One of my biggest struggles with returning to dancing was how people would perceive me. Mainly, I was worried about other moms thinking I wasn’t a good mother because I had a hobby outside of my child. Not only would I be a working mom, but also a dancing mom. I had a lot of internal pressure pushing me to give up dance, feelings that it wasn’t okay for me to be a dancer and mom.
When I was cleared to start exercising again, I immediately pulled out my DVDs and started working on my abs again. I missed them a lot and wanted that baby fat to go away. But I still wasn’t sure if I would be returning to dance. My stomach was flabby, I had a baby, and I was an emotional wreck.
This went on for weeks, my wafting back and forth. Would I return to dance? Maybe I would just go to classes but stop performing? What was right for me? Was it okay for me to do this?
Then one day, as my depression was starting to lift, I said to myself “F**k it! I love dancing. I’m not giving this up just because I’m a mom.”
The hardest thing for me to get back after childbirth in terms of my abs were my lower abs specifically. I had gotten a C-section and I didn’t get feeling back into my lower abs for months. Also my costumes didn’t fit as well as they once had. I started wearing my belts a little higher than normal due to the changes in my stomach.
It’s been three years now since I gave birth to my son. I finally, FINALLY feel like I have my body back, more or less. I’m happy that I’m still dancing and my son often asks “Mom are you going to dance?”, which I find completely adorable.
I encourage all of you dance moms out there to keep on dancing if it makes you happy. As they always say, you’ll be a better mother if you are happy.
Do you have any experiences or tips you’d like to share about dancing after childbirth? How did you get your mojo back? We’d love to hear your story. Leave a comment below or post on our Facebook page.
Or, if you’re looking for ways to get your dance mojo back after childbirth signup here for tips and motivation:
1. Be patient and kind to yourself and your body. I see a lot of women post in online mom groups about wanting their pre-baby bodies back right away. I don’t think there is anything wrong with this, I think fitness is good for you in so many ways, but please be patient and kind to yourself and your body. It took Amber three years to feel like she had her body back. THREE YEARS!
2. Accept yourself, and expect more of yourself. One of my favorite paradoxes that I first remember reading from Gretchen Rubin. So while I say be patient and kind to yourself in #1 , it’s not intended to give us an excuse to sit around and do nothing forever.
3. Don’t compare yourself to others. Just because your best friend looks like she lost all her “baby weight” in five months doesn’t mean you’re going to or that you should. Everyone is different.
4. What you do every day matters more than what you do once in a while. If it’s hard to fit in dance/fitness time into your schedule start by doing little things like getting off the bus a few stops earlier so you can get walk in. The little things will add up over time. Try and think of games/exercises that you can do with your little ones. (We’ll give you some ideas next week.)
Latest posts by Amber (see all)
- Fitting Dance Practice Into Your Busy Mom Life - May 25, 2016
- Rediscovering dance (and your abs) after childbirth - May 12, 2016
- To Dance or Not to Dance – Amber’s Pregnancy Story - May 4, 2016