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15 Things Introvert Moms Want You To Know

15 Things Introvert Moms Want You To Know

Nothing can really prepare you for parenthood. And when you’re an introvert, there’s nothing in the world that can get you ready for the constant struggle you’ll face between being “on” all day and figuring out how to sneak in a little bit of solitude. Introverts need alone time to recharge but as an introvert mom, alone time is often the last thing we get to have. We all know that being a parent means our love of being alone will constantly be challenged but for introvert mothers, the impact is greater than you know. Here are 15 things fellow introvert mothers will only understand.

1. Pregnancy is when the privacy invasion really begins.

When you’re pregnant, people want to talk to you about it…all the time. And if you run into other mothers? Then it’s almost guaranteed they’ll share details about things you’d never discuss with someone you barely know – like bowel movements, graphic labor stories and even more graphic breastfeeding trials and tribulations. Not to mention the awkwardness we feel about our bodies acting as a vessel for the next nine months.

2. Introvert moms feel awkward asking for help.

We tend to be self-sufficient and embarking on the journey of parenthood often means depending on others for help. Let’s face it, when your water breaks in the middle of the night and we need to wake our partners up for that midnight hospital run, we’re the only ones who will feel slightly bad for disrupting his sleep. Even if only for a moment.

3. Even though we love our new families, it means there’s always someone around us.

Forget the long stretches of solitude you had before you became an introvert mom – one of the things about parenting people often forget to tell you (because it’s implied) is that kids are with you all the time. So is your partner and your mom and even some new mommy friends. So someone is always around you.

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4. Nap time means so much more to an introvert mom.

Alone time recharges us so the peace and quiet that nap time allows literally means everything to us. We could sleep while the kids sleep but it doesn’t refuel us quite the same as some solitude does, so you’ll rarely find us gazing upon our sleeping baby or even worse, waking our kids up on purpose.

5. Our need for alone time will make us wonder if we love parenting less than other mothers.

There’s a constant battle that introverts face – we need alone time to recharge, that’s just how we’re wired. But when you become a mom, you’re inundated with messaging that tells us that we should love our children unequivocally, and always want to be around them. So when we crave to be away, mommy guilt kicks in and we wonder if we’re actually just being selfish. The short answer is: no.

6. Drop offs and pick ups can be really straining for us.

Introverts don’t like to make small talk. It’s really just not our thing. So you can imagine how hard daycare drop offs and school pick ups can be when other parents make you feel obligated to say something to them.

7. Busy parks bring us anxiety.

We love our one on one time with the kids but when we head to the park and it’s jammed pack of kids and parents, we secretly hope that other parents won’t notice we’re there. The last thing we want to do is be in a situation where we may be forced to mingle and fail miserably at small talk.

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8. When your kid shares your introversion, you’ll feel unnecessarily guilty.

We are products of environment, so it’s inevitable that your child will pick up some introvert traits. But in a world built for extroverts, feeling guilty for having a “shy” child happens from time to time – even though it shouldn’t.

9. When your kid is an extrovert, parenting is more draining than you’d like it to be.

Parenting is a roller-coaster for everyone, regarding of their personality type. But an introvert mom with an extrovert child means you’re on, all the time. Heeding to every beck and call, showing interest in every single thing they do in a day, being fully present and attentive all day long means that when bedtime rolls around, you’re exhausted and only have enough energy to crawl into bed.

10. When our jobs involve a lot of face time, our tank can already be empty by the time we get home.

We’re all a little drained by the time 5 PM rolls around but if you’re an introvert mother and your day job involves a lot of face time, then you know that your energy reserves are pretty much depleted by the time you get home.

11. We’re often the only moms who don’t really feel guilty about putting our kids in daycare.

I can speak from experience on this one – as much as I worried about my daughter’s first week at daycare, I also really enjoyed the space. The time away gave me time to think about her and miss her. Distance makes the heart grow fonder.

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12. A kids’ birthday party invitation is bittersweet.

Introverts don’t necessarily hate parties but when a birthday party invitation gets sent home, we can ‘t help the feeling of dread that ensues. And if it’s not a drop off and pick up party? Then we run the risk of being seen as distant or unfriendly because we’re merely content keeping to ourselves around the other parent attendees.

