Yoga raincheck

Well, it wasn’t meant to be my night for yoga.

I was a couple of minutes late to class, since Livi needed a full belly and I pumped before leaving her with her Daddy. Class was completely PACKED and they had already started the opening talk and meditation. I walked into the room, saw that there was virtually nowhere for me to put my mat without interrupting someone, turned around and walked out.

People walk into class late all the time, and even though I’m pretty punctual with classes –it’s distracting for the other participants and the instructor- in the rare occasion that I’m late, I’ll wait until meditation is over, sneak somewhere in the back, and find a spot for my mat. Tonight, I didn’t think there would be room for me and I felt awkward and uncomfortable, like it was my first yoga class all over again.

As I left, my mind started to wander to all of the other things I should be doing instead:

taking care of the thin veil of dust that now covers our house



write thank-you notes and catch up on emails

get birth announcements ordered and a gift for the midwife

go to the dentist

get my crazy mop of hair cut

fix the eyebrows that are now a single eyebrow


I felt selfish for taking an hour to go to yoga when I have a beautiful baby at home –the girls started to hurt as soon as I started driving to the studio- a house in shambles, and lots of small to-dos piling up.

I felt guilty.

As I drove home, I thought about the conversation I had with Tom earlier about getting cleared to workout again. I’m so excited about it, but making fitness a part of my everyday life is definitely going to be more challenging than ever. While Livi naps, I’ll use that time to write a blog post, because it’s something I enjoy, or throw in a quick load of laundry, if even that. Usually I’ll just hold and snuggle her, even if she’s crashed out.. there’s nothing better than feeling a snoozing, happy baby sleeping on your chest.

Did any other moms out there feel guilty for taking time for yourself?

I know the saying is that you need to take care of yourself before you can take care of anyone else, but as a new mom, finding balance is challenging. Tonight was my first time venturing out on my own, without Livi, in 10 months… she’s either been in the belly, or with me. My first yoga class back in action will be right around the corner, and when it happens, it will feel amazing.

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  1. Katie on February 6, 2012 at 10:37 pm

    Yup. Always guilt. But I’ve kind of learned to live with it because I know I’m a better mama when I take time for myself. I get my workout in before my little girl wakes up in the morning, and that seems to be the best time for me. I know you’ll find something that works for you, too!

    • cynthiasolc on February 6, 2012 at 11:57 pm

      Ahh the guilt, it comes in all shapes and sizes – but like Katie says, you learn to live with it.

      I also get my workout in the AM while she’s sleeping, it helps with the stress and the guilt. Best part of it is it means the whole evening is dedicated to the fam 🙂

      Also, make sure to give yourself all the time you need. Motherhood is so demanding and your mind may still need more time to process it all, there’s no rush!

  2. kaila@ healthy helper blog! on February 6, 2012 at 10:39 pm

    I am sure those feelings are completely normal! But just think…by taking time for yourself you’ll be happier and healthier and thus be able to be an even better mom and wife! You can do it !

  3. Leslie Wingate on February 6, 2012 at 10:41 pm

    My “me time” is grocery shopping alone sometimes Tuesday Zumba so, yes, I know how you feel. 😉 I feel guilty about leaving the kiddos, but we need occasional couple time too to eat hot food and finish a conversation. Kids deserve parents that love each other and seeing each other enjoy the other parents company. I can’t tell you how much it’s changed since I got healthier. Mommy goes to Zumba on Tuesdays. It’s just a given. I like that they think of me like that now instead of fat mommy who is always tired. You’ll find a good balance. 🙂

  4. Meagan on February 6, 2012 at 10:44 pm

    Kind of…but not really. I always viewed the hour or so I was/am gone as time that Claire and J get to spend by themselves. When they overnight at his parents or I’m gone for a full day on the weekend, it’s their time without me. It’s good for Jonathan’s confidence as a dad, it’s good that I know he can take care of her, and C gets uninterrupted daddy time. Win for everyone 🙂 And I know that Jonathan really cherishes that time they can spend together having daddy-daughter adventures. Once I came home to a cardboard castle in my living room!

  5. Chelsea on February 6, 2012 at 10:46 pm

    I got back to working out pretty quick after my delivery but I took my babies with me to the gym. They slept peacefully in the carrier while mama got the feel good endorphins flowing again! Take time and do it only when you feel fully ready. And remember that taking care of yourself can make you a better mom! At least I do:) Love the blog!

