When I first became a mom it felt like I had little time for anything. Caring for small children often makes the day feel busy, yet unproductive. You may feel like there is a perpetual state of cleaning, cooking, laundry, and parenting.
You might be wondering where becoming a healthy mom fits into that equation exactly.
I hear ya.
It’s easy to feel like there is so little time left over for yourself. There may be nights, after your kids are tucked safely in bed, and the house is quiet for a bit, when you wonder what you did for yourself today. How did you contribute to your overall physical, mental, and emotional health as both a woman and a mother?
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If you are feeling these thoughts, you are not alone. I am feeling them too. So as you ring in the New Year, I encourage you to join along with me and explore how you and I together can become healthy moms this year.
There is great potential when it comes to investing in your personal health as a mom. Here are some simple ideas to inspire you to start:
Plan things out.
Healthy eating, exercise, and self-care for mom often falls by the wayside without an actionable plan. Grab yourself a small gift and purchase a Monthly Planner. In the planner, write down meals you intend to make during the week, days you plan to get some sort of activity, and schedule in some much needed me time. It’s easier to stay committed to your healthy mom goals when they are down on paper.
Be your own motivation.
You may feel like your goals fall by the wayside because there is not enough support to encourage you through the process. I completely relate. You goals may not be very important to another person, and therefore, they might not hold you accountable in the best way. Being your own motivation can change this. Write down your goals and put them on the refrigerator. Take it a step further and tell as many people as possible about your healthy mom goals. The more people that know about your goals, the more motivated you will feel to fulfill them.
Build in the time.
There is enough time for everything if we truly want it to be. Schedule in the time for yourself that is realistic, and ask your spouse and other family members to respect that time. If that means you take 2 hours a week to get out of the house and go for a hike with a girlfriend, ask your husband or a friend to watch after your kids. Commit to making the time for yourself.
Commit to “me” time throughout the day.
In addition to what I just mentioned above about scheduling in time each week, consider taking shorter sanity breaks throughout the day for yourself. It could be 10 minutes of alone time in the morning before your kids wake up to read a few encouraging quotes. It could be 15 minutes of alone time after your husband gets home from work. Hide in the bathroom for 15 minutes if you have to—wash your face, put on some lipstick, or read a magazine. Anything to recharge yourself just a bit.
Cut yourself some slack.
If you don’t meet your goal one week, that’s okay. Don’t feel like you have to give up on your healthy mom goals just because you weren’t able to achieve them one week. Nobody is perfect. Goals are flexible and fluid. Aim for an overall pattern.
Make it a lifestyle.
If you are hoping to succeed with some long term goals this year, one way to do this is making a lifestyle choice rather than a fad. Aim to meet your healthy eating, exercise, or self-care goals about 80 percent of the time.
Everything in moderation.
Similarly to making healthy mom goals a lifestyle, you can also aim to meet your goals with some sense of moderation. Heading to a Valentine’s party, go ahead and indulge a bit. Going on a weekend getaway, don’t stress about not fitting a work out in.
Incorporate superfoods into your diet.
One of the best ways to get healthier in terms of food is to put a list of superfoods on your refrigerator and strive to eat each of them at least once a week.
Here are the top superfoods to offer health protection:
- Tea (green or black)
Make realistic changes to eat better.
One of the things I’ve found to be really helpful is to make small simple goals when it come to food. For example, you could make a goal to eat only whole grains 80 percent of the time. So instead of reaching for the white bread, chose the whole wheat bread, oatmeal or quinoa instead. Or you could make a goal to eat at least 4-5 servings of vegetables per day. These simple goals are realistic changes without restricting you too much, which makes you more likely to stick with it in the long run.
Walk it out.
When running errands, you could try parking farther away to get more walking in. Or you could simply walk instead of drive. Or you could go for an evening walk as a family after dinner. Once of the simplest ways to increase your activity and exercise just a bit more is to incorporate walking as much as possible into your daily life.
Exercise with your kids.
Exercise doesn’t have to mean getting up at 5 am to hit the gym. We are all busy, and making it to the gym when you have a family isn’t always a realistic goal. So instead of worrying about that, you could try to go to the playground with your kids. Or throw a dance party in the house with your kids. Or roughhouse with your kids. Make it easy on yourself, and it’s more likely you will actually meet your healthy mom goal and enjoy it too.
One of the best ways to optimize your overall health is to get enough sleep. Sleep repairs and recharges your body both mentally and emotionally, helping you become a healthy mom. Sleep plays a critical role in immune function, metabolism, memory, learning, mood, happiness and overall long-term health. Getting enough sleep can also help you feel more patient and relaxed during the day when motherhood is throwing you for a loop.
Start a morning wake up routine.
If you are interested and able to wake up before your kids, you may really enjoy starting a morning routine while the house is still quiet. Wake up thirty minutes to an hour before your kids and take a little bit of time to do what makes you feel cared for and happy. It could be as simple as a shower, a cup of coffee or tea, and watching the news.
Start an evening bedtime routine.
If a morning routine isn’t a good fit for you, consider an evening bedtime routine. Create a ritual that incorporates 3-5 simple things you really enjoy. It could be as simple as diffusing some calming essential oils, reading a good book, and sipping some hot tea. And if you are really wanting to hit it out the park, you could implement both a morning and bedtime routine. The overall point of a routine is to consistently offer yourself something enjoyable to do without thinking too much. It’s meant to offer recharge and help you feel happy.
Be proud of your mothering each day.
As a mom, it’s common to feel like enough isn’t always good enough. To feel like you give and give and no one is happy. It’s time to transform your mindset and be proud of all the hard work you put into being a mom. Think of 5 ways you really helped your kids today and feel proud of that. Feel good about being a good mom even if no one else recognizes it. You are doing an amazing job, mama. Really, you are.
You may also like…
- Why Every Great Mom Fills Her Cup First
- 10 Things I Wish I Knew Before Becoming Mom
- Busy Stay-at-Home Mom? How to Get Things Done
What’s your best tip to be a healthy mom this year?
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I love this! What great advice! I get up 30 minutes before everyone else during the week – this way I can shower and be dressed before the sh.. hits the fan. You are so right that your personal goals may not mean the world to someone else, but that doesn’t make them any less important to you! THANK YOU! I needed this little pep talk!
Thanks Tove. Ha…love your honesty when you admit to showering before ‘sh..hits the fan.’ Definitely relate to that! I think a little investment in the morning can help prevent burnout. You know?
These are all so true. I must admit, Lauren, that I have to work at these. Isn’t it funny how we know the right answers but sometimes applying them is the hard part? I really like the last one you put here: Be proud of your mothering every day. I think we all can use that one. Being proud of being a mother, doing the work that we do, that is a must! Hope you are doing well. Have a great day!
It’s hard to feel proud some days. You give and give and it can feel like there isn’t much in return. So yeah, it can be really helpful to say, “I’m a dang good mom.” And yes, it is easy to have all the right answers but not actually use them. Totally relate to that and it’s something that I definitely struggle with.
Eat the right portions, eat 3–5 small meals a day, cut back on carbs and sugars, increase lean protein/veggie/fruit/water intake, and start doing some cardiovascular exercise. Breast feeding also tends to make you lose weight too.
I’m trying so hard to lose weight but I can’t seem to get it right. What are some good protein foods to eat ? Please help!