I did it again: 2016 and Baby #2

So in truly terrible blogging fashion, I completely fell off the screen in 2016. Looking back at my blog posts, I realize that I didn’t even muster the energy to share that I was pregnant again! If you’ve followed along and read about my 1st pregnancy then you might give me a pass. I had Hyperemesis Gravidarum the 1st time, and while #2 was different and not quite as severe, I was similarly useless and incapacitated as this time there was a toddler involved.

After I found out I was pregnant again, I celebrated and then got very, very anxious. Nervously waiting for the nausea and barfing to start,  I was honestly a little alarmed when I didn’t get sick right away. With #1 the misery started promptly at 5 weeks.  For me being pregnant=being sick, so not feeling like crap was disconcerting.

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But, rest assured, it hit me. At 7 weeks, the cycle began in poetic fashion: I was bopping out the door on my way to work with my toddler in tow, and when riding the elevator it just hit me like a bus. I knew I didn’t have time to get back up to my apartment, so I just dashed outside and found the nearest tree. I’ve done a lot of barfing on trees in this city, it almost felt ceremonial to kick off the sickness by doing so again. It was extra fun with my daughter calmly watching from her stroller, amused and slightly perplexed at the goings on.

And so began another yucky 40 weeks. This time, I didn’t wait to get help. One of the biggest lessons I learned about Hyperemesis Gravidarum the first time is that when it gets out of control, it’s very, very hard to claw your way back to functional. So my strategy with this pregnancy was to use all the tools at my disposal right away. I demanded to see a doctor early (usually they like to see you at 10 weeks or so) to confirm the pregnancy and discuss all of my medication options. This helped a lot– I still barfed and dry heaved a ton, and I was still nauseous around the clock, but I took medication at the first sign of trouble and didn’t end up spiraling down so low as I had with #1.

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Well, until the 2nd trimester. You’re supposed to feel better then, right? For me, in both pregnancies, the 2nd trimester has been the worst. Once again I had multiple episodes of literally being unable to cease vomiting. Like, you stop, but then you lay down for 5 minutes and then start again, until your body has absolutely nothing left, but it still tries. And then it gives up and you rest again and oh, great, some more bile has built up, and your body is excited that there is something to get out. Rinse and repeat for hours on end. This time, there was a toddler announcing the play-by-play “What are you doing mama? Mama are you spitting in the toilet again? Can I see it?” Sometimes I had no choice but to let her watch as it’s difficult to force a toddler out of the bathroom mid-puke. I felt badly about that, but also hoped it would help her understand why I spent every moment that didn’t require something urgent and important to happen laying down on the couch.

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When it get’s like that, I’ve had to go to the hospital to get drugs and fluid through an IV. During one particularly awful week, I made a trip to hospital every afternoon for 4 days. I saw a variety of practitioners as it was over the 4th of July weekend and thus not the regular staff schedule. The variety in care I experienced was frustrating– some nurses/NPs/midwives/OBs seemed to totally get it and hooked me up with some fluid and drugs with no problem. Others were a little more conservative, or just slower to respond. One didn’t seem to worry until I started dry heaving without being able to stop while I was waiting to be seen. For any pregnant woman out there who is unusually sick: you MUST advocate for yourself. It’s not fair, but it must be done. They gave me one bag of fluid and I asked for two, because one bag barely makes a dent when you have crunchy lips. They offered me Zofran pills and I told them to get the liquid and put it in the IV bag. They offered Phenergen as pills to take home and, in the lowest of low moments, I instead took the alternative, which were SUPPOSITORIES, because that actually sounded more effective than attempting to keep the pills down. If you know what works and what doesn’t, speak up. It’s your body and baby.

Trimester #3 was probably the best part of the pregnancy, oddly enough. While the unwieldy size made me feel like a houseboat floating around my office, I at least had a few breaks from the nausea and managed to keep the barfing under control in a way that I never experienced with my first. I even managed to enjoy some food, venturing out with friends and colleagues for a few dinners out prior to the new baby.

