This is not a page about how to keep your kids healthy. Not that I wish your kids ill, obviously. It’s just that…moms need to be healthy, too. And, unfortunately, we’re not doing so hot in that department.
See, there was this study recently that showed that moms are not taking care of themselves. We’re not getting as much exercise as women our same age who don’t have children. We’re taking in more calories, gobbling more saturated fat and sugar. And we have higher BMIs (plainspeak: we’re fatter).
Here’s the thing. It’s not all about the kids. Moms deserve to take care of mom, too. And there are lots of reasons for that.
For one, there’s the role-modeling reason. One of the best ways to get kids to be healthy is to show them what a healthy lifestyle looks like. Then there’s the energy factor–raising kids takes a truckload of energy! And you will have much more of that if you take care of yourself. Then, there’s the investment in your future. I love my kids, but I am devoting some pretty prime years to them…and, quite frankly, there’s stuff I want to do after they’ve flown the nest. When that happens, I would prefer to be a) alive, and b) healthy & vibrant enough to take the trip, climb the mountain…or whatever strikes my fancy.
Of course the catch, here, is this: moms have no freaking time. I know. It’s ridiculous. I have survived a lot of stressful/time-pressured situations in my life (my medical residency springs to mind), but it simply does not compare to the relentless time starvation of motherhood.
So. Is there a way for moms to get healthy? Are there things we can do given the time constraints?
You bet, sister. But most of us need a little guidance in this department. And that’s where I come in.
The other reason I write about this topic is because there is such an excruciating need I can hardly believe it. It’s challenging to be healthy. It’s super-challenging to be healthy as a mom. Yet it is so important. I often think of the airplane oxygen-mask analogy. Before you can help anyone else out, you need to put on your own oxygen mask.
So why, at my local bookstore, do I find this:
- 4 shelves of books about healthy pregnancy
- 2 shelves on childbirth
- 8 shelves on taking care of your kids, through various stages and in various ways: emotion health, physical health, nutrition, etc.
- 1 shelf on staying healthy through menopause.
But…um, what about all those years in there when women are mothers? Between childbirth and menopause, do we not have to take care of ourselves, too, or is it all about the kids? Is there even one book on being a healthy mom?
There is not. Not at my bookstore, at least.
So that’s why I write about this topic, repeatedly. And with relish.
Below is a list of some of my posts (thus far) on being a healthy mommy. Strap on that oxygen mask, mama.