How Mama Got Her Groove Back!

In my former years, I was a social butterfly. I did all the things: eating out, drinking every weekend, staying out until the sun came up, taking all the selfies, dancing with friends. Every weekend was a new Facebook Album to post of my young twenty-something adventures. Even after I married my husband, my social status did not decline. I was down for it all: LSU games every weekend, frequent sushi dates, shopping sprees, adult spring breaks. Staying in was not my jam. I loved being out and about and posting it for the world to see. I loved being “young and wild and free” as Wiz Khalifa so expressively sang.

When babies 1 and 2 came along, it definitely put a dent in my socials. I, without hesitation, recognized the shift in my priorities. But, I still wasn’t about the docile home life. If grandma was willing to babysit, we went out – just not as often. It wasn’t until babies 3 and 4 came along that my social life came to an almost complete halt.

That third baby just sucked the life right out of me and pumped me full of lard.

Aside from the logistical nightmare and exhaustion that was three kids under four, I didn’t feel like myself, but I had just assumed this was motherhood. I didn’t question it. I didn’t fight it. I accepted this new sluggish, overweight feeling of discontent and added to it by having baby number 4 – even more lard and fewer socials. Was this really how parenthood was going to be? I had gained SO. Much. Weight with the frequent pregnancies. Nothing fit me. I found comfort in over-sized sweats and maternity clothes well after post-partum. XL leggings were my go-to. I had taken solace in so many excuses for this new lifestyle. I had found myself in the mommy-slump:

Hair maintenance? Dry shampoo to the rescue.

Skin-care? Wipes will do.

Working out? What mother of 4 has the time?!

Pictures? I was too uncomfortable to even look at myself let alone post something for the world to see.

I was so dispirited. My social future did not look bright. It wasn’t until I actually saw myself in a picture with my husband and my kids that got me wide-eyed and disturbed. I snapped. That’s it! I’m tired of living this way! I’m tired of wearing something out of convenience instead of for the sake of glamour! I’m tired of not feeling like ME! I vowed to change to feel better about myself.

So, I enrolled the kids in camp and joined Weight Watchers.

Now, let me explain why this groove I got back doesn’t just involve dieting – it’s overall well-being I was trying to save here. My inner-me needed a serious kick-start, and I couldn’t do it while also mom-ing as hard as I was to all 4 kiddos. No, ma’am. I needed to get back to a healthier weight, and I needed to free that social butterfly again. Now, I’m a responsible adult here. I’m not watching the sunrise at F&M’s anymore or walking around barefoot in the quarter with heels in hand (that wasn’t me, Dad), but girls’ nights and date nights and all things sexy and glamour and FUN was desperately missing from my adult life.

With the kids away at day camp every day, and my easy dieting plan well in the works, I was able to get to a place that focused on ME and made me a better person in all facets of life. I was eating healthier. What I’ve lost in weight, I’ve gained in confidence {and a new wardrobe}. I had outlets for stress relievers through dinner dates and nights out. I was having fun again, just like I used to and documenting my social life in pictures again. For the first time in 7 years, I wasn’t pregnant, nursing, working, or in school. All of the kiddos were in camp, and I had ZERO obligations from 8 am-5 pm. The adventures I had with friends, family, and strangers helped me find the old me that has been buried deep under diapers, swim lessons, baseball practices, dance class, homework, pregnancy weight gain, breastfeeding anxiety, dr. visits — the list goes on. I was able to partake in all things social and all things me-time. My social calendar was flourishing with girls nights, meet-and-greets, day-drinking excursions, brunches, and dinner dates. My downtime consisted of coffee and a book, writing in a quiet corner at Starbucks, or actually taking a midday nap (forgot what those felt like). I did ME and have found an energy and confidence booster that I had lost several years ago. I’m happy to share my re-discovered energy and happy, centered self with my husband whom, without his patience {and wallet}, this rediscovery would NOT have been made possible.

Getting back to some of my old roots helped me find balance in my life. I’m a happier person which makes me a happier mommy and happier wife. Mama got her groove back which means mama is happy to schedule all the fun play-dates, take all the fun family photos, and purchase all the fun coordinating outfits I have confidence in wearing again. Recognizing the slump was the hardest part. Taking those initial steps had me a bit skeptical, but I had nothing to lose. I didn’t get my groove back overnight. It was a gradual unearthing that got better and better after each week of healthy choices, a rediscovery that helped transform my self-perspective to a much more positive place now. I encourage all of you mamas to do YOU and don’t let go of your inner-groove. She’s still in there.

Jennifer Gonzales
Wife to my high school sweetheart, Ross, and mother to 4 children: Trip, Conner, McKenzie, and Piper, I am a born and raised Southern Louisiana Lady. I am a graduate of Mt. Carmel Academy, received my Bachelor’s in English with a concentration in Secondary Ed. from LSU followed by my Master’s of Education from UNO, and for the past 11 years, I have been outwitting high school boys as an English teacher at Holy Cross School. When I’m not grading papers, driving to baseball practices, or making grocery runs, I can be found cheering on my LSU Tigers, cutting up with my girlfriends, and crafting (I love a good project!). I’m all about sippin’ some wine during the sunset while the kiddos play in the yard and the hubby works the grill. I’m living my best mommy life these days and am always happy to share the journey with others!

2 COMMENTS

  1. This is such a great article. Kudos to you for getting back in the game of life! You are the only one who could have taken that control back! You are YOU again!

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here