Interview with Holly Pither, Mum blogger at Pitter Patter Pither
I'm going to caveat this post by saying I know pretty much nothing about being a Mum. I'm not a mother myself, and whilst I have a niece and two nephews who I adore (brief shout out to Isla, Tristan and Kit), it’s hardly first-hand experience on the job.
However, a lot of my followers on @slimmingworldrecipes and here on the Rosie and the Recipes blog, are Mums either for the first time or have kids already. So, I’m handing over to Holly Pither, Mummy blogger of Pitter Patter Pither. She’s a new Mum who knows a thing or two about fitness too.
Holly, you're a new Mum to lovely baby Amelia. In one sentence how has that been for you so far?
HP: A roller-coaster; certainly the most wonderful time of my life, but by far the hardest job I have ever taken on.
You started your blog because you were scared about letting go from a big job in PR, even temporarily. What's your recommendation for other successful women in the same boat?
HP: I was so worried about pausing my career in the PR and comms world, even if only for a little while. I worried I would lose my identity and that in some way my job defined me. I know I am not alone in my fears, since starting the blog I have been inundated with people confiding in me that they are going through the same thing. My recommendation would be to understand what makes you ‘you’ outside of work and use that as a basis for your maternity leave. I loved fitness before I went off on maternity leave and I still love it now. Keeping this up has made me feel like me again.
There is a ton of pressure out there to be flat-stomached 'post partum' right after the birth of your baby. A lot of dieters reading Rosie and the Recipes are new Mums too, do you have any advice for them?
HP: Yes, don’t do things too quickly! Your body needs time to adjust, you have just had a baby and that was no easy feat! Listen to your body, too. Mine told me relatively quickly that I was ok to do some light exercise. Ultimately, you know your body better than any medical professional so don’t feel bullied by what others are doing or saying. One bit of advice I have for pregnant ladies is to cook up a storm before you give birth and freeze it all. It’s so helpful down the line when the baby is born to have home cooked healthy dishes that are ready to go.
You were always fit as a fiddle before (and during) the pregnancy, how do you fit exercise into your routine now?
HP: It’s not easy that’s for sure, but here are some tips:
1) Exercise at home for 15 minutes whilst your baby is asleep (but if you have had a rough night, get yourself to bed too and bypass the burn. Sleep is too precious and it’s not worth the trade-off!)
2) Take long walks with the pram, the baby will sleep and you will get some fresh air.
3) Try an exercise class for new mums. They are out there. Check out onefitmama as a start point and see if there is one in your area. There are also loads of buggyfit classes too.
4) Use a baby sling and do some exercise with the baby in your living room. Babies love this. Squats and overhead lifts will feel like a game to them. Whilst they squeal with delight, you can get a workout in, double win!
5) Put your baby in a crèche at the gym. Not everyone agrees on this approach, but I have found it’s brilliant for getting some me-time!
Your husband is ex-army. What tips for keeping fit have you learned from him?
HP: I’ve definitely learnt a load of fitness techniques from him. One of the things he taught me that compound exercises like squats are the most beneficial exercises because they are functional movements. As such I don’t need to waste time on isolating individual muscles as I can do something all-encompassing like a squat or deadlift.