Monday, December 2, 2019

Self-Advocacy

With the exception of a couple months surrounding my hysterectomy, I have been doing Pilates at a studio for a year. I have really strong abs and good muscles underneath a soft layer of cheese and pie.

I love this studio -- it's small, classes are typically no more than 4 people, and you get great individualized attention on several pieces of crazy torture-device-looking contraptions called The Reformer, The Tower, and The Chair. I love that I feel like a circus performer when I'm using all the springs and bars and whatnot, and I definitely feel that my balance has improved along with my strength and I am far less of a fall risk than previously. Which was shamefully high for someone who is not 80.

Anyway, I got an email asking those with classes during the "closed for the holidays" period to feel free to choose from a list of class times so we didn't have to miss a session. I picked a 5:00 pm class, but when my email confirmation came, it was labeled...(cue Jaws theme)...

Pre/Post Natal Core

OH HELL NO. I emailed immediately and said, "hey, I think I'll take the 8 a.m. class, I'd prefer not to be in anything -Natal, thanks, sorry to be weird!"

I was super proud of myself, all not-super-explainy but taking care of my psyche at the tricky holiday time, if slightly awkwardly because that's who I am.

Then I got another message, saying, "Oh, they're all 6+ months post-natal at this point, it's really a Core II class now, and they're a really fun group! But, I can move you if you really want."

It was then that I realized that maybe I needed to be clearer.

I had two choices, 1) don't say anything and keep the time at 5 and suffer through because I didn't want to be "weird," or 2) explain a bit and be firm that while they may be a fun group, it's not the class for me. I guess there was also 3) insist on 8 a.m. and not explain why I was weirdly against joining a really fun group of new moms.

I would have totally picked #1 earlier in my experience. I would have swallowed down my feelings, and thought, "how bad can it be?" while totally KNOWING how bad it could be, and then smile through a rotten experience and feel terrible the whole rest of the day, just because I didn't want to inconvenience anyone or make it seem like I had something against a group of new moms who would never know that I'd had angst in the first place and who I likely didn't know at all anyway.

Well, I am proud to say that I picked door #2. I very politely said, "Hmmm...I'll go with the 8 a.m. class...Sometimes a group of moms can inadvertently cause me complicated feelings because I tried so hard to become one for so long. I'm sure they're lovely, thanks!"

I was promptly rescheduled, and it wasn't "weird," and the owner was totally understanding (I'd shared some info when doing my intake, and she'd just forgot that piece, which I take as a compliment, but she did feel a little badly for not remembering that piece of me).

Self-advocacy for the win.

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5 comments:

  1. Yay, you, for standing up for yourself.

    However, I am going to push you, for next time, to take out the "sorry to be weird." It is NOT weird to choose not to be involved in a Natal-Anything class. No explanation required. You are allowed to say "sorry for the inconvenience," but please do not describe yourself as weird, because you are not weird. (Or at least, not for that! lol I can't comment on any other reason.) You're simply a representative of at least 20% of women who would prefer not to be surrounded by new moms/moms-to-be.

    Sending love!

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  2. I love that you did what was right for you. But you're definitely not weird. <3

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  3. Good job, and once again, thanks for making me laugh ("I have really strong abs and good muscles underneath a soft layer of cheese and pie.")

    I hadn't thought of it, but I like what Mali said. I'm trying to stop apologizing for being me, which is really hard because I use it to cover up my sense of smallness. When I say "I'm sorry," I really want it to be intentional.

    Very proud of you for speaking up -- and for being so devoted to the torture devices!

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  4. Heck yeah! Way to go. I wouldn't want to hang out with a group of new moms either. Not at all.

    Also, what Mali said. <3

    We may be weird, but it's not because we're infertile. :)

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  5. That's awesome that you advocated for yourself and your health (both mental and physical). Not weird at all to take care of yourself.

    Also, love your description of your abs/muscles!

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