  6. Vikki Morgan on February 6, 2012 at 10:47 pm

    Honey it is normal to feel like you do.Just remember the house,the laundry ect…is always going to need to be done.It never goes any where 😉 You will find the balance.It will be necessary for your sanity in the near future to work out.You will feel like an even more amazing Mom after a good work out.It is diffucult while nursing though,,,so just take it a little at a time.Cause you know them girls of those you have,,,have a mind of their own.~Blessings Love~

  7. Laury on February 6, 2012 at 10:48 pm

    Yes and no. I, like you couldn’t wait to get back in the gym. It was SO hard in the beginning balancing pumping, feedings, working and working out. So hard. I didn’t feel guilty about the gym because it was “me” time and helped my sanity. On the other hand I haven’t had a hair cut since July because I feel guilty about that? I guess because I do my yoga and my gym time, I am not allowed beauty time?

    Funny story: One time in the gym I was talking to this nice couple who were asking me all about the baby. I was showing them pics on my cell phone and they were gushing, I was gushing and so on. The walked away, I caught a glance at myself in the mirror and I my top was soaked. NOT from sweat and it was apparent where it was coming from. AWKWARD!

    Tip of the day: Wear your booby pads in your sports bra 😉

    Hope you get your “me time” soon. Try not to feel guilty, you have to take care of you too!

  8. Kerry @ Totes My Oats on February 6, 2012 at 10:52 pm

    Do it when you’re ready! You will feel great. And also, you’re not being selfish at all.. by giving yourself an hour a day out of 24 of them, you will be able to clear your mind and be an even better mommy and wifey 🙂

  9. Mary on February 6, 2012 at 10:54 pm

    Yes, I feel bad sometimes about the chores around the house. I asked my mom about it once, and she said that her house was the same way when I was young. I realized that I didn’t remember the house being messy at all. I do remember playing with my mom, helping her cook, reading with her, spending time talking with her….I remind myself that it is quality time spent with my kids that they will remember, and not so much the pile of laundry or the dishes in the sink.

  10. Katheryn on February 6, 2012 at 10:54 pm

    Yes for the mommy guilt. I now have a 7-year-old, 4-year-old, and am 6 months pregnant with #3. The guilt has never gone away, although I’ve learned to push it to the side since I’m also important and need to take care of myself.

  11. Amy on February 6, 2012 at 10:55 pm

    Yes, definetly feel guilty about taking time for myself. It gets easier, now my little guy goes down for an afternoon nap and I know I have enough time to squeeze in a workout, or clean the house up. But it did take some time to get there. Hang in there, in the moment it feels like forever, but your life will slowly go back to ‘normal’ (however normal can be with a new baby!). And you will be able to do more things for yourself again.

  12. Jessica on February 6, 2012 at 10:56 pm

    Just give it a few years and a few deployments – I find myself at the gym some days *just* so I can drop my two littles off and have an hour of alone time! Sure makes for an awesome homecoming body 😉 In all honesty, my son is 3 and a half, my daughter turns two tomorrow and I still feel guilty when I am away from them. Truly the hardest job in the world and just when you think you have found balance a new challenge will arise. But the rewards are so very worth it.

  13. Julie on February 6, 2012 at 10:59 pm

    Just enjoy your baby right now and try yoga again another time and don’t be too hard on yourself. You are learning a new skill-how to balance something that was a part of you before (exercise) and something that is brand new (being a mama). It gets easier a bit, but the guilt is always there and something is always sacrificed. With both my kids, it took me about a year to feel like I was getting some balance even though I started working out about 2 months after each of them were born. Being a mama is a lot of trial and error and seeing what works best for you and baby. I worked out a lot at home the first few months because getting out (I lived in NYC and had winter babies both times) seemed so daunting. It gets easier I promise!

  14. Ellen on February 6, 2012 at 11:00 pm

    Yeah. Welcome to motherhood. It is so hard to work full time, be a mom, take care of life tasks, and still find time to work out (a lot of times I just can’t justify it).
    It is still soooo soon. Don’t rush yourself.

