SHOULD BABIES BE THE END OF RIDING FOR WOMEN?

When women riders become moms, is this the end of their riding? Three moms who ride motorcycles share their experiences and choices they have made about riding after becoming moms.

Riding is fun and has so many benefits, however when women become moms, the world expects that we park the bikes and focus on the babies. This is not the same expectation when it comes to dad’s although there are dad’s who have quit riding after the birth of their babies.  Moms have a bigger task finding a balance between being moms and riding. The balancing act starts from when one discovers they are pregnant. This is even made harder by the many perceptions, stereotyping, and negative judgement of moms who ride.  

To ride or not to ride when you are pregnant?

Consuela lives in Germany and rode a Kawasaki Z400. When she first learned she was expectant, she made a decision to stop riding for the sheer fear of loosing her baby incase of an accident.  For Wakesho, who rides a Honda CBR 600, she consulted with her doctor when she discovered she was pregnant.  The doctor gave her a green light and she rode her bike until when she was seven months pregnant. She stopped because it became uncomfortable seating on the bike. When Petrina learned she was expectant, she continued riding and only took a short break when the morning sickness kicked in.  She however continued riding after and only stopped in her third trimester.

When Petrina learned she was expectant, she continued riding and only took a short break when the morning sickness kicked in.  She however continued riding and only stopped in her third trimester. Photo credits: Ness Mutiga

The three moms share their personal stories on being a mom and riding. Their stories, choices and experiences, very diverse will inspire future moms who ride, on their motherhood journey and riding. Some decisions can be a battle from within and it is always good to hear other people’s experiences.

“If a child/children come, the bike goes away for many years?

It is said that when a child or children come, the bike goes away for many years and for some women riders, it goes away forever.  For Consuela and Petrina, this is exactly what happened. Consuela sold her bike few months into her pregnancy. “I sold the bike and the riding gear.  I however kept the helmet to remind me of the good old days. I do not envision myself riding again in the near future” said Consuela.

Consuela: I already let my son spend time with my helmet as I hope he will take up riding when he grows up.

As for Petrina, biking is a passion she has had since she was a little girl and would be hard to give it up completely.  However as a single mom, I find it hard to get time to ride as all my time is diverted to the little one. “Having a baby has definitely increased my caution while riding.  The few times I have had a chance to ride, I am very cautious.  It feels like a vacation for me being able to get the few minutes away.  I am however, always in a hurry to return home due to engorged breasts and thinking that my baby may be crying or seeking my attention.

Petrina breastfeeding her son. She is wearing Amara V-Lift top from Nursingmama.co.ke. I love the comfort of being able to take walks with my son and breastfeed in public easily and less conspicuous. The tops are also light and ideal for all weather and fashionable.

Wakesho says, “riding is something I enjoy so much and giving up because of the baby would create room for resentment”. I have learned to prioritise and make time for both baby and my riding life. My baby is now five months.  I’m able to leave him for a short while and so I have specific riding days.   On my ride days, I have someone caring for him and I breastfeed him before my ride.  I also pump enough milk so that my mind is also at peace and I can concentrate and enjoy my short rides. Having a baby has made me more alert in my riding.  I have a human that is totally dependent on me to go back home to.

With riding, comfortable tops are my favourite since I can pair them with my riding trousers and jeans. I love the tops from Nursingmama.co.ke. I am wearing the Neo-U-Lift top. They are cotton fabric which feels very comfortable on my skin and that of baby, very absorbed as I tend to sweat a lot and I don’t have to lift my top when breastfeeding in public.

The life of a mother can get overwhelming at times.  I ride to centre my thoughts and calm my mind.  It is my “me time”. It is my vent and a healthy way to ease the tensions of life.  When on the bike, all I think about is bike and the open road.  It’s an escape (don get me wrong, I love the little one to death) so that I can get back to mothering calm and collected.

Are there comfortable nursing clothes that fit mom’s who ride lifestyle?

 Nursingmama_ke is a great brand that offers maternity wear and customised nursing clothes for all mothers of all styles.  They use cotton fabric which is light and ideal for all weather. Gives moms a beautiful breastfeeding experience in public or privately.

Once a mother, riding becomes a family affair.  How has your family taken it?

Consuela; My husband is a rider who loves the speed. He also quit riding soon after we got pregnant. He did not want to take the risk of something happening. 

Consuela with her husband and their son. We are enjoying this new amazing role we have. But somewhere down the line, we will definitely take up riding again.

Petrina: My son’s dad is a rider too. He appreciates that I still enjoy a ride ones in a while and so, when he visits, he actually lets me take his bike for a ride as he spends time with our son.

Wakesho: I am lucky to have a supportive family that supports my decisions.  My partner is a petrol head and has no issue with me riding during or post partum.

Pregnancy varies from one woman to another and it is therefore advisable to consult your doctor if you choose to continue riding during the prepartum.

“If you are NOT willing to let go the bike to first take care of babies, you are a “selfish and irresponsible mom”

A commonly used statement that is out of ignorance and can be offensive to moms who ride.  Wakesho shares her experience. I experienced the bashing and mean comments when I rode while visibly pregnant.  Unfortunately some of the comments were from male riders.  This never put me down though.  The green light from my doctor made it easier for me to ignore them.

Biker moms parting shots!

Consuela: I love riding,  but I love being a mom more. The choice to stop is okay because I know there is time for everything.  My priorities have shifted, which is okay.  Like many  things in life we evolve  take on new roles. Am enjoying this new amazing role I have. But somewhere down the line i will definitely take up riding again. 

To all biker moms and biker moms to be.. do what makes you happy and be safe. 

Wakesho: I enjoy riding, that shouldn’t have to change because am a mother.  Be kind and extend grace to riding moms.  To riding moms to be, please check with your doctor to see if it is ok for your to ride while expectant.  Pregnancies vary from one person to another.  To the motorists, LOOK TWICE, that biker is a mother!

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A big thank you to our sponsor Nursingmama_ke. You made breastfeeding for our moms on bikes simply beautiful and fashionable.  Make sure to check out their Instagram for fashionable breastfeeding outfits that fit every style.

Website: www.nursingmama.co.ke.                      Instagram: nursing mama_ke.

Big thanks to Consuela, Petrina and Wakesho for sharing your stories and experiences.

 We would love to hear from as many moms on bikes as possible.  Share your story or experience being a mom on a motorcycle in the comments section.

 

 

 

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