Maria Claps is a blogger, health enthusiast, mom of 4, and a proponent of what is natural and organic. She’s working towards becoming a certified health coach, loves the outdoors, and has a passion for life. She’s also an awesome friend of mine, who I’m thrilled to feature as a guest blogger on TheLadyinRedBlog.com, since she and I have a lot in common. If you can’t get enough of Maria’s healthful insights and are curious about her recipes, go check out her blog JuicyGreenGirl.com! She’s totally reachable in real life, too at Riverwalk Chiropractic, incorporating her plethora of knowledge into patient visits.
So, why do I encounter so many moms who feel crappy - who can’t achieve or maintain a healthy weight; who catch every cold and ailment that makes its way through town; who can’t get a decent night’s sleep; who have low energy, low mood, and suffer through a cavalcade of hormonal fluctuations each month - whether it is PMS or a swath of perimenopausal problems?
I believe it is partly because of the aforementioned “martyr mom” complex. Some moms are not willing to care for themselves. There is no value in becoming a martyr mom. Not only will you suffer, but your family will suffer as well. When you are out of balance, your family will become out of balance, too, and you will not have the energy to do the things that you really want to do.
So, take a deep breath... and realize that it is MORE than acceptable to care for you; in fact, I would offer that it should be seen as a joyful, non-guilt inducing pastime to spend time, energy, and even money on things that boost your emotional happiness and physical health - not that I am advocating wanton materialism. I do not believe “things” bring happiness. I believe that true happiness lies in sense of purpose and relationships. But, I see nothing wrong with pursuing health and joy. The benefits of taking care of yourself will be long term and far reaching.
So, if you truly want to help your family and be happier in the process, you will start by taking care of you. Here are some of my top suggestions. They may seem simple, but I am amazed at how many people do not do the following:
1. HAVE A FANTASTIC, NUTRIENT-DENSE, SUPERFOOD CONTAINING, ENERGY-SUSTAINING BREAKFAST every single day… boxed cereal and fat free, hormone filled yogurt does not make the cut. (Oh, how I digress here...as that statement is another blog post in and of itself.) While having a super breakfast may take a little forethought, and you may have to start the night before (for example, soaking your steel cut oats overnight), it does not have to take a ton of time. There are tips and tricks to being able to manage a healthy breakfast in the morning. Also, please sit and eat, if you can - even if it is for 5 minutes. Be present with your food: nourishing yourself with healthy food and allotting it the time it needs, is a great way to start your day off right.
2. DO SOMETHING THAT IS FUN FOR YOU, at least a few times per week. Life can get pretty old and boring when it is laundry, dishwasher management, and carpooling. I saw some funny napkins that read “caffeine, carpool, cocktails, repeat”. And while that is funny on a cocktail napkin, it is not funny in real life. Just insert your drill of choice here. The balancing aspect is doing something that counteracts the routine. Maybe it is reading a book, taking a class, trying a new exercise, meeting a friend for lunch, taking a hike. Those would be some of my top choices, but you need to find what works for you to bring balance to the routine, mind-numbing boredom of everyday mom tasks. And just a wee word about alcohol-I love a fun fruity cocktail, once in a while, and certainly when I am getting together with girlfriends - but if you are relying on alcohol to mediate some of the stressful aspects of your life, consider finding an alternative. Alcohol can have health benefits for some, but it carries risks for others. Alcohol is also extremely dehydrating and steals nutrients from the body. However, if you’ve had that superfood breakfast, and you are not overdoing it in the cocktail department, then I say enjoy! Moderation and knowing one’s self is key here.
3. DO NOT BURN THE MIDNIGHT OIL-Research shows that our best sleep is between 10pm and midnight. You simply cannot expect to run around all day, eat poor quality food, perform daily tasks, get poor quality sleep at night, and expect to NOT burn out in a few years. That is called burning the candle at both ends, and can lead to adrenal fatigue. Remember Mom, you need to be healthy. You do not need the perfect house, your kids don’t need you to do everything for them, and you do not need to participate in every bake sale at school… but you do need your sleep if you want to accomplish what is important to you and be available for your family.
These are my thoughts from raising four children, and caring for myself and my family for the past 21 years. It has not always been easy, nor do I have the perfect, idyllic family. I have had my setbacks, yet I’ve learned from them. Helping moms and families live healthier, cook healthier, eat healthier, and think healthier is my passion.
email: the JuicyGreenGirl here