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But, I was EXHAUSTED. My poor husband was functionally a single parent during this time. When I stumbled in the door from work, he would do all the things to care for the crazy 2 year old, who was reaching the apex of her terrible-twos during this time. He and I are all about attempting to split parenting and household responsibilities 50/50, but at this stage he was running the show 90/10. I was only holding up my end of the bargain by continuing to get to work. Life note: if your pregnancies suck, reconsider timing. If I could go back, I think I would have either done it sooner, when the toddler was less resistant (i.e. during the 12-24 month period) or later, when they supposedly chill out (3 years +). I got pregnant just a couple months before she turned 2, and I swear the crazy switch flipped right on her birthday.

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I worked until I was 37 weeks. I could have left at 36 weeks because I live in California, but financial considerations along with everything that was going on at my office in preparation for the holiday season kept me going. Sometimes I regret not taking every moment off, but as I discussed the first time around, working was also a major distraction. It was miserable dragging my body to the office every day, but at least my brain was required for a few hours to ignore the nausea and think about something totally unrelated. It’s a love-hate relationship for me, working while pregnant. I think if I didn’t, I would wallow in misery, even though I would likely be more rested and physically capable of dealing with how I felt.

Baby arrived early this time, right at 39 weeks. This was a surprise, #1 was over a week late. His birth was totally different than my first, except that it kicked of with my water breaking. That’s two for two on hollywood-style labors starts! Everyone loves a birth story, (or at least I love everyone else’s birth stories!) so I’ll save that for another post.

Copyright 2017 © i am a working mom blog

Maternity photos by the wonderful Cristin More

 

 

 

 

 

Because everyone has something to say about your bump.

Mamas, this is a topic that is sensitive to all of us: it’s all the things people have to say about our bodies with baby bumps. A few weeks ago my dear friend Mandy wrote to me about the comments she was receiving about the size of her pregnant body from friends, family and colleagues at work. She gave me permission to share her thoughts, and I’m guessing every single mama out there has a story about something someone has said, unsolicited, about their bump. I’d love to have you weigh in! 

Here’s Mandy:

SHAME ON YOU FOR BODY SHAMING

As I dive head-first into the third trimester of my first pregnancy, I can’t help but notice that everyone seems to have something to say about the size of my body. At first, I let it roll off and even joined in to end the conversation sooner, but now, I’ve reached my limit.

What I find particularly interesting is the difference in tone and tenderness in the comments made by my family, friends, co-workers, and strangers.

Exhibit A:

“You look beautiful.”

“Your belly is the cutest!”

“Looking good! How do you feel?”

Those are all direct comments I’ve received from my husband, co-workers, and strangers.

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Exhibit B:

“WOW – are you sure there’s only one baby in there?!”

“No offense, because your face, arms, and legs are still tiny, but is this a joke and you’re actually having four babies?”

“Oh MY! There’s no way you’re only X months along. You’re so BIG! Those doctors must be wrong about your due date.”

Those are direct quotes from my siblings and other close relatives. At first, I thought that perhaps this was their way of trying to make me laugh. But I think there’s something more to it. I’ve narrowed it down to three potential reasons:

1. I’ve always been thin. Maybe these people who grew up with me are simply uncomfortable with my changing body and don’t know how to kindly communicate their feelings.

2. Social media is the problem. Most of my family is 2,000 miles away, and the majority of these comments are made in the form of posts or text messages in response to a photo. We all know that people tend to lack human filters on digital forums.

3. They’re inconsiderate assholes.

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Whatever the reason, it’s not ok, and I’m going to start sticking up for myself. Here are some ideas I have on how to respond henceforth:

“Just one baby that we know of – but we’re thankful I’m so healthy. Weight gain during pregnancy is normal, and I’m in a healthy range. Thanks for your concern.”

“How interesting. I didn’t realize you were so uncomfortable with my changing body. Feel free to give me a call if you ever want to talk about it. It’s a lot of change for me too, as you can imagine.”

“Turns out I actually am only X months along. It would be great if you could be a little more supportive and focus less on the size of my body and more on ways to keep my spirits up.”

