Catch 22


by Amrita Sandhu

When this writing assignment fell into my lap, I have to say it’s the most relevant piece I’ve ever been asked to write about – health and motherhood. You’d think these things would go hand in hand, but Instagram models aside, I swear it’s nearly impossible to be able to excel in both of these areas of your life. 

How those “fit moms” with their killer bodies and kids with shining, bright faces do it – is beyond me. Nonetheless, the desire to be healthy is constantly a hot topic on my mind. Whether I’m changing diapers or chasing my toddler, I yearn for skinnier, healthier days. 

Every morning, I poke at my extra mom fat and shame myself in the mirror, contemplating which pair of maternity tights to throw on for that day, even though I’m seven months postpartum. How many of you can relate to this?

“We’re raising our babies without a village behind us like our ancestors did. Yet the demands of motherhood have only become more strenuous.”

“Tomorrow,” I tell myself. I’ll hop on that treadmill I forced my husband to buy six weeks ago, tomorrow. But tomorrow ends up being another 5:00AM day with my teething baby and I say, “oh to heck with it,” my extra fat keeps me warm anyway. 

With my firstborn, I began a hard-core routine of going to hot yoga 5-6 times a week. I lost upwards of fifty pounds within a six-month period. Not only did I look great, I felt great. In fact, I was in the best shape of my life. But then I burnt myself out, and I had to quit, and then shortly after that I became pregnant with my daughter.

My children are just as angelic as in this photo, and I love being their mom, but sometimes everything just piles up. It seems the mothers of today have much too much pressure on us to strive for perfection in every aspect of our lives. Not only do we have these new impossible standards of child rearing to live up to, in today’s age of never ending information and guidelines it seems we just can’t stay afloat when it comes to doing our best. 

Photographer Aida Miri has captured over 1,000 newborns. Pictured here is baby Aarza, with her parents. Above: baby Celine.

So, some areas of our lives tend to take a hit. Usually, this area is self-care. We’re raising our babies without a village behind us like our ancestors did. Yet the demands of motherhood have only become more strenuous. Now, we must adhere to all these newfound rules of raising perfect children and also maintain a healthy wellbeing. 

I’m not saying it can’t be done. Surely, if you have all your ducks in a row and a great support system – you can be that mom that does it all. But, if you’re falling by the wayside in some areas more so than others – just know that you’re not alone, and not at fault in any way. 

Yes, exercise is necessary, and yes, you will get to it. And it’ll only improve your skills as a mother and your overall wellbeing in the end. But it’s all just a matter of getting started. It’s all just about overcoming that initial hurdle of simply beginning. You must first do what needs to be done in order to dedicate some time to your health and wellness so that you can better care for your little ones thereafter. 

It’s a catch-22, in order to have the energy to exercise, you must exercise to have more energy, but once you get through those first difficult days of a massive lifestyle change – there will be no stopping you. 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Amrita is a published author with an interest in raising awareness about socially and culturally relevant issues. She is also a mother of three, and Manager at Prabhu Foods Incorporation.