I love being able to stay at home with Gabriela. There is no place in the world I'd rather be, most of the time. But some days Mama gets tired. Sometimes Mama needs there to be more to her day than feedings and potty breaks and children's books and silly songs. And occasionally I need some motivation to get out of my pajama pants and do something to get my heart rate up (other than listening to a teething baby whining for hours at a time) or really engage my mind. And while Eric is really awesome to take over baby duty the second he gets home in the evenings, that isn't always soon enough. (Hey, I'm just being completely honest here.)
While I know that spring is right around the corner, we still have a fat layer of snow on the ground and it is still too cold to play in the yard or go for a nice, long walk. So for the sake of my own personal sanity, I decided to figure out some things to do just "for me".
The first is a bit of a change in "what I want to do when I grow up" (a question I'm not sure I'll ever be able to answer since my interests tend to shift A LOT!) I first had the idea while living in Brasil and then really started to research and pursue it once we moved back. I am now beginning training to become a certified birth doula through DONA International. I loved being pregnant (well, until those last 10 days when I was post due and so ready for Gabs to get here), adore being around pregnant women, and really want to help encourage and assist women to pursue the birth experience they want. Don't ask how someone who started college majoring in Landscape Architecture then went to Agricultural Engineering and ended up in Environmental Science decides she should assist women having babies . . . let's just say I like being a very well-rounded individual. Actually, I really like the term "Renaissance Soul" coined by the author of a book by the same name.
Anyway, I am attending a birth doula training in April, taking some basic childbirth classes now, and getting started on my required reading list. I eventually have to attend three births, and then I can apply for my certification. But hopefully I can get it all done within a year or so. The closest doulas I can find in the area are well over an hour away in Iowa City, so I really think that there is a need in the Burlington/Southeast Iowa region. I am super excited as it could be a great opportunity to do something I (think I'm going to) love, while still being able to be a stay at home mom!
And in the not-so-life-changing category, I signed up for two classes at the YMCA starting this week. They offer free babysitting while you workout, so I signed up for 20/20/20 (20 minutes of aerobics/20 minutes of strength training/20 minutes of pilates) on Tuesdays and a 45-minute pilates/yoga class on Thursday. So far so good! I'm sore, which is nice. Gabriela is having a blast watching all the big kids in the daycare room (she's been the youngest both days, so far). And it makes for a nice Mama break a couple times per week!
I got the nicest compliment from the pilates/yoga instructor this morning too! She asked if I was just visiting or lived in the area. I told her I had just signed up for the class, that it was the first time I had ever done pilates or yoga, but that I really enjoyed the class today and was really looking forward to it. She looked at me sort of funny and said, "Really? You looked great! I was watching you and thought 'wow, she's good, I'm going to have to step it up a notch for her!' " And so what if I was the youngest (by probably 20 years) in the class? I'll still take the compliment. ;)