  15. MMiller on February 6, 2012 at 11:02 pm

    Take your time! Start slowly going out without her for short trips, just to give yourself time to get used to it! And to help her adjust to life when you aren’t always there! It will get easier! You will be a better mother when you take the time for yourself, but you won’t be any good if you are stressed about it! And you won’t enjoy it!

    You can never get this time back, enjoy it while you slowly find “Gina” again!

  16. Andrea of care to breed on February 6, 2012 at 11:02 pm

    I never felt guilty about wanting “me” time. In fact I felt disappointment when it wasn’t possible. But thats a sacrifice I willingly make as being a Mom. Honestly it wasn’t until I stopped breastfeeding that I felt it was possible for me to do anything. I would rather have kept BFing but I certainly take advantage of the fact I don’t have to anymore. Livi isn’t going to be a baby forever…yoga has been around for a thousand (?) years. It will be waiting for you 🙂

  17. Kate on February 6, 2012 at 11:04 pm

    Yes, I still feel guilty when I go out without my 14 month old and have a tendency to rush. I know I need to just slow down and enjoy the me time, there isn’t very much of it. I know that you know this already (so sensible 🙂 ) but it takes a while to find your groove with a new baby. By the time my boyo was 3 months we had our little thing going on, and then they grow up and it changes again 🙂

  18. Stephanie on February 6, 2012 at 11:07 pm

    Oh yes, i know that feeling. 2 kids and almost 6 years into it, I still feel it. It means you’re a great Momma! =) I thought I’d bounce right back into working out after my second baby girl and after I got the clear, I left baby and tot with daddy and went. Was. not. feeling. it. Coudln’t stop thinking about them. so I’d work out at home. Fast foward two years. I brave it, and brought them with me to gym and the kiddie area (leaving them with sitters/even family wasnt something I did-though maybe it was time?). and My 3 1/2 hated it. tried a new gym and she loved it! ended up going 4-5 x week and they both loved it, made friends. Now they are older, we started homeschooling and can’t go..just not enough time (it’s 30 min from home). So I work out at home and they try to work out with me and my hubby! lol or they play…
    Just remember, these first few years go fast and are fierce when the babies are little and need constant attention. I’m not saying, your other areas of life will stop until she’s older, but Be Gracious to yourself and you may not have the same type of routines, and that’s ok…there’s time for it later. I remember thinking as they were younger, how in the heck will I ever have time for taking care of them(#1), working out, school, clean, cook and all these other things!??! You can’t, and won’t just yet. =) but now, my little Natalie is 3 and I am a stay at home, homesschooling Momma, a full time student, and has time to sew, read the bible everyday, and workout =). All things that I had wanted to squeeze in before. it only took some time and letting myself off the hook for awhile. lol Just snuggle that baby as she sleeps if thats what your lead to do…girl I remember how absolutely amazing is and I miss it! it hasn’t even been that long.
    I remember how hard it was when they were younger, back then I’d sneak in work outs before they woke up n the morning, or during naps. 😉

  19. Ali on February 6, 2012 at 11:08 pm

    Mama guilt is the absolute worst and most powerful type of guilt. But take it from me, the more you take time for yourself, the more YOU feel nourished and cared for, the better you are going to be able the nourish and care for your husband and children. It really does work that way. It is possible to get burnt out and to start resenting your family. Start now making it a practice to take time for you, and that will never happen to you!

  20. Amanda on February 6, 2012 at 11:10 pm

    you will always feel guilty. my daughter is 2 1/2 and I still feel guilty when I’m not spending time with her. but I always feel refreshed when I get back, even if it’s just 30 minutes. the time away always makes me miss her and get a new perspective, esp on the days when i terrible twos are in full force! 🙂

  21. Beth on February 6, 2012 at 11:18 pm

    There is guilt-up until you realize that you are a better momma, wife, and human being when you take those few hours a week for yourself.

  22. Sara on February 6, 2012 at 11:19 pm

    Livi will grow up with it, and it will be normal for you to say ‘I’m just going to yoga now’. I remember in primary school one of my friends mums was an author. When she needed to get something written on deadline, she just hung up a ‘do not disturb’ sign and no kid dared knock on her study door. I thought that was super cool, and she was a really chilled mum. Not like my mum that was at beck and call 24/7, always frazzled, too guilty to shut the door on us. I say set the precendent now and you will forever have her respect for it (and be the coolest mum, rather than the stressed mum).

