Are you struggling to keep up with your regular surfing habits while nursing your baby? Here's how to get closer to reaching a satisfactory balance between motherhood and surfing.
With the birth of your first child, life changes a lot in a beautiful way, and you give new meaning to the concept of absolute love.
Naturally, with motherhood comes hard work and thousands of sleepless nights.
Breastfeeding, waking up four, five, or six times every night, changing diapers, doing the laundry, and making sure your newborn is warm and safe become the daily standard.
Quite often, the simple things in life, like using the bathroom, taking a shower, cooking, and going to the market, become a guilty necessity.
Time is always ticking away faster, and the few moments of peace you get occur when your baby is napping and sleeping.
So, that's all true - a mother's routine flips dramatically in the early months. And it can be tough to go through the first months.
But that doesn't necessarily mean moms won't be able to surf. Actually, you can make motherhood and surfing coexist peacefully.
The challenge is to adjust your new reality to the requirements of the sport that makes you feel happy, fulfilled, and healthy.
Although you may not be able to surf as much as you did in the past, things will only get better.
Alana Blanchard: "Life is Different, But That's Fine"
Alana Blanchard got back to competition mode a few months after having her first baby, Banks.
The baby boy travels with his mother, Alana, and his father, Jack Freestone, who also does the coaching and the waxing of mom's boards.
"You need to find a balance with everything. It was hard at first for me because I used to surf so much, at least two times a day. But I knew I was not going to do it as much. It's fine, though," Blanchard said.
"Life is definitely different with Banks, but we absolutely love it. Being a mom is so hard. It is a hard job because it's just constant. So, it's nice when I can just do my own workout whenever Banks gives me a chance."
Blanchard shares her daily experiences as a mother and professional surfer on her YouTube channel. It isn't all roses, but it's entirely feasible to balance both worlds.
"As professional surfers, we like to surf a bunch and train, so we always have to figure out where Banks is going to go and how to divide our time with training and this guy."
Alana Blanchard and Jake Freestone have been fully committed to raising their boy as a close family, and Banks is an integral part of their daily routine.
But now that the baby is one year old, they're planning to introduce a few changes.
"I have mental breakdowns quite often. We actually might get a babysitter for the first time because we need some time to give back to our bodies," concludes the Hawaiian surfer.
Bethany Hamilton: "Motherhood Comes First"
Professional surfer and Hawaiian legend Bethany Hamilton has her priorities aligned.
"Culturally, it has become popular to force your body back into shape and get your fitness back really fast, and some women feel that pressure," notes Hamilton.
"But I'd rather soak up the time with my baby, let that be the most important thing of the day, and ease back into it."
Hamilton believes that putting motherhood first doesn't mean she won't be able to push her surfing.
"I started working on my fitness when Wesley [her second baby] turned two months old. I worked with a personal trainer to ease my body back into it."
There are a few simple guidelines that you may follow to find a few golden minutes for a quick session at your local surf break.
Keep the Day Simple
Busy agendas are a thing of the past. Focus on feeding your baby boy or girl, and put everything else behind your back, including social meetings, parties, weekend dinners, and even family visits.
Keeping your day simpler will free up some time. Sooner or later, you'll be able to grab the board and the wetsuit and jump in the ocean for a well-deserved surf.
Fine-Tune Your Mindset
Everything in life changes, and that's perfectly fine and natural. Just because others are partying, you don't necessarily need to be in that modus operandi.
You're a mother, so enjoy your newborn baby. In a matter of months, he or she will be walking and talking and surfing by your side.
Are you feeling exhausted? Need a 60-minute break to paddle out and refresh your brain? Ask your parents, friends, and partner for help and support.
Tell them you need a couple of hours to reset your brain. Don't let exhaustion and stress take over. There is always someone willing to help you with your baby.
If your partner's a surfer, he'll understand you and help you find time to catch some waves. If he's not a surfer, negotiate spare time and let him have time for himself, too.
Don't Compare Yourself to Other Surfer Moms
Motherhood is a great opportunity to reset your priorities, rest as much as possible, and work out whenever you feel it's appropriate.
Your baby and your partner are now your number one concerns.
If you focus on the people and the tasks that really matter in the first months of your baby's life, you'll have more time to sneak out for an enjoyable surf session.
Accept your New Schedule
Have you missed an epic swell? Don't worry - there will be another one coming. Your baby is worth hundreds of perfect waves.
Are your best friends inviting you for a Saturday morning surf? Maybe next time. It is only a matter of time before you will join them.