A couple of weeks ago, my children began a new school year. The first day of school is uneventful for us now, but when they first started school, we had some JACK’d Up experiences. I remember the first day my oldest child started kindergarten. I made sure to get my daughter to bed early, prepared her work bag, and carefully selected a dress for her to wear. I remember going through her closet and selecting the perfect dress from her new back-to-school wardrobe. It had frogs wearing little pink bows, a perfect blend of my daughter’s personality.
The next day, I anxiously waited to hear about how her day went. When she climbed in the car, I asked how it was. She said, “It was great!”
“Did anyone like your dress?” I asked.
“Yeah! Elloree said she had the same dress at home, but hers is a nightgown,” my daughter said matter-of-factly.
My eyes widened. I casually looked at the back panel of her dress. Printed inside the dress were the words, “Flame resistant SLEEPWEAR.”
Yes, my daughter wore a nightgown on her very first day of school. In my defense, nightgowns should not be sold on hangers.
Before I had children, I was an avid gym-goer. I went to the gym nearly every day. It was part of my identity. When I had children, I stopped going to the gym. I stopped going, but I did not stop exercising and fueling that part of who I am. I was recently reminded of that time of my life, when I was a busy mom to small children, yet still yearned to feel the exhilaration that followed an intense workout. I wrote this note to myself exactly eight years ago:
Since I can no longer get to the gym, I have taken over our neighborhood park. It's actually a great workout! I hold the baby between my legs while hanging from the monkey bars and move my legs in circles while doing leg lifts. I do walking lunges, squats, push-ups, dips and jump rope while my daughters are on the swings. When they need another push, I sprint over to them and then sprint back to my workout area. Yesterday, I actually climbed a wall! It's not as fun as the gym, but it will do for now. Have gotten over all the stares I get from the other parents and kids. For added fun, I chase the kids around the park while lugging my 20-pound baby with me. A fun time for all! I wonder what other workouts I can do there. If I could do unassisted pull-ups, that would be a great addition, but I can't yet. I'd like something to work the lats. Maybe I can take my [resistance] bands and hook something up. Hmmm...
Please note, at no time did I ever mention my intention for working out was to "get my body back" or to "drop the baby weight." That was never my goal. I enjoy physical activity and challenging myself. How do you refuel?
Living the JACK'd Life
I am a certified birth doula (BAI) in Charlotte, NC . I provide information and support to pregnant individuals and couples so they can have satisfying and empowering births. I am a married mother of 4 trying to navigate life, unafraid of sharing my truly JACK'd up missteps.