13. We want to be good moms, just like everyone else.

Our constant need for downtime probably raises a few brows from other moms. We love our kids as much as anyone else. And while we want to lovingly watch every move our children make, we also want to take care of ourselves too – and that often means getting in that little bit of energizing downtime.

14. When we finally get that coveted alone time, sometimes we don’t know what to do with ourselves.

This feeling isn’t exclusive to introvert moms – all moms crave downtime and when we finally get it, there are times where we’re just not sure what to do with ourselves.

15. Sometimes we don’t realize that we’re introverted, so we end up thinking we’re just failing as parents.

One of my favorite times of the day is when my little one is tucked away in bed and sound asleep. I used to beat myself up for rejoicing when I said my final ‘good night’ – until I realized it was because I was introverted and just naturally hardwired to refuel from being alone. There were many days I feared I didn’t love parenting as much as the next mother.

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As mothers, we already have a hard enough time letting ourselves off the hook for not being perfect. As an introvert mother, our guilt is tenfold since we crave more alone time than our extrovert counterparts. Society tells us that we need to savor every moment with our children but many introvert moms struggle to do this. Just know that it’s okay to want alone time – we need it after all to be the best mom we can be.

Featured photo credit: Pixabay via pixabay.com

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Published on October 19, 2018

The Most Critical Do’s and Don’ts of Working Out While Pregnant

The Most Critical Do’s and Don’ts of Working Out While Pregnant

Are you scared of working out whilst pregnant? Or simply not sure how to proceed? Everything seems slightly more daunting once you’re carrying and creating a whole other person.

In this article I will give you specific advice, tips and strategies for working out while pregnant. Ensuring that you, and your baby, are safe. Not only that but you will both benefit.

Benefits of Working Out While Pregnant

It is clear that everyone, not just you but your baby, and probably your partner and other kids will benefit from you working out while pregnant. If you’re sleeping better and feel less stress, you can guarantee everyone in the household is going to feel better.

How you benefit from working out while pregnant:

  • Reduced incidence of lower back pain
  • 30% reduction in the risk of gestational diabetes
  • Reduced likelihood of unplanned cesarian
  • Lower incidence and reduce severity of depression
  • Less pregnancy weight gain
  • Lower risk of urinary incontiennce
  • Reduced pregnancy constipation
  • Less pregnancy tiredness
  • May have a shorter labour

How your baby benefits from working out while pregnant:

  • A healthier heart
  • Normal birth weight
  • Quicker neurological development
  • Reduced risk of respiratory distress syndrome (for infants of high-risk women)
  • Less maternal stress could reduce impact on immune system development

Instant Big-Rocks for Working out While Pregnant

Before we get cracking into what really will benefit, here are some instant ‘big-rocks’ when it comes to working out while pregnant.

Safety first: Check with your midwife

Each person and pregnancy is individual – and as I”m not speaking to you in person, the first pre-qualifier is that you check with your doctor that you’re ok to work out while pregnant. In certain circumstances, it is not recommended due to potential complications arising from exercise.

If you’re new to exercising or have just fallen pregnant do check with your GP or midwife before commencing or recommencing your exercise program.

Exercise Check In Second – No lying Flat or Crunches

Crunches are a whole other issue in regards to pre and post natal training that I’ll get into during another article.

For now, know that lying flat on your back puts pressure on your body, especially after 16 weeks. The weight of your bump pressing on certain blood vessels can reduce cardiac output, make you feel dizzy and affect the flow of blood that carries nutrients and oxygen to your baby.

While this means traditional stomach crunches are out, you can and should still include core and pelvic floor strengthening exercises in your routine. These I’ll get to later in the article.

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Third Intensity Check In – No High Intensity Workouts

When it comes to exercise intensity, it is best to abide by the guideline “to be able to comfortably hold a conversation” whilst working out. Unless you are an athlete and extremely used to very high heart rates whilst you workout, keeping your rate of perceived exertion to a 7 out of 10 is best practice.

Experts agree that you should avoid undertaking activities that will raise your core temperature by more than 2°C – or above 38.9°C. This is because such a temperature change may result in hyperthermia (the opposite of hypothermia). Hyperthermia during pregnancy has been linked to a twofold increase in the risk of birth defects impacting the spine or brain.

As such, it is not advisable to use hot tubs or spas during pregnancy, and hot yoga should be avoided as well as parking in only moderate intensity exercise.