Tbd on the effectiveness of this new approach. If nothing else, I will be amused.

There is no good reason why pregnant women should have to bear the burden of insensitive comments about our bodies. All the changes we’re going through are beautiful, terrifying, and exciting all at the same time. Our journeys are unique and worth celebrating, not shaming.

-Mandy

This really resonated with me. I too received a lot of commentary on my body in my first pregnancy. I’m pretty sure EVERY pregnant woman gets a myriad of unsolicited comments. Why is a baby bump suddenly the green light for people to let loose their thoughts about our bodies? 

I didn’t gain a lot of weight (see: Hyperemesis Gravidarum) and I received commentary about how “tiny” I was, and how “great” I looked  because I was small or “only belly”. I was “lucky” that I didn’t “even look pregnant from the back!” If I posted a picture, the comments from mom-friends/peers were often centered around the perceived success of my not-too-big pregnant body. 

I recognize people who said these things really meant to be complimentary. The world tells us skinny is the ideal, so being on the smaller side as a pregnant woman must be a real treat, right? But honestly, I fretted about my weight gain. When my daughter was born 10 days late, I was surprised at her very average size- I had been told late babies are usually a pound or two bigger than average. She then ate like a ravenous wildebeest from the moment she got to the boob, putting on the pounds at lightening speed. I’ve always wondered if she came out extra hungry because she never got quite enough from me in the womb. I felt like a crappy mom before my kid was even born. 

There must, MUST be something better to say to pregnant women of all shapes and sizes that can satisfy the urge to reassure your friend/coworker/lady at the grocery store that she really is glowing with the beauty of motherhood, without any reference to her size. Right? 

Thoughts? Any tips for Mandy on great responses you’ve heard or given? 

 

 

 

Lifestyle of a mom, in photos | Happy Mother’s Day!

As I hinted to in my daughter’s birthday post, I was lucky enough to be invited to help a very talented friend with a project for her business. Jen, professional photographer and mother of 4, (including twins!), has been shooting newborn and family sessions for years here in the Bay Area. She shot my husband and I years back when we were carefree and childless with few things better to do than document ourselves in all of our favorite spots in San Francisco. She then took what might be my favorite picture of all time in a newborn shoot for my daughter– I mean, who can capture a 2-week-old baby with such smiling eyes and a joyous expression? I’m pretty sure I cried for 15 minutes when she first sent me this photo:

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So, when she texted me about a motherhood lifestyle project focused on the life behind the lens rather than traditional family portraits, I was totally game. Jen describes her motivation to feature moms so beautifully:

Even when the subject is a newborn, what I’m drawn to is the story of a woman’s rebirth into motherhood. Or with a family, what I can’t shoot enough of is that mother-child connection. As a mom of four and a photographer, I ache to have my time with them documented–in an honest, artful, and–let’s be honest–flattering way. I got to thinking about the milestones in our lives that are typically documented–high school graduation and wedding for sure; maybe a head shot for work; and maybe maternity photos.  After that, if she has professional photos taken, the focus really isn’t on mom; it’s on the kids. Motherhood is so transformative, so consuming, and, many would say, their defining title, I believe mamas deserve to be photographed simply for that reason.

I’m hoping to shoot more sessions where the focus is on the mom, where the story I tell is her story, and where the resulting images can be a source of satisfaction. A counterpoint to the feelings of mom-guilt and self-doubt and plain old fatigue that are universal to the role of mothering.

Can we get an AMEN for this wonderful concept? How often does the supposedly straightforward task of getting your life together for a family picture exhaust you before you even start? And then you get them back and someone isn’t smiling, or you don’t like your hair, or your toddler is a maniac and you feel like you failed at mothering again. I loved this concept, and so there was simply no way I could turn down the opportunity to just take some time with my daughter to do the fun things we already enjoy and have someone crazy-talented capture a few of those moments on film. I was pumped.

