Postpartum Update: 6 month PP Update

6 month update : Ashley Clark Blog

It’s been a MINUTE since I sat down to write out a blog post that wasn’t about fashion or what sales are going on. I feel like blog posts are just fading out these days on blogs and it makes me so sad. I love reading a good blog post still, helps me feel inspired and just take my mind away from all the stresses I have going on in my life. So I hope my blog posts can do that for some of you. Even if it touches one person, that makes all the difference to me!

Third Time Around:

Going into my third pregnancy, I had a completely different mindset with everything! I had two kids ( 7 and 5 years old) at home and they kept me extremely busy. I didn’t have time to worry about things I normally worried about when I was pregnant before. Also I was in my 30’s this time around and man does that make a difference as well. You literally just don’t care about other people’s opinions anymore and are just comfortable with who you are.

Knowing that this was going to be my last pregnancy, I tried my hardest to keep my weight gain under control because I knew how hard it was going to be to drop the baby weight. My body literally won’t let go of the weight until I’m fully done nursing, totally not fun but oh so worth it!! I’ve struggled with how I view my body (PP) this time around and it has been VERY VERY hard. I try daily not to be so hard on myself but at the end of the day, the extra 20+ pounds is hard to swallow. Being on social media just makes this matter even worse because you see these other women who get back into their pre pregnancy weight in a matter of a couple weeks! I know everyone’s bodies are different but man is it hard not to compare yourself!! At the end of the day I’m only human. If I didn’t have my blog and wasn’t on social media for that then I know I wouldn’t care as much. I care because it effects my business a lot. As sad as it is, you are just not that relatable to many and it’s harder to build your community when you are not what society and social media like. I know a lot of you enjoy following me because you are in my same boat and I love and so appreciate that!! Your support and love have made all the difference for me.

Getting back on track with being a third time Mom. Becoming a Mom for the third time is just as magical as it was the first time. Only difference is, you have ZERO me time and you are three times exhausted! I am way more laid back this time around for sure!! What I mean by that is, when you are a first time Mom you are figuring out how to be a Mom. The second time you kinda know what you are doing but are still a little nervous because now you have to learn how to juggle two little humans. The third time around, you know you got this because it’s already madness having two kids at home. I told myself that I would enjoy every sleepless night, every cry (from me and her), every body ache, every tantrum, every smile, every single thing that goes into raising a little baby because it would be my last time experiencing it! Accepting this and going in with this mindset has COMPLETELY changed me as a Mother not only for Annabelle but for my two older kids as well. You waste so many days stressing over stuff that has no meaning…messy house, messy rooms, kids not wanting to pick up after themselves, etc….

So my advice to you Mamas that are going into your first, second, or third pregnancy. Make a promise to yourself to try and enjoy all the bad as you would the good. I promise you it makes a difference because you are not setting yourself up for failure. I’m not saying this will be easy at all. I cried a lot the third time around but I stuck with my promise and I’m so happy I did.

Juggling Three Kids:

Juggling three little people is no joke! If you think it’s madness, well then you are correct. Don’t get me wrong, I love my life and my three beautiful selective hearing children but boy I do look forward to Monday-Friday, on the days Annabelle truly just needs Mama’s attention. When I brought Averie home from the hospital Charles was just a baby himself, almost 2 years old. So he was very confused about what was going on. He just wanted his Mom and realized he now had to share her, which didn’t go over well with him. Long story short, it was HARD!!! Lots of tears on both our ends for a handful of months. Now they are the best of friends and do everything together. Bringing Annabelle home was a 180! The kids were SO excited that we were having a baby and are so good with her. They couldn’t wait to hold her and love making her laugh. Now that we are 6 months in, the sunshine and rainbows are fading, especially with Averie. She is now adjusting to being a middle child, which is so hard!!

Nighttime is the hardest for her right now. She wants all of my attention, which she use to get before Annabelle came. We have been establishing new routines for her but it’s not easy at all. A lot of trial and error but she is making some growth little by little. Overall, now that we are 6 months in I have a handle on everything. As many of you know, my Husband has insane hours and I have been doing all of this pretty much solo. I’m looking forward to Summer so much. I’m so tried of being on the kids school schedule. I feel so bad for Annabelle too because she has had to adjust to the kids school schedule since birth and it hasn’t been easy for her. She hasn’t been able to just be a baby and get the sleep she deserves. What a little trooper she is tho. I admire her strength for sure. Fighting a horrible heat rash shortly after she was born and now ezscama patches we are dealing with. Things could be a lot worse and I’m not complaining at all, just saying I wish little babies didn’t have to go through such things. They have their entire lives to deal with hurt and pain.

Finding time to give each child what they need is what I am struggling with at the moment. Also making sure not to give in to negative attention…that’s a hard one for me! I feel for my older kids so much because they have been so patient through out this whole adjustment period. One thing I do in my house is make every talk out what they are feeling and why they are feeling it. It’s so easy just to yell and take action on what they are doing. What they really need is for us to stop, take a minute, and then listen! I’m trying to help teach them these skills now so we can keep building off them as they get older. I ordered The Better Mom Daily Devotional from Amazon and it’s been a wonderful read while I have my morning coffee. So far it’s been very helpful to keep my mind level before I start my day with my kids. I also ordered a Prayer Journal that I use with my other devotional book. Having this 10 minutes of quite time is golden when you are trying to keep your stress level down. HA! If you are looking to switch up your morning routine, I would highly recommend trying these items out.

