Mom of three here. The ups and downs, good and bad, regrets and victories are all part of this gig. And so although I've only been a mother for almost 7 years, I think I've learned a few things...and continue to learn these same things over and over again when it comes to taking care of myself.
1. Sleep is essential. Without sleep your whole body is at a huge disadvantage going into your day. Less mental and emotional stability, an impaired immune system, difficulty concentrating and impaired decision making.
2. Find your stress management. Whatever is your healthy stress management method- make it a priority.
3. Find your community. Being a mom can feel very alone so having support is really important. Friends, family, online group...whatever makes you feel less alone, more supported and understood.
4. Nutrition is not an afterthought. How you feed your body is important for your mental and physical health as well as the health of your entire family. It's easy as a mom to just eat that toddler food because you don't have the energy to make something for yourself, forget to eat because you're too busy or stress eat after all the kids are in bed. Make fruits and vegetables a priority and it'll help in more ways that you realize.
5. Learn to forgive. Forgive yourself, your kids, your partner. Life is a whole lot better if you learn to forgive. And life is too short to hold a grudge.
Alright, that's about all the expertise I've got so far. Take care of yourself so can take care of the little ones in your life that need you to be their mom.
Many of you reading this blog are mothers. We do TONS of things for our family's. We cook, clean, do laundry, wipe snot, chauffeur, coordinate schedules, comfort, love, teach, play, encourage...and the list could go on and on. A mother's work is truly never done.
Have you ever considered what your behaviors do to influence your children? Sure you have. You've tried to not say certain words, speak poorly of others, yell, argue, watch adult TV shows or movies around your kids. In the same token- you've attempted to set good example for your kids by being nice to others, putting others first, being generous, listening to uplifting music, etc.
But have you ever thought about how your eating and exercise habits influence your kids? Just like they watch what you do and say in other areas of life they also watch how you eat and exercise. Nutrition and exercise influence almost every aspect of your life. How long will you be alive to be their parent? How functional will you be during that time? How many hospitalizations will you need in your life? How much money will you be spending on medications to manage chronic diseases? And how much testing for these diseases will you need? Will you struggle with depression and anxiety? Will you be able to work long enough to earn a good retirement income and then be healthy enough to enjoy retirement?
All of the things that nutrition and exercise influences for you also influences for your children! It's so important as mom's to start modeling healthy eating and exercise behaviors NOW so they know how important this is to incorporate into their lives. My goal is not to add on to the mom-guilt you already experience but just to make sure you're making healthy habits a priority in your life and setting goals to reach specifically about them!
Set some goals right now for both yourself and your family. Increase how many vegetables you eat, decrease how many times you eat out at restaurants, schedule some family activities like swimming or biking. Put some intention behind your healthier lifestyle and you'll be surprised how much you've improved even a year from now!
As always, email me with any questions! firstname.lastname@example.org