Final & Fourth Point – No high contact/dangerous sports

For obvious reasons, contact sports or sports in which it’s likely you can fall or have an accident should be avoided.

For example scuba diving while pregnant should be avoided as your baby will have no protection against decompression sickness (‘the bends’) or gas embolism – bubbles in the bloodstream that can cut off blood supply or cause breathing difficulties.

Similarly, horse riding, climbing, cycling, gymnastics and other activities that require extreme balance are best avoided as your centre of gravity shifts and affects your balance.

Certainly, sports like kick boxing, jujitsu or rugby in which contact is prevalent should be avoided for bump protection.

Actual Workouts You Can Do While Pregnant

1. Let your personal trainer or group exercise instructor know that you’re pregnant

In doing so they can assist you in providing expert advice or refer you to a qualified practitioner in your area. If you’re unsure ask your GP or Midwife for a referral.

2. Use your breath to engage your core and pelvic floor throughout your workout programs

Your breath plays a big part in controlled core to assist with labour and reduce back pain. We each take thousands of breaths per day, as as your baby grows pressure is placed upon the lungs and pelvic floor.

Preparing and practicing proper breath ensures that your core remains as integrated and activated as possible throughout and after your pregnancy.

3. Find a Holistic Core Restore Coach

The reason the Holistic Core Restore® programmes are more effective than performing keels or traditional abdominal exercise alone for true core restore and pelvic floor activation. A Hollisitc Core Restore Coach will work with you to integrate your core and pelvic floor with your whole body through a series of movements and lifestyle factors.

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4. Join a Pre & Post Natal Class

Join a Pre & Post Natal Class in order to move in specific ways designed to boost your health and recovery post birth.

This not only provides you with a chance to connect with other pre & post natal women in your area to and create a community; but also provides you access to pre & post natal experts who can give you tailored advice for exercising whilst pregnant.

5. Focus on strengthening the glute muscles

Focus on strengthening the glute muscles to counteract the anterior tilt produced by your expanding bump.

Most people will simply focus on keeping the core engaged and active to help the ‘pre-mummy-tummy’ bounce back. When in actual fact the synergist muscle to the core for pelvic stability is the butt.

Really focus on strengthening the glute muscles in order to support the core, posture and back.

Hinge movements such as single leg romanian deadlifts are a brilliant way to do so. You can do this holding a Kettlebell or Dumbell but also, once the bump is big enough just using your bodyweight.

6. Enjoy swimming

Enjoy swimming, especially in your third trimester, to remove weight and boost lymphatic drainage of your feet and ankles.

It’s well known that your ankles swell during the last months of pregnancy. This is due to the changes in posture from the weight of the stomach pulling down towards the floor.

Consequently, this causes the front of the hip to become compressed. And this in turn reduces circulation of the lymphatic fluid in the lower body.

One way to improve this circulation is to get into water as the pressure from the water removes the weight of the bump whilst providing pressure to the legs improving circulation.

7. Bring layers to your workouts

Bring layers to your workouts so that you can add and remove layers as you warm up and cool down.

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As previously mentioned, changes in body temperature can be dangerous for the baby – using layers so that you can keep your temperature constant is one the the most simple and best things you can do whilst working out while pregnant.

8. Practice the 7 fundamental primal movement patterns in your workouts

Practice the 7 fundamental primal movement patterns in your workouts – squat, lunge, anti-rotate, push, carry, hinge, pull.

“We love pregnant mamas to be regularly training their squats, since a low squat is the ideal position for working through contractions and pushing during labor.”

They also improve pelvic floor strength and elasticity to help prevent tearing during the natural labor process and teach abdominal strength relative to hip mobility for an easier labor and faster postnatal recovery.

Kiberd and her team prefer front squats done with at least a 12-kilogram kettlebell held at the chest. (Choose an appropriate weight for your level.)

“The kettlebell gives great feedback to the muscles that need to engage to stand you back up and to stabilize your weight while you’re down in the squat,” she explains.

And once the bump gets big? “No weight on the front is needed,” she says. “The belly is that natural weight.”

9. Do exercise that your enjoy

Because really if you’re enjoying it so will bump and you’ll feel less stressed.

Do not making working out while pregnant a chore – if it becomes that way, seek advice from an expert in your gym or area on some new varied things that you can try.