    Mom, sorry. We spell weird, huh?

  23. Lea on February 6, 2012 at 11:22 pm

    My son is 3 now, and I still feel guilty leaving him alone! But I do set 1-1/2 hours aside 4x’s out of the week to work out. And on some days, baby comes with me. You should look into Stroller Strides in your area. Maybe you could be an instructor! I loooooved it when I lived in California. You get to workout, and bring baby with you!

  24. Sarah C. on February 6, 2012 at 11:24 pm

    YES! Oh my gosh, yes. My baby is 14 months old and I still struggle to find that balance between caring for myself, my baby, and everything else. It’s nice to know I m not the only one. I want to start waking up early early before the rest of house and get my work out in then. Now if only I could force myself out of bed…. 🙂

  25. Julie on February 6, 2012 at 11:43 pm

    I’m not a mom, so I can’t totally relate, but I do relate to that feeling of listing everything you have to do in your head. Yesterday I debated for 30 minutes – yoga or housework? I am in awe that you (and all moms!) do the housework, the yoga, AND take care of an infant! I think you’re doing an amazing job, and just driving to yoga was a great start!

  26. Rita @ Healthy Mom, Sexy Wife on February 6, 2012 at 11:43 pm

    Yes, I felt guilt especially with my first son and especially when I had to go back to work fulltime. As he got older I thought it would get better but it didn’t. Thankfully when I had my second son my husband agreed that I should stay home with our boys. I love it but given the chance to run out the house to the gym or go grocery shopping alone, I’m there loving my freedom. My boys are only 15 months and 3 years old so they are still young but I need a little ME time occasionally and they enjoy spending time with their daddy. I felt major guilt when they were younger though but it gets better.

  27. Joelle (On A Pink Typewriter) on February 6, 2012 at 11:50 pm

    Such an honest, raw post. I don’t have a baby so I can’t relate yet, but I can definitely see where you’re coming from.

  28. Silvia @skinny jeans food on February 7, 2012 at 12:02 am

    You got those nature implemented mommy strings 🙂 Nothing wrong with that!

  29. Laura @ She Eats Well on February 7, 2012 at 12:19 am

    Even though I am not a mom, I must say that this post made me think of my Mom. She is the most wonderful and selfless person ever. And I thinks he still struggles with putting herself first. My sister and I are completely grown and yet my Mom is always thinking about us and giving us her love, support and more. And now that I am old enough, I worry about her too…I want her to take care of herself and prioritize herself. I think it’s really hard sometimes for Moms! But I do know that my Mom has always valued her gym time and needs those endorphins to be the best Mom she can be. Don’t be too hard on yourself…easier said than done.

  30. Julie on February 7, 2012 at 12:59 am

    I don’t have a baby and still can’t manage to get my hair cut or pluck my unibrow! :/

  31. christina on February 7, 2012 at 1:00 am

    oh wow!! well just remember that yoga will bring you strength and confidence to handle your life with ease 🙂

  32. Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga on February 7, 2012 at 1:09 am

    Did any other moms out there feel guilty for taking time for yourself? = YES!!

    Girl, I remember the first time I left the house with Skylar. Scott was going to watch her, I was going to yoga, I was going to be gone just over an hour, not long at all…but the whole time I was there, I was a mess, and thinking about her and that surreal feeling of not being with her. And yes, the aching girls. And just think about your baby and how you miss her and it’s let-down city. Yeah. I’ve been where you are. It DOES get easier to leave them, and to find balance, and find time for yourself, but it doesn’t happen overnight, at least for me it didn’t.

    It was a very gradual (and long!) process and even to this day, the reason I stay up so very, very late is because during her waking hours, I want to be there for her and have to handle everything else in life, too…so the only “me time” I can easily carve out for blogging, preblogging, etc, is late at night. We’ll all look back at this period in our lives when we’re 85 and remember that we were once young, full of life, very busy, a little sleep deprived, but that it all worked out 🙂

  33. Heather on February 7, 2012 at 2:18 am

    It’s totally normal to feel guilty! It took me years to realize that I have nothing to feel guilty about: my child is well taken care of, happy and thriving. That’s what matters. But its hard in the beginning to find that balance. You will though!