We went to the Ferry Building Farmer’s Market, where we are regulars on the weekend browsing for fresh fruit to taste and flowers to bring home. We meandered along the Embarcadero, (a daily occurrence for my girl and I)  and then went back to my apartment to simply be the weirdos that we are.

Here are some of my faves from the shoot, which of course features just me and my daughter. I figure if there is ever an acceptable time to post an abundance of pictures of myself with my kid, Mother’s Day weekend is it!

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Jen shared some of her goals for her future motherhood lifestyle sessions with me, including the following:

a) embrace motherhood and want to remember themselves enjoying it; they value their role as something worthy of capture in and of itself

b) aren’t looking for canned smile-at-the-camera shots. These will be very interactive, a little artsy/unexpected, and, hopefully, soul-stirring. A mix of quiet, sweet moments and playful ones. At home and/or out & about, doing things that are true to the mom and her kiddos.

c) are willing to be vulnerable. What I’m hoping for isn’t just an idealized version of her experience; I want it to be in a way real and raw, because mom-ing is messy and frustrating and thrilling and sweet and full of all the contrasts imaginable.

I’m beyond flattered that when she decided to try this out, she thought of me. Jen asked me how I felt after receiving the images she created, and I honestly couldn’t be more delighted. Doing the shoot at home was probably my favorite part- my daughter was so comfortable in her own space and was willing to play and be her regular silly self, despite another person in the apartment lurking with a camera. Jen was so patient, waiting for just the right moments to capture, not interested in forcing anything. We had ideas for some pictures we wanted to try to make, but mostly we just played things by ear. As a mother herself, Jen can read her kid clients so easily, and being able to gauge the mood of a toddler is way more important than the adults.

Thank you Jen for the awesome session! You can see her edit of this shoot and learn more about her at this gorgeous website, www.jenjphoto.com. Today’s photo’s are all, of course, by Jen Jacobson.

HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY TO EVERYONE!

Copyright 2016 © i am a working mom blog

 

Moms to Marvel: Meet Cristin, “working-part-time-when-I-feel-like-it mom”

Welcome to the April installment of my series Moms to Marvel. I am regularly sharing a stories from inspiring moms to get unique takes and experiences on balancing life, working and motherhood. Check out previous posts here. If you have a story you want to share, contact me! 

Cristin and I met via a mutual friend who astutely observed that we happened to be pregnant/due at the same time, and more importantly, we both were miserable and despised pregnancy beyond description. Thus she concluded we might get along! Turns out that’s a winning formula, I’ve never been set up with such a fabulous friend. 

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Moms to Marvel: Meet Whitney, and Whitness the Fitness.

Welcome to the March installment of my series Moms to Marvel. I am regularly sharing a stories from inspiring moms to get unique takes and experiences on balancing life, working and motherhood. Check out previous posts here. If you have a story you want to share, contact me! (I’m doing things a little differently this time, with a question/answer format, so let me know what you think!)

I can’t wait for you all to meet Whitney, her story is so captivating, from retail career to full-time mom to bodybuilding star! This lady sets goals and achieves them, calmly raising 3 children along the way. I absolutely love her honesty about wrestling with mom guilt and the desire for an identity outside of both careers AND motherhood. Read on ladies, and prepare for the itch to hit the gym.

mom Whitney pregnant to winning on iamaworkingmomblog

So Whitney, tell us a bit about you, your career path and what you are up to these days: 

I am an at-home working mom. Meaning, I am a full-time mom. Which, deep down and 7 years into this gig still sort of tugs at me. I went to school, got an English degree, and imagined it would dawn on me any day now what I would actually want to do with my life. In the meantime, I thought holiday employment at the Gap would be super. I put myself to work there: showed up, folded hard, customer-serviced hard, and naturally worked up to manage. During that time I began dating my future husband and we started getting serious about marriage. But I learned of the RMP program Gap Inc. was offering for college grads based in corporate in San Francisco. I decided it was my dream job!

