One Hot Mama is more than an exercise or diet book for new moms; it’s about finding yourself again after giving birth.
It’s such a cliché to tell a pregnant woman that nothing will ever be the same for her—and while it’s 100 percent true, it’s not something anyone can really comprehend until it happens, no matter how prepared she might think she is. Pregnancy and motherhood change you at a cellular level (hormones and physical changes) and a soul level. There is no way to prepare for that.
But, there are things you can do to help ease yourself into your new life, and make sure that you retain some of what made you you before baby.
For me, two things ended up being the most important:
The first was a new moms support group I joined at the Good Samaritan Hospital in Lafayette where I gave birth. Before getting pregnant, the very idea of such a thing felt silly and odd to me. I am an introvert and a loner; I couldn’t imagine wanting to share my stories and problems with a room full of strange women. I could never have guessed how vitally important it would become for me.
The mere act of getting out of the house once a week—and then being able to go to a place where no one would judge me if I had to rock a crying baby, nurse, or change a poopy diaper—was incredibly liberating. But so was simply being forced to remember that I was not alone, that there were other women struggling with the same things and going through the same things I was going through. It was monumental for me, and I went religiously for the first six months of my daughter’s life (until we aged out of the group!).
The second thing wasn’t nearly so big, but it was equally—if not more—important. I made a pact with my husband so that I could get a shower every single morning. I would get up and nurse the baby, and he would get his shower. Then I would hand that little bundle off to him and I got 30 blissful minutes of alone time to shower, get dressed, even put on a little makeup before he went to work. That simple thing was so incredibly huge. It made me feel like a person. It made me feel like I could take on whatever the day could throw at me.
In those first weeks and months, that simple act of getting ready for the day, I believe, truly saved me from suffering from anything more than passing baby blues. And it’s one of the first things Erin suggests in her book.
Reaching the whole woman
I really can’t say enough good things about One Hot Mama, but the main thing I came away with after reading it is that she is really addressing you as a whole woman—notice I said woman, not mom. Because whatever you may feel like, you are more than just a mom, and Erin recognizes that.
This book is so much more than a “get your body back” diet and exercise fix. It is a lifestyle fix. Erin talks about money, journaling, making happiness a practice, meditation—even organizing your closets! And that’s in addition to sound eating advice and fitness routines you can actually follow, along with illustrated strength moves you can do at home, without spending a fortune on equipment or a gym membership.
The other really great thing about this book is that, while it’s perfect for the woman who has just given birth or is about to give birth, it’s equally perfect for the woman whose children may be a bit older. Or a lot older! No matter how big your babies have gotten, if you feel like you still aren’t you again yet, this book is for you.