I have a pretty physically intensive job. There are days where I don’t stop from the moment I get there to the minute I leave. Between cleaning the gym, picking up behind big lugs who leave their weights laying around, & climbing on equipment to fix it, I can usually count a day’s work as an extra work out. I should add that I’m also fiercely independent (read: headstrong and stubborn), and like to do things myself, thankyouverymuch.
But when lower back and sciatic pain kicked in insanely early on in my pregnancy (like 12 weeks pregnant early) many of the normal things I did during my day became nearly impossible. And I was pissed. I was completely unprepared for how tired I would be. Not because no one warned me, plenty did, but because I thought I’d be immune. The fact that bending over to tie my shoes sent pain shooting down my leg and up my back made climbing up the cable machine to repair a snapped line a complete joke. And I typically wore myself out so much during my work day, that cooking dinner or picking up around the house we’re not even an option (& my husband & I split chores pretty 50/50, so it wasn’t like I was trying to get it all done).
I won’t lie, I made myself more miserable than necessary the first few months of my pregnancy by being such a hard head. I wouldn’t let my husband pick up my slack at home and I didn’t let on to the things I was struggling with at work. I was super-pregnant-girl! I could do it all!
But in reality, I was just super tired. And being super prideful. And not enjoying my pregnancy at all. It’s so easy to justify those kinds of actions as “not wanting to be lazy”, or being a hard worker, and those are definitely good things. But a lot of the time, we’re just too prideful to admit we can’t do it all. We’re too stubborn to accept help. I wasn’t even a “mom” in the tangible, chasing-a-kid around sense, and I was already buying into the lie that I had to be completely capable and at 100% all the time. Talk about setting yourself up for failure. It took a few stern talking to’s by the hubs (with multiple “I swear if I find out you climbed up something at work, I’m calling your boss” threats), and a couple of nights spent unable to move because my back hurt so bad, to get me to chill out. Then it took a heart check on my part to settle down my swelling pride and accept some help and just slow down. And guess what, life got infinitely easier and more enjoyable!
Why is it so hard for us as women and mamas to admit we can’t do it all? Whether because we’re big and pregnant or just plain worn out. When did we decide to start believing that we have to do it all, all the time? I’m thankful for the chance to start learning this lesson gradually, and let it carry over into motherhood when it comes.