I knew things were moving forward in my relationship in Salt Lake City, but I just couldn’t pass up at least giving the program a shot. So I applied. And I got accepted. And it was so exciting. 6 weeks before I left for San Francisco I got engaged. I then spent 6 glorious months taking in all the goings-on of corporate retail. The intent was to land a job at corporate after the program. Our wedding was planned for the following spring and I approached the whole training with an open mind; get the training, work really hard, if it worked out that my husband and I would settle in SF for awhile, great. But if we needed to be in Salt Lake City (he worked in the family ski shop business), well that was fine too. I loved my training, everythingI learned had appeal to me and it helped me understand my job in the stores better. But, by the end of the program it became clear with my husband’s job and his dad making his way toward retirement that we needed to be in Utah.

mom whitney with hub and trophies on iamaworkingmomblog.com

I was sad to leave San Francisco, but I was happy to go back to the Gap stores and manage, with a whole new arsenal of tools acquired in my corporate training. I moved around to stores along Northern Utah pretty frequently, as managers were needed. 

My time in retail spanned about 6 years and by the end, I just knew I didn’t want to spend the rest of my working years there. I had always pictured myself a working gal, but seriously hadn’t wrapped my head around what that really meant for me. An opportunity came up to do sales in a different arena–placing doctors into temporary positions needed in clinics and hospitals. I would help them find the right fit, negotiate pay, housing, all the details of their travel, etc. The stable hours, no holidays, and more of an office setting really appealed to me.

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That was in the fall of 2006. I worked really long days, but I settled in pretty fast and was successful. Then 3 months into my new job I found out I was pregnant. We had had a slow-go at getting pregnant earlier in 2006 and then, when I got my new job, decided to hold off a bit. But then it happened and I was pretty excited. I was due in December of 2007 and worked all the way up to the time my little guy was born.

After his birth, it quickly became obvious that I did NOT want to go back to work. I couldn’t wrap my brain around both my husband and I working 12 hour days and figuring out care for our son. It didn’t make sense to me. Yet it was a little overwhelming to think about not going back to my job–financially and personally. But we decided that I would stay home. And I’ve been home more or less ever since, and 2 more children joined our family. I did work briefly in a family practice office after our second child came along, and then our third came and I just wasn’t invested enough to continue to manage our 3 kids AND my part time job.

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How are you feelings these days about choosing to work as a full-time mom?

8 years later, I am a stay at home mom and while fundamentally I am happy with the choice I made for our family, I STILL struggle with the fact that I don’t have what is “just Whitney.” A career, a job, something productive outside of ensuring my 3 little people are raised to be happy and healthy. Part of it is that I never really established what that “thing” would be for me; I still don’t know what I “should” be doing or want to be doing! And, I honestly don’t feel like I am the best mom ever. I mean, I guess who does? But there are way too many days where I just know I shouldn’t be at home with kids. But I am working on that; and to continually work on improving my weak areas as a mother really is motivating to me. I’m in it for the long haul and to have my kids grow up with fond memories of me instead of their mom, the monster, is pretty much the goal.

whitney family on iamaworkingmomblog.com

Wait, but you’ve got a little something that is “just Whitney”, right?

Well, there has been this one thing… Fitness and nutrition have been my outlet, my hobby, my fire, pretty much my part-time job. I was active in high school and I joined a gym in college, spending most of my time doing cardio or popping into a class here and there. When I got married, my husband and I liked to go to the gym together. I got more serious after our first child was born. We decided to join a more costly gym (which to afford meant 100% commitment) that had a really nice child center and 2 hours a day of child care. Since the day my baby was old enough to go to the child center I have been there 6 days a week. I have only taken lengthy breaks when new babies were born. In fact, my young children do not know what it’s like to be at home between the hours of about 8:30 am-10:30 am. They have grown up at the gym and like going as much as I like dropping them off 😉

After my last and final baby I decided that I wanted to change my body composition.I have always been in healthy shape, my endurance was good, I was a healthy clothing size, but my diet was definitely where I needed improvement. I love real food, I love healthy food and considered my diet “clean” (I’m so over that word, can we find a new trendy diet word?) but it wasn’t managed or tracked very well. I just ate what I ate and because I didn’t often eat crap, I didn’t worry too much about it. So, I emailed an old friend, a current nutritionist and trainer, and told her I wanted to get my body fat down. I believe I said something about wanting to “train like I was going to compete, but not actually compete.” Ha.

