There is no job more important than being a mom! Whether you are a working mom or a stay-at-home mom, you have a lot of responsibilities. Raising our little ones is no easy feat, and helping them learn healthy habits along the way can feel overwhelming and daunting. My health hasn’t always been a priority, but having my son helped me to realize how much I was taking my health for granted. I wasn’t caring for my body and it was obvious, both in my outward appearance and how I felt on the inside.
The absolute BEST thing we can do for our children is to take care of their mama. How can we expect to live a LONG life filled with joy and happiness if we aren’t taking care of ourselves? How can we get on the floor and play with our children or run around the yard with them if we can barely make it up a flight of stairs without getting out of breath? How can we make sure they are getting proper nutrition if we are eating donuts for breakfast and cookies before bed?
It is so important to me to help other mamas learn how to create lifelong, healthy habits. I KNOW how difficult it is, both mentally and physically. I have been there, and I continue to struggle. I know the tips and the tricks and I want to help you figure out a plan that works for you. Because that’s the thing; we are all different and we all want different things in life. Healthy for me doesn’t necessarily mean healthy for you. You have to figure out how to measure your own personal health and success, and try not to worry so much about those around you.
Here are some habits of a healthy mom that you could start doing TODAY.
Plan your meals
Do you plan or meals each week or do you wing it? You might not be the most organized person in the world but you are going to want to get organized with your meals. Use your computer or your phone to create a menu for the week. Or, even better, hang up a chalkboard in your kitchen and keep it visible. Having a plan is going to keep you away from those drive-thrus.
Prep your food
TIME is an issue for almost everybody with children. A lot of your time is spent caring for the little ones, attending sports practices, or taking them to school functions. This is why preparing your food ahead of time is so important. Take time every Sunday to chop up veggies and fruit, dice up cooked chicken, measure out rice and split it into separate containers, etc. It might take you an hour of time on Sunday but it’s going to save you a ton of time during the week.
Schedule your workouts
Schedule your workouts into your day. Do not WAIT to feel motivated! Treat it as an important appointment that you cannot cancel. You wouldn’t cancel on your doctor or a friend, so don’t do it to yourself. When it’s on your calendar, there are NO EXCUSES.
Step away from the leftovers
We all know how this goes. You make your child a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, but they don’t like the crust. You cut it off, and there it is, sitting on a plate, just waiting for you to eat it. DON’T DO IT! Those small bites throughout the day add up and will prevent you from losing weight. As soon as you cut that crust off, throw it in the garbage. Throw away that extra piece of cheese that your child didn’t eat. Do not fall into that trap. Stick to the plan and eat ONLY what is in your plan.
Be active with your children
There is a time and place for tv, puzzles, and board games, but mix it up! Get moving and take your children outside! Visit a local park and play with them instead of sitting on a bench and watching. Kick a ball around or jump on the trampoline WITH them! Instead of being an observer, channel your inner child and play right next to them. Not only will you burn more calories and get your heart rate up, but they’re going to love spending that special time with you.
Spend time with other moms
Build your own support system. Parenting can feel lonely and isolating at times, especially if you don’t work outside of the home. Connect with other moms in the area and make plans to get together without the kiddos. Go out to dinner or go grab coffee. You’ll find that this makes a big difference in your mental health.
Take time for yourself
Taking time for yourself helps you to recharge your batteries. Sometimes all you need is 10 minutes in a QUIET room. When your husband gets home in the evening, hand the kids off and go run an errand or two. Take an hour on the weekend to get a manicure or pedicure. If money is tight, just go drive around with your favorite music blasting for 30 minutes! Whatever it is, just take time for yourself. It will make you a happier mom.
A healthy, happy mom = a healthy, happy family
Take care of yourself both physically and mentally so that you can be a happy, active, present mom. That is the greatest gift you could ever give your children.