One of the hardest things about transitioning from independent lady to a mom has been the loss of my autonomy. I always knew I valued my independence (case in point: the day I got my driver’s license remains one of the best days of my life, even though I now hate driving), but I never realized how much stuff I did until I needed someone else to enable me to do it.
Curl up with the latest New Yorker and a cup of coffee on Saturday morning? Not happening.
Squeeze in a pedicure between conference calls? Yeah, right.
Spontaneously dash off to a yoga class? Puh-lease.
I found myself sliding into a deep dark pool of woe is me. This little mommy is trapped at home and will never, ever, engage with society again or have a moment to herself.
It’s a scary place down there. I admit, I spent some time wallowing. I still occasionally dip in for another good cry now and again.
But in between wallow sessions, I put myself to the task of finding ways to enable my freedom again. Even if it was an assisted / modified freedom, it was better than hanging out in my pajamas on the floor of my apartment in last week’s makeup wondering how I’d gotten myself into this situation.
Here’s what’s helped me scratch the surface of those pre-baby freedoms in ways that help me get out and do stuff.
1. Aftershokz headphones.
I use these hands free, bluetooth enabled beauties for everything.
Running with Mackenzie.
(Spoiler alert: the stroller is next on this list!) Since they’re open-ear headphones, I can still hear things around me, like cars approaching, or bikers trying to pass our wide load on the trail, or I can chat up fellow stroller-pushing moms.
Gotta make those mom friends, y’all.
Before we had regular childcare, I used to take a lot of calls with the baby on board. Once she was aware of her hands, she discovered that playing with headphone cords is really, really fun. And by playing with, I mean yanking them out of my ears.
Going wireless has saved me many a “sorry, can you repeat that?” and scored me many a new brand partner.
Outdoor yoga is awesome. Outdoor yoga with music is even more awesome. But you know what’s the awesomest?
Outdoor yoga with music that you don’t have to lug around a stereo for, rely on your pathetic phone speakers for, or bother your neighbors with.
2. BOB stroller
After asking the Sweat Pink community for jogging stroller recommendations, I bit the bullet, bought the stroller, and hid the credit card receipt from my husband. Hot damn it’s expensive. But in terms of liberation, it’s been amazing. I take Mac out almost every morning for a walk / jog along the lake in Austin.
Or, at least, I used to, back when sleep was a little more consistent. We’re working on getting back into a good morning routine.
I still don’t particularly like running, but it’s such a convenient way to get some exercise without having to arrange childcare. Also, I’ve realized that exercising with a stroller is AWESOME because it holds all those items you used to try to stuff into the waistband pocket of your shorts or running tights. I got the cupholder attachment because, cupholders. The surprise benefit of that attachment is that the zip pocket holds my phone, chapstick, wallet, and sunnies within easy reach.
Second reason running with a stroller is awesome: if you find yourself short of breath and about to DIE and needing to stop or slow down, you can save face by pretending to check on the baby.
3. Ergobaby 360
I use this carrier all the time.
It’s the only way laundry gets done, and it’s the reason I have done my hair 1.5 times since Mac was born.
It’s currently also the only way she’ll nap, so there’s that.
The one thing I don’t love about this carrier is that Mac overwhelmingly prefers the outward-facing carry, and the straps dig into her arms and leave big red marks. I know it’s really designed for inward carry, so the straps aren’t really built for outward carry. I also know that inward is better for her hips, but you know, whatever makes baby happy is what baby gets.
There you have it. My top 3 post-baby freedom finders. I still miss my autonomy like woah. I yearn for the days when I didn’t have to make elaborate childcare arrangements and a bulletproof pumping schedule so I can get a fucking haircut already. My great life goal is to binge watch something on Netflix. I don’t even care what it is.
But… as my dance teacher in college always said, when you feel like something is too hard or out of reach or just.not.happening, CHANGE YOUR MIND.
I’m working on it. Like, literally, right now, while I’m nursing and taking a call and writing this post. #mompower
This post is sponsored by Aftershokz. All opinions are my own, and these headphones really have been game changing for me. If you want a chance to win your own, join us for the #AwarewithPink Instagram challenge this October!