  34. Mama Pea on February 7, 2012 at 2:56 am

    Welcome to motherhood. It’s official now. 🙂

  35. Vicki on February 7, 2012 at 2:59 am

    I was going to say the same thing as Mama Pea! I was reading through your post and thinking those exact words: Welcome to motherhood. Ha. My kids are 8 and 6 and the guilt is still there, though it has lessened. It’s so hard to make time for yourself with all of the responsibilities you have as a mother but you absolutely must do it. You (and sweet baby girl) will be happier for it.

  36. Nadine on February 7, 2012 at 4:44 am

    Nobody tells you about the guilt. It grows in your belly for 9 months, but it doesn’t come out with the baby! It never leaves. Mine are 14 and 12, and they know exactly where the guilt lives. You will figure it out as you go. Eventually, you’ll miss the workouts enough. You’ve got a supportive husband at home that doesn’t mind being ‘left with’ an infant. A lot of Mom’s don’t have that luxury. My advice is to keep trying to find that you time, if you give in to the guilt now…it will be that much harder to make it a routine later on.

  37. Kelly on February 7, 2012 at 5:20 am

    It is like reading my own thoughts a little over two years ago! I remember that first time I left the house without Taylor, my daughter, when she was a few weeks old and I thought the same thing – this is the first time I have been without her in over 10 months! UGH! It was hard – even running to the store and not being home with her. Working out, I got into a routine when I had to go back to work where I could sneak out of the house (after pumping) to get a short jog in – and everyone would still be ASLEEP, and I would STILL feel guilty jogging away from the house. This whole mommy guilt thing (and huge sense of mortality, too – I mean, what would happen if I got hit by a car and died, got cancer and died, all of a sudden I had this sense that something could happen to me and what would happen to Taylor!), was not something I had really heard about or prepared for. It is nice to hear of people having similar feelings and stories. :o) I feel a little more balanced now, and the crazy thoughts are a little less now that she is two, but sometimes I just feel like it is nice to hear that you are not alone. #2 is due in 10 weeks and as I read your post it makes me wonder if I will have the same thoughts and feelings intensify after this next little one is born! Love reading your blog!! :o)

  38. Beth on February 7, 2012 at 5:58 am

    Totally second the suportive husband comment! Many husbands would panic about being left with an infant that young. It’s easy to say don’t feel guilty, but I have an 8 and 10 yr old and STILL feel guilty on the rare occasion that I get out! So tonight wasn’t the right night for yoga… it will be soon and you will go back to baby with that noodly feeling that makes you calm and relaxed and a ready to take on anything!

  39. Tami on February 7, 2012 at 6:58 am

    By allowing yourself to do things that you want/need to do, you will be a better mother/wife…do not feel quilty

  40. The Healthy Hostess on February 7, 2012 at 7:03 am

    It’s amazing how much guilt comes with the baby. I was not a guilty person at all before Anna and now it stops me in my tracks. I think it’s totally normal, especially when related to working out – something just for you! The thing is, you have to do it! Your daughter, husband, mom, etc. want you to because it will make you a better mom and a better person. It will make you feel good about yourself and feel like you again!
    Anna is 20 months now and I sometime still fill guilty when working out but my husband is so supportive and tells me to go – for me! Plus, the dadddy daughter time is great!
    Now I teach 6 classes a week (spinning, bootcamps, interval classes) between M-F so I get my workouts in. On the weekend I run with Brady and Anna, or do nothing but I’m ok with it. Teaching classes (which I am sure you will get back too soon!) is grea tbecause you don’t have the same guild – you make a little money and get some adult interaction!

  41. Hillary on February 7, 2012 at 7:13 am

    Aw, Gina—don’t beat yourself up! It’ll happen when it happens, and you’ll be able to enjoy it instead of feeling guilty!

  42. Amber L on February 7, 2012 at 7:17 am

    My baby isn’t here yet, but I’m sure your feelings are normal. Taking me time will just help with your sanity, and that will ultimately be best for the baby too! Keep up the good work you are doing a great job 😉

  43. Katie on February 7, 2012 at 7:22 am

    Yup! I feel guilt and Anthony is almost 12 years old!

