I get it. You’re exhausted, worn down, and probably reading this by phone light in bed in an effort of 5 mins of peace before bed, in the bathroom, or during one of your recreational hobby times of googling your symptoms. As moms, we juggle a ton, from schedules to appointments, to dinners, to grocery shopping, and cuddle times. Moms are like the grand central station of the home with everyone coming and going and needing something or other from them. It is important in this process that we support our own health in the process of running errands, parenting, and making demands. It is easy to forget the most important person in the process. In case you are wondering the most important person, is you?
Many parents come to my office with the best of intentions. There son or daughter is having some challenges, and they are at their wits end with the whole thing. So they seek a professional to help support them through the process of healing their son or daughters health issues. As a good holistic doctor and medical detective, I often uncover unhealthy behaviors being passed down, as well as many intuitive children feeding off the primary parents, range of stressful emotions. When I speak with the parent about the idea of them treated as well in the process they shake it off and say, no Sally or Johnny first. Meaning their children before themselves. I think this is counterintuitive to the process of healing. I get that Mom and Dad may be on a fixed budget or Mom may be the only one supporting the babies, which is all the more reason for mom to ensure she is healthy that way she is able to show the babies what it means to be healthy.
Intuitive children these days without mention match and mirror the behaviors of the primary parent. So if the primary parent neglects themselves, doesn’t take breaks, rest, or supports themselves and their healthy baby will also do the same. In fact, between 0-8 years old the subconscious mind develops. This is where unconscious thought forms are most at play. Let’s pretend for a moment that Little Johnny (or Sally) sees Mom working no stop 10-12 hour days both at home and at work. She comes home and even exhausted still pushes herself to keep the house clean, do laundry, etc. instead of recruiting the entire family to help or minimizing the number of things in the home to make it easier to clean. This cycle goes on a one, and Little Sally (or Johnny) never sees. Mom sit down, take a break, or even relax. In fact, Mom is pretty high strung, stressed out, doesn’t sleep well, tends to be irritable at times with a short fuse, very reactive even at the slightest measure. This is a product of Mom not prioritizing herself and putting herself first. I get it, busy mom, you are last not the schedule. I get it, so much to do, so little time. I get it if you only knew this or that.
Let me tell you something, what needs to come first is You, no one else or nothing else. No dish, no pile of laundry, no soccer game. You need to love You as I love you, which means you need to show up for you. If that means you tell the kiddos that they are going to free play for 15 mins while you go in the other room in meditate, or you prepare little breakfast snack bags for them to help themselves before you come downstairs in the morning you need to work your life around you and your needs. Trust me the kids will confirm, especially if you tell them that if they disturb you in your meditation, then they will immediately go to nap time. I guarantee you won’t hear from them for a while. Kids must learn to take care of themselves, comfort themselves, Dan smooth themselves. When my daughter was little an older and wiser couple advised my ex-husband, and I do not only let her soothe herself but also taught us not to be super quiet every time she slept. So now my 14 years old literally could sleep through a freight train. This is an example of me being a busy mom, working many hours and not wanting to creep around my house like a cat burglar. I think at times we are almost afraid of our children in the sense that we have been taught by our parents to give selflessly, relentlessly, and without a boundary; as a result, we have created some pretty entitled kids thinking that the world revolves around them, sound familiar?
I am not saying that there is not a balance between your needs and there’s but what I am saying is that you need to find the balance before the lack of balance finds you, because it will and it probably already has – co-sleeping at 15 years old. I’m not passing judgment anywhere if you are happy with how you have raised your child I applaud you, but ultimately it needs to work FOR YOU not against you. If it is not working for you changes need to be made to create better balance; otherwise, you will constantly be catching your breath instead of flourishing. Before we go here are a few tips on how to be a healthy mom and manage your busy schedule:
- Make time for you – even if it is 15 mins trapped in the bathroom. Make sure you have some dedicated time every day just for you
- Get on a schedule – Children love routine it helps them feel safe and builds discipline
- Learn to teach your children how to be autonomous – I loved Montessori for this as it taught my daughter how to pour her own drinks, get her own snacks, and be independent. Teach them how to meet their own needs, so you are not turning into the household butler.
- Do something to help your stress level. Whether that is yoga, Pilates, cycling, or the gym. Make sure you take time to relax and relieve your stress.
- Don’t jump at every whim. Every cry, every yell, every scream, every demand is not the bat signal. You can let them cry it out (yes I said it). Our children train us if we run and jump at every cry they will learn they are in charge. If we pause, allow them to breathe and then approach calming to ask what is wrong then it gets them thinking—- how do I handle this if she is not here
- It’s okay to let them fail. If they don’t get everything right on the test or are picked for every sports team, its okay. Also if they make choices and the cause and effect scenario doesn’t always work in their favor its okay. They will be okay. Failure is a part of life and the more they learn about resilience, the better equipped they will be to handle life.
- Allow them to be who they are, try not to force a round peg in a square hole. It’s truly okay if they are different and if they zig instead of zag. The world needs more leaders, outliers, and those that are able to teach the world some big stuff.
- Grocery shop online and pickup, then prep veggies with the kids in front of the TV. This one is my fav. Online grocery shopping is such a time saver- I love it. Just click pick up. Some even deliver. Then on the coffee table (yes I said coffee table) put a big chopping board and chop veggies and then have the kiddos bag them for you. I weigh broccoli crowns into neat 2-4 oz servings for easy grab and go or grab and steam action. This can be done with fruit, veggies, nuts, just about anything and everything. I love it. It teaches them how to be healthy, the importance of meal prep, and is a HUGE time saver come dinner time. WIN WIN WIN!
- Relax, you’re not perfect. It’s okay, you’re good, they are good., Some days they will be crying, some days you will be crying, some days everyone will be crying. Other days there will be yelling, and so on and so forth. Teach your children how do handle emotions, and care for your own emotions even if that means you need to put yourself in time out.
Parenting is tough. The 1940s wife who stayed at home with her full-time housewife role in a lot of ways had her wits about her. The superwomen to whom we have become today are nothing short of walking miracles, and I encourage you all to pat yourselves on the back to be managing two full time plus jobs. It truly is awesome for you to keep the dream alive. Just remember in the whole process, don’t lose yourself, remember to be kind and to love yourself like I love you and even more. Everything you need to get done will get done in the perfect timing, just breath. Now that you know how to be a healthy mom in 2020 while managing your busy schedule go out their, make a plan, and remember to give yourself a breather.
*All information contained in this blog post is intended for informational and educational purposes only, and is neither intended nor suited to be a replacement or substitute for professional medical treatment nor for professional medical advice relative to a specific medical question or condition.