Could this be due to over exerting myself at my body combat class (which I’ve become addicted to)? I asked this very question at the doctors this morning. “No”, he replied. “You’ve got a mum injury”. Ah, I hadn’t heard of this new official doctor diagnosis.
The doctor explained that my right shoulder had larger muscles than my left – probably from carrying my toddler with such regularity which had caused a repetitive strain – and that they were in spasm. He went on to reassure me that it would subside as she got older and I had to carry her less…hmm.
However, I couldn’t help but chuckle at the label “mum injury”. Apparently the doctor sees them all the time – sore shoulders from lifting, cramped hands from carrying and bad backs from straining. Turns out we are suffering all in the name of motherhood. I don’t mean to make us sound like martyrs – although really, if you think about it, we kind of are – but we automatically put our babies’ needs, wants and desires ahead of any of ours. Even when it comes to our physical health.
For instance, yesterday with my sore shoulder, I took my baby girl to Monkey Music where I jiggled and danced with her. Then we had a walk around town and she did NOT want to sit in the pram – she wanted to be carried, then put down to walk for three steps, then carried some more (and repeat). In the afternoon, we went to soft play. Cue clambering up what is basically padded scaffolding, precariously negotiating rope bridges pretending I’m not scared of heights and facing my childhood fear of the death slide. (She’s only one and she loves it. I on the other hand am supposedly an adult and feel slightly faint even looking down the ‘slide of death’). Finally, fast forward to bedtime with rhythmic rocking back and forth to lull baby to sleep.
In hindsight, I’ve put my poor shoulder through a lot so is it any wonder that it’s struggling? And all this is a snapshot of just one average baby day. So what else are we doing to our bodies?
I’ve lost count of the number of minor mum ailments I’ve had or feel that are almost inevitable right from the beginning:
* Growing massive swollen feet while pregnant which were not only super attractive but throbbed all day.
* Childbirth. Enough said about this.
* Trying to walk any distance in the days after childbirth.
* A sore back from sitting for hours hunched over feeding the baby. Not to mention all the other issues from breastfeeding.
* The heavy arm feeling after you’ve propped up your newborn in the same position while they sleep.
* Hands and arms feeling they’re about to drop off after lugging a car seat, changing bag, shopping, toys around all day.
* The ‘about to pass out’ feeling after running all the way home with the buggy trying to get back for the next feed.
* Lack of sleep – any mum will tell you that this is indeed a physical injury.
* Being scratched in the eye by a baby with razor sharp talons that you’re too scared to clip for fear of nipping their finger.
* Walking on a spikey toy which your baby has flung across the floor – usually with bare feet as you’re trying to stealth sneak out of the nursery.
* Getting attacked by the pram as you’re trying to assemble it from the boot of the car with your baby under one arm.
And if you look on Google, there’s plenty more repetitive strain injuries being a mum can cause. Have you experienced any more? If so, add a comment, at least we can laugh about it together. And now that there’s an official doctor’s diagnosis which means that we’re allowed a lot more sympathy!