We started working together. I closely tracked my food intake and spent about four months dieting, lifting lots of weight and doing 4-5 days a week of cardio. I lost 13 pounds and a few inches altogether, and managed to build some healthy muscle. I was pretty happy with the way I felt.

mom Whitney transformation 2 as featured on iamaworkingmomblog.com

By the first part of August 2014, I started feeling like I wasn’t sure what was next for me, but I knew I wanted to eventually get to a place where I wasn’t just eating 1500 calories a day for the rest of my life (remember, I love food). Fitness and nutrition and how they work together really started to intrigue me. There is so much you can do! Diet to lose body fat, reverse diet to build muscle and maintain a certain level of leanness, as well as strengthen metabolism, etc. I realized I had gotten fairly lean in those first several months so we decided to try to build my metabolism a bit as well as some muscle. It was such a fun process. I slowly began to eat more food (yay!) and still stayed pretty lean, but saw some fun physique changes.

I’ll say those physique changes look pretty fun. What made you decide to compete?

Well, gym regulars were noticing changes in my physique, my friends and family too. Some people would ask if I was prepping to compete, some would tell me I should, my coach (who competes herself) mentioned it a couple times. But initially I just didn’t want to. I was happy doing what I was doing, I had a little fear about the process of prepping (read: diet), fear about aftermath of getting super lean and then reversing out of it. And my overall thought was that, while this hobby of mine was a worthy hobby and I enjoyed it so much, in the grand scheme of my life: my family, my husband, my kids, it was not that important. It didn’t seem to add THAT MUCH value to raising my family, except for what I believe to be a major lesson to teach my kids that health, fitness and nutrition are really important.

I think that’s the mom guilt that commonly creeps into our minds. Moms of young kids get into a groove of doing everything for everybody else and little for themselves and don’t acknowledge that it’s ok to carve out some space for you! Or maybe we’re just too tired to. Either way, time passes and you can feel like you’ve missed opportunities. But as far as spending two hours everyday in the gym (for me), spending time prepping and eating food (for me), all to essentially build a body (for me), it can seem a little self-involved and vain. Me, me, me. (And really, it isn’t all about how I look. It’s just that happens to be a part of the measurement of progression.) I just think it’s super cool that God gave us these bodies that can do amazing things and that when we really put focus, and work, and the right nutrients into them we can make them do almost anything.

Mom Whitney diptic on iamaworkingmomblog 

I love how I feel when I workout. Like, LOVE it. I’m a much nicer wife, mom, lady in the grocery store when I get my workouts in.

I digress. Over time, I was starting to get complacent with my program- I needed another goal or landmark. When even MY PARENTS started asking when I was going to compete, I thought well for crying out loud, when are the shows? So my coach told me my options, I asked a million questions and decided on a competition. I had about 9 weeks to prepare, which isn’t generally a lengthy prep period, but I had already sorta been prepping before I actually committed to the competition. I just didn’t know it.

My workouts stayed pretty much the same, I cut my calories down gradually, and I began meeting with a professional competitor who helped me learn to pose and coached me on what it would be like to be on stage. I had so much fun during the process, though there were definite times I thought “what am I doing?!”

The mom-guilt thing.

Like, why am I devoting so much time and effort (and money!) to something so self-involved and shallow? On the other hand, it was a goal, a process. I set out to achieve a goal and I was going to go hard to make it happen. It helped that I have a husband who is incredibly supportive and thinks my hobby is totally worthwhile.

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The show came around and I ended up winning the novice, open, and masters category,  and the overall award. It was insane. I was this “nobody” in Utah, where some of these women had competed a time or two or three, and I showed up and took the whole show. My husband made t-shirts that said “Whitness the Fitness” with these barbells on them. There must have been 20 friends and family members wearing them that night. It was so fun.

