin’ scheme. I mean, I imagine he could have made it so that we popped out of enormous eggs fully grown or matured inside a pod growing on some oversize vine. But he didn’t. He decided people would start out as babies: helpless, fragile, tyrannical little things. And that parents would start out as…well…helpless, fragile, tyrannical things, too. And together, in that mystical way that only God is clever enough to orchestrate, those two helpless, fragile, tyrannical things can work together to bring one another closer to eternal happiness. Pretty wild, right?
Lately I’ve been forcing myself to marvel at this fact (you know, to keep my mind off the muddy paw prints in the carpet and that place where someone broke a pen and forgot to tell me about it) and , whadya know, was able to come up with a handy list of 5 frustrating things my kids do that apparently God wants me to be thankful for.
1) The growing inside my actual torso in a manner that is equal parts irritating and completely out of my control.
So here’s where it starts. A whole human being growing inside of me, kicking me in the bladder first then in the lungs eventually. The heartburn, the waiting, the doubling of the rear end for no good reason, the exhaustion, the waiting, the cankles. …
Let me tell you two things about my husband: his love language is Quality Time and if he ever finds out that I talked about him and a “love language” in the same sentence, he’s going to melt into a huge puddle of embarrassment that his wife is so, you know….embarrassing.
I’m pretty sure he puts love languages and personality types (he’s an INFP, in case you’re wondering) right up there with palm readings and fortune cookies. But does that stop me from taking the quizzes as if I were him so I can put handy dandy labels on us so I can feel just a little more in-the-know about managing this whole marriage business? H-E double L-Z no!
So, his love language is Quality Time. For him, us sitting on the sofa before dinner and discussing which dog breed has the most personality and whether or not he should make a fake workout video for my entertainment is the ultimate way to relax and recharge before we launch into the mayhem of feeding the small humans and corralling them into bed.
Mine is Acts of Service. Nothing says “I love you, Dweej” more than fixing that sticking bathroom door knob. I know. I’m so romantic.
Here’s the part where being a bad wife comes in: for years and years and years, I’ve been telling myself that I should do things around the house to make him happy (’cause isn’t that what good homemakers do?) and avoid “wasting time” by sitting around and having inane conversations.…
About a year ago, when I first started considering taking my kids out of public school, I wasn’t met with the kind of incredulous questioning that I expected after suggesting something so reckless and foolhardy. For the most part people were excited and supportive and helpful. Many thought we were already homeschooling, in fact. What surprised me most though is that folks who were concerned about the prudence of such a decision weren’t worried that my children might not learn enough or the the right things. They didn’t wonder how my kids would know how to be quiet when they were supposed to or to wait in lines when they have to.
No, the biggest concern among the concerned was: SOCIALIZATION. Ahhhh! Socialize those kids! Learnin’, schmlearning- those kids need to be among herds of other kids their exact age in order to learn how to be normal. In other words: homeschooled kids are annoying and weird, and you don’t want your kids to be annoying and weird, do you?
Annoying and weird.
Well, if someone tries to tell you that their kids are never annoying, they’re lying to you. And if someone else tries to tell you that any child of mine isn’t going to be at least a little weird no matter how they’re educated, they’ve lost their minds.
But I digress.
Why is this perception of the weirdo homeschooler so pervasive? Why is it that despite the clear academic achievement of most homeschooled students, the fear of them “acting like that one weirdo guy I knew when I was a kid” is enough to turn otherwise supportive folks against the idea? …