Postpartum Fitness:

The fun topic everyone loves to talk about. Going off of how I am juggling three kids solo, being able to fit in any type of workout isn’t easy mainly because I am so exhausted!!! I know once I start a working out, I will build up that energy. Home work outs are my favorite to do. I have never been a gym person, mainly because I just like to people watch from the treadmill. HA!! Then you have your class type workouts which I love but I find some places to be so overpriced and too I have no one to watch Annabelle. So home works are my love and I can push myself harder when no one is around. My Husband got me a Bob Stroller for Christmas and Annabelle and I have been walking as much as we can. I struggle with going on more walks lately because we are establishing a better nap routine. She gets one good nap in a day while the kids are at school and when we walk some days, I miss my window and then our whole day is thrown off. So if she decides not to nap, then we will go for a 2-4 mile walk. I was running but I pulled something in my heel. It’s been a very slow recovery and also very painful!

We live in a two story home and walking down the stairs was a struggle. Long story short, my end goal for my work outs this time around is to NOT stress if I cannot get a work out in. Just TRY and do whatever you can do when you have the chance. I am getting more sleep than I was a few months ago but now my body is playing catchup from all those sleepless. I’m just so tried and my body aches some days. Taking care of you body isn’t just about working out, it’s about listening to it. Giving it what it needs when it asks for it. Sleep and rest is just as important as sweating and burning calories. If you are struggling with finding time to get a workout in, don’t beat yourself up because I’m right behind you. Remember too, abs start in the kitchen! ;)

What’s Cooking:

When I went to go drop the baby weight after I had my son, I tried the South Beach Diet for the first time. It took me about 2-3 weeks to drop all the weight! Now I know that isn’t reality for a lot of women and I had a few major factors that I don’t have going for me today. First up, I was not longer producing milk for him. I pumped until I dried up which was around 6 months. If I had a better pump at the time, I would have been able to pump longer for him. Secondly, I was A LOT younger during that time. Had my son in my early-mid 20’s and overall your body is completely different after you turn 30! Thirdly, I just had him at home and my stress level was zero! He slept a ton and I just had him and I to worry about. Moving on to when I dropped the weight with Averie. I nursed her until she was done, which was about 13-15 months old. Once I stopped nursing her I turned to South Beach Diet again and it took a few months to drop the weight. I was still in my early-mid 20’s but I had more stress to deal with because I had now two babies at home. Plus I fell off the wagon a few times during those months because well , that’s just life!!

Starting now a third time around to drop the weight, everything is different!! For one I am still nursing, I have now three kids to pump up my stress level, and life just keeps getting more crazy and busy. I am turning to the South Beach Diet again because that’s what works for my body plus it’s easy for me to handle how to eat that way. It’s no carbs an no sugar for the first two weeks and then you slowly introduce certain carbs back into your diet after the two week mark. This time around I’m challenging my self to do no carbs and no sugar for 10 days!! Yes, like the JLo and Aroid challenge they just did. My Mom and Husband are going to join me as well, so that will be helpful! We are going to do 10 days on and 5 days off. I am actually really excited to get started and I’m shocked I am

I have hit a point in my life right now where I am just so unhappy with how I FEEL. I feel unhealthy and I cannot stand feeling like that. I’m an active person and I’m letting my emotions and stress win! I’m stopping that TODAY!! Only I can change the way I feel and look everyday, no one else can do that for me. If I want a change then it’s time to put in the hard work and make that happen. Just like you would do for any kind of goal you have for yourself. I’m living off this moto not only for my health but for my business as well. I have such a drive and passion to be in the blogging industry. Fashion has been a love of mine since I was my daughters age and if didn’t know she is 5 years old. ;) . I love styling outfits and helping other women feel beautiful and inspired. Feeling beautiful starts within and it’s time to making that happen for me again.

I am realizing lately that I have to give myself grace but most importantly establish a routine that actually fits in my day to day life. Also, not to feel guilty and beat myself up anymore if things or schedules just don’t work for me and my life! Creating a happy and cheerful routine is going to be a game changer not only for me but for my family as well.

I am so excited for the coming months and to see the progress I make. At some point I am going to make a motivation board because I’m a very visual person. Once I hit my first goal, I am going to treat myself to an outfit that I really want! I will keep you ladies updated on how things are going down the road, if you want me too. I also find it helpful and inspiring to follow fitness bloggers or fashion bloggers who do fitness things. My two faves that I have followed for YEARS, like before I started blogging are Andee Layne and Lauren Kay Sims. They are genuine women and Moms that diffidently don’t ride on the typical Instagram blogger train!

I hoped you ladies enjoyed today’s long post. I asked if you wanted me to go over anything specific from my Instagram account and I got some questions about breastfeeding. That is such a big topic that I don’t mind making a blog post just for that. If you have any other questions about today’s post or something I didn't cover, please just shoot me a comment below!