Mindset,  Motherhood

Jump, Jump, Jump [part 2/2]

If you did not catch the first part of this two part series, jump on over to [PART 1/2] before reading any further. It will help make sense of all this, instead of wondering what kind of crazy lady can ramble on and on so much about a trampoline.

I warned you from the start that your initial reaction to this topic may feel far fetched. It was for me too.

But now that you are in it, I’m hoping you can see the same (unexpected) purpose I do from such a materialistic thing. And all the gifts it keeps on giving.

Especially this last one, which is arguably the most inspiring and catch me off guard one of them all…

The gift of humility and self-acceptance. Let me paint this picture for you first: 

I’m a 38 year old female who prides herself in a strength that not only allows me to keep up with my kids, but enables me to do more than the “average” Mom may physically be used to. I am also a Mom that birthed 4 babies in 5 years, who is the sole keeper of a pelvic floor that is a lot weaker than I’d like to take ownership of. For the last year, I have also carried around a lower back injury that has succumbed me in debilitating pain far more than I want to admit to. 

That’s just the black and white of this picture. Now to fill in the color.

Jumping endlessly with 4 humans asking me to rocket them to the moon is not an easy task. Add in the limitations I just mentioned and let me tell you: my kids know Mom can’t jump unless she goes to the bathroom first. Point taken, yes? It’s not pretty. It’s a little gross. (Ain’t no shame, mamas, we’ve all been there!) And, most importantly, it’s very much reality.

What my kids don’t know is how much my back can hurt from jumping and consequently not taking it as an excuse to not jump with them. So I jump until I literally can’t anymore, and prepare myself for the painful crawl into bed later. 

Despite all this, I remain thankful. Because I truly believe my kids have helped me push past points of discomfort that I otherwise may not have, and in doing so has indeed made me stronger. They have forced me to take time to stretch my back, to slow down. To exercise in a way that engages your core (and pelvic floor) like no other movement targets. All of which has aided in a long, but certain, road to recovery for my back. 

It goes without saying that such a fun loving, simple activity with my kids has turned into a very humbling experience of body awareness that I never expected. It has brought to light an appreciation for it’s capabilities and limitations, respectively. The trampoline has become a sanctuary of my physical acceptance. A safe place to exercise it, and to be still in it.

Insert painted picture #2: Remember how tiring I said it is to non-stop jump with these kiddos? We take breaks. Lots of them.

And as soon as I lay down- ok, collapse- in exhaustion, my body apparently gives off a magnetic force field to tiny human hands (because God forbid anyone just ever let Mom be, right?!).

I have no idea how this started but nonetheless, my kids hover around me to find every wrinkle and roll of skin to play the drums on, slap at, or jiggle like no one’s business. Instead of shoo-ing them away like annoying little fruit flies (originally I tried to, trust me!), I surrendered. I listen to their comments of,

“Mom, this is huge!” when hitting my thigh. And,

“Your tummy looks like the ocean waves!” when finding the extra skin that housed their 4 little tiny little bums for 9 months a piece. 

I just smile back and say, “You’re right.”

Because they are.

As they started looking and wondering, I started making peace with what they saw. Bridging the gap between their innocent, curious eyes and my own eyes of far too critical self-judgment. 

I’m not going to sugarcoat this realization and tell you my kids cured all my insecurities about my body. That’s a much bigger jump I am still working on. 

But all these times did allow me to pause and just be. To stop hiding my imperfections and view them as my kids do- funny, kind of cool and certainly weird. 

To also know well enough that this self-compassion I let in, while laying with my kids on the trampoline, is a gift in itself. Having the discipline to appreciate my body in all its stages and forms- wrinkles, extra skin and all- is something to celebrate.

So the stomach drums keep being played to the beat. I continue to let them trace all the wrinkles on my forehead. The jiggling of my triceps is always top notch. All in it’s weird (again, very weird), good fun. 

And this, I will remember:

My body is not ‘just fine’ the way it is. It’s perfect exactly the way I’ve built it. It gave me my kids. And will always give me, me. 

That’s a wrap on the gifts this trampoline has undoubtedly shared with me. I’m not going to sit here and tell you all that you need to go tie a big red bow on a new trampoline to feel all these things. I fully recognize how fortunate we are to have been gifted this, and I think I have made it very clear that I don’t take one second of it for granted. 

So, my take? Get the trampoline! If you can. And if you can’t, don’t just throw your hands up. Find the gift that does work for your family because the matter of the fact is, what each family will personally love is different for everyone. 

But the value and life lessons do not need to be different. Hell, they can be even better than mine.

Think outside of the gift box and open your mind to new possibilities. 

The gift may be just the door you need.

Because what truly matters is the experience you create once you walk through it.

Or in my case, jump… jump… and still jumping… through it.

Until next time❤️

PS I understand that some may not agree with the safety of an outdoor trampoline. I respect your decision but I will say this, for those of you on the edge: 

We set our rules from day 1, which my kids adhere to. If there is ever anyone ounce showing me otherwise, we get off and take a break. My kids have also learned what warrants an ice pack and what doesn’t. All “injuries” have been superficial and we have had zero incidents to date requiring a true ice pack or even a single band-aid. Accidents may eventually happen, as they would on a swing set, bike, or scooter. So my first hand experience, this trampoline is perfectly safe for our family and I’m confident to recommend to others *as long as you implement rules and safety guidelines of your own AND do the research on the right trampoline.*