My dog helped to keep me well
Monty, my loyal furry friend, has been by my side through thick and thin. But never was his presence more crucial than during both of my maternity leaves.
After having my babies, I was exhausted and overwhelmed. I didn’t know how I was going to manage taking care of my little ones while also trying to look after myself. That’s when Monty stepped up.
He would lay by my side as I breastfed, his warm and comforting presence a reminder that I wasn’t alone. Whenever I felt anxious or stressed, he would always seem to know and would nuzzle his head into my lap. He took the girls under his wing as soon as they arrived. Sitting at the bottom of the stairs when he heard them cry and coming to get me if he could hear them and I couldn’t.
Monty’s support didn’t stop there. Monty kept me active during those long days at home. Every single day he gave me a reason to leave the house. Sometimes I wouldn’t feel like going out for a walk, but he would nudge me with his nose and wag his tail excitedly, encouraging me out. The walks that Monty and I went on during my maternity leave were more than just a way to get some fresh air and exercise. They were a crucial part of my mental and physical wellbeing and recovery and, no matter how short or slow, became a lifeline for me. I honestly believe they kept me well.
Looking back on those early days of motherhood, I don’t know how I would have made it through without Monty by my side. He truly kept me well, not just by being a constant source of love and support, but also by reminding me of the importance of staying active and getting outside.
Keeping active has always been hugely important to me and my wellbeing. Here’s a few tips for other mums out there.
- Start small: Going on a long hike or hitting the gym for an hour might seem daunting at first, especially if you’re still recovering from childbirth. Instead, start with short walks and gradually increase your distance and pace as you feel comfortable.
- Find a workout buddy: It doesn’t have to be a furry friend like Monty but having someone to walk and exercise with can be a huge motivator. Whether it’s a fellow new mum, your partner, or a friend, having someone to share the experience with can make it more enjoyable.
- Make it a routine: Just like with any habit, it’s easier to stick to it if you make it a routine. Try to schedule a specific time each day to get outside and be active, even if it’s just for 15 or 20 minutes.
- Mix it up: Going for a walk or jog every day can get repetitive, so mix up your routine with different activities. Try yoga or a prenatal fitness class, go for a bike ride, or try a new hiking trail. The variety will keep things interesting and help you stay motivated.