    In fact, Mike and I were going to make dinner plans for valentine’s day this Saturday, and I felt bad leaving my Anthony behind, but now Anthony is going to stay with his pap and will be having fun so I feel better! I always miss him when I travel, its really hard : p

  44. Lisa@thedailyrundown on February 7, 2012 at 7:48 am

    Are you able to workout at home? If so, a bouncy seat in frontbof the treadmill or in front of you as you dobeeights, yoga, etc… Works great. They don’t even have to be asleep, but usually the doze off. I trained for a marathon by running when my daughter naps. It takes time and flexibility, but like everything, eventually you will find a routine that works for you. Congrats on your gorgeous baby girl.

  45. Erica on February 7, 2012 at 7:48 am

    I’ve always said that when we give birth to our little blessings we also give birth to a guilt factor like never before;) Welcome to the club, Momma <3

  46. Sarah on February 7, 2012 at 7:52 am

    aww! I know it’s so hard. Don’t be so hard on yourself. It will happen. I don’t think I felt like I was able to leave and not feel guilty until our second one came along. I now only exercise when they’re sleeping which makes me feel like I’m not missing something. That takes time though to get into a groove. You’ll find your groove in no time and learn to not feel guilty. My house just isn’t as clean as it used to be…oh well!

  47. Sarah on February 7, 2012 at 7:52 am

    I feel guilty for taking time for myself all. the. time. But last semester, I was trying to finish three 20-25 page papers for 3 different classes during my first semester of my PhD program and I was losing my mind. I couldn’t focus but I would try to write anyway, and then freak out when I couldn’t write anything that made sense. Cyclic. Then I literally made myself go to a yogahour at Yoga Oasis. I can’t stand the really crowded classes either– they actually stress me out *more* rather than help me. But the classes early in the day are literally empty. And Rachel MacAdam is wonderful…(she teaches the early classes). And I found that if I just took that hour to let myself go, I was so much more able to get my stuff done when I came home, despite feeling a bit guilty on the drive to the studio! You *do* have a beautiful baby and a family and wonderfulness at home, but those things are only made better if you allow yourself to be present, and in the moment. Meh. My 2 cents.

    • Sarah on February 7, 2012 at 7:55 am

      Also, lately I’ve checked out a bunch of yoga DVDs from the library. I know you said you can’t do yoga at home very well, but maybe you can use a DVD to ease yourself back into things? Like put one on while Livi naps for an hour, like you mention, and just give yourself permission to follow along only as much as you actually want to. If you get distracted, you get distracted, and oh well! But you tried.

  48. Tina on February 7, 2012 at 7:53 am

    I say, don’t you dare fall into that trap. You rock too much to let haywire hormones turn you into a ball of mush and buy into the mommy guilt garbage and self-sacrificing avalanche. Women defeat themselves all the time never putting themselves first. Putting yourself first will make you the best mom & wife you can be. The End.

  49. angela on February 7, 2012 at 7:56 am

    so completely normal! It does get better as they get older and you are able to get into a real routine. In those first few months you are both figuring each other out and I couldn’t bare being away from my little one. Now that he is older and he naps at regular times most days I know when i can take time away for myself. One thing i would say is that the house work is one thing that isn’t as important…and I heard a wonderful tip from a mom when I was a new momma – take the first 15 min of your babies nap for YOU….whether its sitting down and watching something on tv, enjoying a cup of tea, blogging whatever – make sure you did it at the beginning of the nap because then if they wake up you have had a bit of me time. I can’t tell you how many times I would do the dishes and be cleaning etc and my little boy would wake up and I would feel frazzled! Much love – you will get back on the exercise train soon enough!~

  50. Michelle on February 7, 2012 at 8:08 am

    I totally understand! My daughter is almost of five months and as much as I need a little break every once and awhile I find it really hard to leave her! I have been forced to leave her a couple of times in the past few weeks as my sister has been in the hospital (not a good place for a baby). I think about her the whole time I away though. When she was Livi’s age I snuck out for a haircut and I was so distracted and anxious to get back to her! When she was 2 months I tried a “girls night out” we ended up sitting in my friends suv drinking hot chocolate and talking about our babies! I think its just something about being a mommy (you did after all carry her with you for 10 ten months)
    That being said its soo important to get out and do things for yourself, I am sure with time you will feel a little less guilty once you get back into the swing of things. I also remember a brochure for “mommy and baby yoga” at my OBs when I was preggo, been meaning to look into that myself! 🙂

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