Last fall, a few weeks after I found out I was pregnant, I logged on to Facebook and saw a post my friend had shared. It showed a lovely vista from a mountaintop and said something like, “What a beautiful eight-mile hike this morning! No excuses! #fitfirsttrimester #fitpregnancy #fitmom.”
That elicited a pretty dramatic eye roll from me.
Maybe because I’d had potato chips and cheese for dinner the night before to keep from feeling nauseous. Maybe because I was curled up on my bed wondering if it was better to just feel nauseous but not actually get sick or to get sick and get it over with. Maybe because, that afternoon, I felt completely out of breath from walking half a block and climbing two flights of stairs to get to my car after work. Whatever the reason, that post bugged me. I was not feeling the #fitmom thing.
Logically, I know my frustration was silly; I didn’t even know the person who went on the hike! My friend who shared the post wasn’t making some pointed remark about how active or healthy my first trimester was. When I read that post, no one even knew I was pregnant.
Non-pregnant Kim would have looked at that post and said, “Hey, go girl!” So why did the #fitmom post bug me?
Something about pregnancy makes me hold myself to a different standard than I would normally. Most of the time, my family eats decently, and I stay decently active. But throw pregnancy in the mix, and all of a sudden I think I should transition to a kale-based diet, interspersed with weekly hikes. (Unfortunately, I think kale is “meh,” and I hate hiking…). While we’re at it, I should have a perfectly organized, spotless house. Oh, and I should be able to keep it that way with minimal effort. I should put away laundry right after it comes out of the dryer. I should also be able to wake up without hitting snooze.
However, as every pregnant woman has discovered before, I do not instantly become the best version of myself just because a test came back positive. I make a conscious effort to do some things, such as drinking more water, taking vitamins, and going to bed earlier. After all, I am literally the only person who can care for my baby at this point. And, I can only care for my baby if I take care of myself. Right now, “taking care of myself” looks like playing silly games with my daughter instead of putting away laundry, rereading Anne of Green Gables instead of hiking, and eating a big ol’ bowl of chocolate ice cream instead of kale…or anything else for dinner.
If “taking care of yourself” means going for an eight-mile hike, go, girl! I promise I won’t roll my eyes at your hike if you won’t roll yours at my ice cream.