So after you swept the show, did it make you want to compete again?

Placing high in that competition qualified me to compete nationally. It was determined pretty quickly that I would go to a national show in Pittsburgh early that Fall. The second time around was tougher. I think because I knew what to expect, and the “rookie” head-in-the-clouds piece of it was out. But I still put in 100% effort, I gave it my all. I did really well in Pittsburgh, considering it was my second show ever. National shows are no joke. Everyone who is there qualifies to be there, and it’s obvious why. I managed to place 12th in my open category and 10th in my masters category.

Placing 10th in a national competition? That sounds pretty freaking amazing. How are you feeling now about your something that is “just Whitney”?

I am back to reverse dieting, still training as hard as ever, because I can’t not. I just love it. But I’m enjoying some balance in my diet and how it fits with my everyday life  I may compete again next year, I may not. I haven’t quite decided.

mom Whitney inspiration on iamaworkingmomblog.com

I think I will forever have this voice in the back of my head that will tell me to stop playing bodybuilder and go get a real job, yet I am proud of myself that I found something I truly love to do and that I set a goal and committed to following through with it. I *hope* that it’s something of an example for my kids–that we can do hard things, that we need to take care of our bodies, that work is good for us. One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned from this hobby is as a mom, whether we work outside our homes or we are with our kids full-time, it’s okay–nay, it’s necessary— to carve out what makes me Whitney.

A profession might be part of that for some; our hobbies and passions fill up the rest. It doesn’t matter. We shouldn’t ignore them or put them on the back-burner. They are what make us better moms, spouses, partners, friends, family members, members of our community. I think I’ll forever be on a quest to figure out what I want to be when I grow up, but I’ve decided that as long as I’m making an effort to do what I love to do, opportunities will present themselves.

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In the meantime, this mom-gig gives me a run for my money every day of the week and I’m grateful that after 8 years of signing up for the challenge that it continues to evolve and change and sharpen me in ways that nothing else in life does. And the wannabe bodybuilder part? Well hopefully in 20 years the kids will look back at memorabilia and appreciate that their dad gave her the nickname of “Whitness the Fitness” back in her mid-thirties when she decided to be her best fitness self.

That instead of ignoring the little fire inside of her to push a little further and do something outside of her norm mom-life, she went for it.

Full disclosure, Whitney is a personal hero of mine. She quite literally put me on the path to my corporate retail career, but mostly I cherish our friendship, born of folding jeans and t-shirts together for hours and hours, bonding us for life. 

Whitney has a super fun instagram to follow: @Whitness_Fitness  Her pics are either inspiring or delicious. I’ll take both. 

Pictures provided by and belong to Whitney, professional shots by l1quid studios.

Copyright 2016 © i am a working mom blog

Oh hey, a giveaway?

Mamas. Of all the mom-blog things I should know how to do, a giveaway is probably one of them. But as with many things, I’m behind…what can I say? Oh right, I’ve got a toddler.

I’ll be brief. I love simple, modern home decor, and I’m obsessed with maps (a derivative of my love for traveling). I don’t do much traveling these days; between working and the toddler I’m barely keeping the wheels on my local life—but I do love a good stare at a map to think of the possibilities.

So, I’m very excited that I get to give away 7 of these lovely pieces: a Gold on White World Map printed on  a 20″ X 24″ X 1.5″ gallery wrapped stretched canvas, the design by Amy Brinkman and made by Americanflat. Clear off a wall, this beauty needs a prime spot to hang!

3 easy steps to enter!

  • Leave a comment on this post including your instagram handle (or email so I can contact you)
  • Head over to my instagram, and follow me! (@iamaworkingmom)
  • Like the giveaway post on instagram and tag 3 friends

*For an extra entry, subscribe to the blog with your email! (subscription box to the right)*

Winners will be selected at random and I will notify you with a link to claim your prize on Wednesday night!

There will be SEVEN winners (!) so tell all of your (mom) friends to drop on by. It’s totally ok to have matching gold maps with your mom-bestie.

Cheers!

Martha