2. While your core is engaged in doing the above exercise, bend side to side to touch your heels
3. Hip thrusts while laying on back with knees bent. The next step is when your core is raised add in a bent leg lift
4. Plank - start with short times, work your way up
5. Pushups - start with wall/ then hands-on bench knees floor, then standard "girl" pushups, then full pushups.
6. Squats - use a chair under your bum to assist you.
7. Step-ups onto a stable surface are also amazing and mimics getting on a horse a bit too. If using a chair lean it against a wall and make sure it's not tippy!! Falling off hurts trust me.
8. Bonus - Exercise ball sit: Engage your core and gently sway your hips side to side and front to back. Add in circles both ways. Perfect to do while watching your favourite TV show or while working at a desk.
Disclaimer! I am not a doctor or physical therapist...take this advice as just that,.... advice from a momma of two who struggled to ride/get on my horse after having babies.
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How come talking about the loneliness, guilt, resentment, anger and shame that comes with motherhood isn’t a thing?
How come when we try and reach out for help, we are told, “Yes, being a mom is hard, isn’t it,” or, “It’s just your hormones dear, it will all level out soon enough,” or my ultimate favourite, “don’t worry about that stuff, your babies are only babies once, sit back and soak it all in and just cheer up.” How isolating is that? We have just confessed we feel like we are drowning, and we are told to swim better.
If I asked you to describe a ‘mom,’ what comes to mind? For me, Brene Brown explains it perfectly: mom’s do everything, do it perfectly, and make it look easy while doing it.
What about being a horsewoman? According to western movies, they make us tough, resilient, stubborn, firm and can do any job a man can do, but better.
Those are a lot of expectations. If you are like me, you are both a horsewoman and a mom. The weight of those expectations is exhausting.
What’s worse is we don’t talk about these extreme expectations. These standards are unspoken by society, but they are implied. It’s not like after your first baby, a nurse comes in and says, “okay, now here’s what you need to do to be a good mom.” You don’t get a piece of paper when you become passionate about horses stating the requirements needed for you to be considered a good horsewoman.
What’s sad about these unspoken standards is that we feel like failures when we inevitably can’t do it all. Those thoughts and feelings like we are failing, unworthy, less than, not enough, who am I to do that? They haunt all of us. These feelings are shame. We hide them away in hopes no one will ever see them; because if they did, we would indeed be judge and found unworthy.
Before we go further, let’s make sure we are all on the same page. Shame is the fear of disconnection, fear of being judged as unworthy and not good enough; to be cast out. Shame is “I feel awful because I am a bad person.” Guilt is “I feel awful because I did something bad.”
As a mother of two amazing young daughters, living on a beautiful farm, with an outdoor arena as a front yard, who was I to complain? I should be the happiest person alive, shouldn’t I? But I missed myself before having children. I felt that I was a horrible mom for having these thoughts; I felt ashamed. I felt unworthy around my horses because my connection with them was almost nonexistent. I was angry, resentful, frustrated, and I felt alone.
Luckily, thanks to my horse, I started going down a rabbit trail, trying to fix our connection. Instead, I found how much healing I needed. The shame I was carrying was eating away at my passion for life. I started to see the hope that I could indeed be happy and fulfilled as both a mother, wife and horsewoman.
What I wish I had in those moments was someone to talk to. Someone, I felt safe enough to share my thoughts and struggles without being disconnected or judged. I wish I had someone to help me realize that what I was dealing with was, in fact, shame and that there was a way through it. If you recognized a part of yourself as being stuck in shame, I’ve created a free booklet to help you start unpacking your thoughts to work towards finding your freedom from shame! If you’d like your copy sent directly to your inbox, you can get that here: Finding Your Freedom From Shame
Brene Brown is famous for her talks on shame; if you haven’t read or listened to her books or lectures on youtube, you need to. Almost everything I’ve learned regarding shame has been from her, so she gets all the core credits here. But what I’ve come to realize is in my darkest moments, it was shame that kept me there. Don’t let it keep you stuck.
You are enough! You are worth it!
Once, I was a fierce, independent, strong-willed, stubborn horse-crazy woman.
Then I had kids. I felt like my world shifted so much I wasn’t recognizable.
I was so proud to be a mom; I dearly and deeply love my daughters, but I also felt resentment, confusion, frustration, and anger within my life. As a result, I felt painful shame. The kind that made me too scared to reach out to anyone. What would they think of me? I felt like I was isolated and alone with these feelings; there was something wrong with me. No one else thinks like this!
I was depressed, anxious, lost, alone, exhausted, with the endless knawing in my gut making me feel nauseous continuously. I was so angry with myself I literally pulled out some of my hair. It’s postpartum depression, I was told, but that was just part of it.
Then, one chilly spring day our greenbroke colt Ace eventually had enough of my overwhelming negative emotions and chaotic energy and tried to escape by rearing straight up and then bolting, dragging me through the arena sand. After my temper finally cooled down, all I felt was guilt and shame that he felt he had to escape me that badly.
I decided I needed help knowing what to do to fix my horse. I soon found Warwick Schiller, and much to my surprise, I found I didn’t have a horse problem; I had a “me problem”. I learned that I had to heal myself first to be the leader my horse needed me to be.
For the first time, I saw a glimpse of peace. It was down this road of self-discovery if I was brave enough to take the journey. I was. I learned how to understand and navigate all the anger, resentment, anxiety, frustrations that I was drowning in. I started to feel lighter. To see the opportunity for hope; hope that I could be a wonderful mother and horsewoman. Hope that I could feel happy and fulfilled. Hope that I could be close with my husband. Hope that I would finally know who I was meant to be.
If this resonated with you, please know you’re not alone. My experiences brought me here. This is why I am doing what I do, because I know what all that feels like. I want to show you how I made it through. If you’re interested, please join me and other like-minded souls here.