Hey there Momma, I have been looking forward to talking to you. Are you a stay at home mom, working mom or a little of both? Do you find yourself being pulled in all different directions? Are you juggling a lot of roles, multi-tasking between work, homework, sports activities, scheduling appointments and cleaning the house but never feel like you are fully engaged or doing a good job at any of it because your mind is always floating around to the next thing you have to do?
You want to nurture your children, feed them healthy foods, tell them to make good choices, be active and involved in their communities. You want your kids to have peace and joy in their life. These are the things you are telling them. Let’s face it though, you are tired and stressed. You put yourself last. If you want to raise healthy and happy kids then it must start with you.
Mom’s especially seem to invest all their time, energy and resources into their families, which leaves them neglecting themselves. Please begin to take care of you first! Have you ever flown in an airplane? Well then you know when the stewardess is giving out instructions on what to do in an emergency, she tells you to put your oxygen first and then help your child put on theirs. There is a reason for that. If you don’t have oxygen, you are not much help to those around you.
So let’s talk. What things do you need to do to begin to take care of you?
Eat a healthy diet. No skipping meals, or eating junk. Choose fruits veggies, lean proteins. Fuel your body instead of feeding your stress.
Exercise. I didn’t say you had to join a gym or run a marathon. I want you to get your body moving. Walk, swim or yoga. Just move, stretch, sweat. Exercise is a huge stress relief, releases toxins and keeps you young and fit to chase after those kids. Exercise is a great excuse to connect with your kids. Play with them. Invite them in on the action. As you get active they will too.
Sleep. What’s that, right? Focus on seven to eight hours – consistently. Also be consistent about the times you go to bed and when you get up in the morning. This is a huge help for that rhythmic clock. Sleep in the dark. No light from your cell phone, night light or TV. When there is less light your brain will tell your body to release melatonin which makes your drowsy, producing a more restful sleep.
Decrease your stress with a bubble bath, a massage, quiet times to read, walks with friends, delegate chores to your kids. I am not talking a foreign language here, really. Make a date with yourself, even if just one time per week. Choose an activity that makes you feel special and pampered.
Connect with other moms. Connect and share your struggles, triumphs, what is working for you and what is not. Don’t we moms tend to have this image we are trying to portray? Like we have this whole Super Mom thing figured out. Aren’t we mortified that another mom might see our messy house, know that we lost our temper or know that we ate the entire bag of chips by ourselves. As you decide to become transparent and accountable to each other you may realize you are not alone in this. There is strength in coming together and encouraging one another.
I realize the advice I’m giving today isn’t rocket science. I realize that you may know what to do but I wanted to remind you. Actually, most of all I wanted to give you permission to make these things a priority in your life. Your kids are watching, they will learn from you as you lead by example.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Kim Waggoner is a wife, mom, nurse and Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma Survivor. Her passion is to come alongside others, encouraging them to create healthy, happy, hopeful lives. Kim is the owner of Waggoner Health and writes a blog, www.kimwaggoner.com to educate and inspire others.