10. Practice anti-rotation exercises

Practice anti-rotation exercises whilst focussing on the breath for core integration and activation.

The Palloff press (a core stabilizer done on a cable machine) and the bear crawls offer the same degree of effectiveness.

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“These two exercises engage the external and internal obliques, which are involved in stabilizing the torso in rotation and help stabilize the shoulders down and back.”

11. Make sure to wind down properly

Cooling down slowly after your workouts and providing a little leeway time before your next appointment will reduce your stress levels and help you feel more balanced.

It will also stop sharp changes in body temperature that are non-beneficial to your baby.

Take your time and enjoy each session for what it is.

The Bottom Line

You will have to make fitness modifications as your body changes, but deep down, you know that’s ok. Dr Dawn Harper says

“We’re now seeing evidence that exercising in pregnancy may be one of the best things you can do for your baby’s future health. Pregnancy exercise can have a huge impact on your personal experience of pregnancy, too. Provided you follow the expert guidelines, it’s safe for most women to continue and even start exercising in pregnancy. Just make sure you check with your midwife or doctor first, in case there are any specific medical reasons why you should avoid being physically active in pregnancy.”

There are certain things that are essential. The first being to check with your Dr/Midwife to be given the ‘OK’ to exercise.

There are definite ‘no-nos’ such as abstaining from contact or dangerous sports as well as performing extreme high intensity workouts that bring your heart rate and temperature very, abnormally high for you. It is also contraindicated that you perform any exercises lying on your back.

The exciting thing is that you can and should exercise. You simply have to adapt to what is possible by seeking advice of a local pre & post natal expert. If you take one sentence away let it be this:

Focus upon your breath, workout at a 7/10 level, strengthen your glutes and perform whole body integrated exercises preferentially led by a pre & post natal expert.

And finally, if in doubt, get in the pool for some weight off your feet and relax!

References

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  2. Sanabria‐Martínez G et al. Effectiveness of physical activity interventions on preventing gestational diabetes mellitus and excessive maternal weight gain: a meta‐analysis. BJOG 2015;122(9):1167-74.
  3. Price BB et al. Exercise in pregnancy: effect on fitness and obstetric outcomes-a randomized trial. Med Sci Sports Exerc 2012;44(12):2263-9.
  4. Domenjoz I et al. Effect of physical activity during pregnancy on mode of delivery. Am J Obstet Gynecol 2014;211(4):401.e1-e11.
  5. Gaston A, Prapavessis H. Tired, moody and pregnant? Exercise may be the answer. Psychol Health 2013;28(12):1353-69.
  6. Robledo-Colonia AF et al. Aerobic exercise training during pregnancy reduces depressive symptoms in nulliparous women: a randomised trial. J Physiother 2012;58(1):9-15.
  7. Perales M et al. Benefits of aerobic or resistance training during pregnancy on maternal health and perinatal outcomes: A systematic review. Early Hum Dev 2016;94:43-8..
  8. Shi W et al. Epidemiology and risk factors of functional constipation in pregnant women. PloS one 2015;10(7):e0133521
  9. Gaston A, Prapavessis H. Tired, moody and pregnant? Exercise may be the answer. Psychol Health 2013;28(12):1353-69.
  10. Barakata et al. Exercise during pregnancy is associated with a shorter duration of labor. A randomized clinical trial 2018, 224 33-40
  11. May LE et al. Aerobic exercise during pregnancy influences fetal cardiac autonomic control of heart rate and heart rate variability. Early Hum Dev 2010;86(4):213-7.
  12. Bisson M et al. Physical activity volumes during pregnancy: A systematic review and meta-analysis of observational studies assessing the association with infant’s birth weight. AJP Reports 2016;6(02):e170-e97.
  13. Labonte-Lemoyne E et al. Exercise during pregnancy enhances cerebral maturation in the newborn: A randomized controlled trial. J Clin Exp Neuropsychol 2016:1-8.
  14. Muktabhant B et al. Diet or exercise, or both, for preventing excessive weight gain in pregnancy. Cochrane Database Syst Rev 2015 Jun 15;(6):CD007145.
  15. Marques AH, Bjorke-Monsen AL, Teixeira AL, Silverman MN. Maternal stress, nutrition and physical activity: impact on immune function, CNS development and psychopathology. Brain Research. 2015;1617:28–46

Featured photo credit: Jernej Graj via unsplash.com

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