Having children and all that comes along with the responsibility of being a mother often leaves little if no time for ourselves. I recently read a story about a working mom who hired a virtual personal assistant to book appointments and pay bills. Although I am not suggesting a personal assistant, we as mothers need to remember to take care of ourselves.
Along with loss of sleep and ‘down time,’ one of the most common things moms forget to do is care for their own health. Fortunately, most of us are relatively young and healthy. But there are still important preventive measures that we should continue to take.
Here are some things that we must remember to do for ourselves:
1. Yearly physical
Most women know that having an annual PAP smear is not required anymore. But before you completely blow off visiting your doctor yearly, remember there are other things you should continue seeing your doc for.
Depending on your health condition and family history, there are many important health screenings that occur in your 30s and 40s. Those include blood pressure monitoring, cholesterol and diabetes screening, and other tests such as colonoscopy or mammogram. Don’t spend time on WebMD to find out what tests you need. Just schedule a yearly appointment with your doctor. They can determine which (if any) tests are appropriate for you.
When I was breastfeeding, it seemed I would only eat things I could hold in my left hand while I had my baby in my right arm. Although I’ll never know for sure, this is probably one of the reasons that my milk supply rapidly decreased a few months after he was born. Besides eating healthy for pregnancy and breastfeeding, this is one area that is too frequently neglected by mothers.
At the end of a long day, it seems easiest to just grab a snack and settle in with a glass of wine. However, remember to eat healthy foods that are nutritious and filling, as well. Limit your alcohol intake, as well.
Although you may feel exhausted from chasing your kiddos around, you still need consistent, dedicated exercise.
Thirty minutes of walking, running, spinning, swimming are all excellent ways to improve your cardiovascular fitness and keep your weight down. Find ways to fit these activities into your day and your waist line, mood and patience will thank you.
What’s sleep? I think as moms we forget what true sleep really is. Whether it’s getting too little or facing constant nighttime interruptions, motherhood really has a significant impact on the amount of sleep we get. The ironic thing is that sleep is even more important given the demands of parents.
Remember to fit in 6-8 hours of solid sleep at night. This won’t always be a perfect formula. For months at a time depending on how old your children are, this will not be possible at all. But it is no less important to try for this goal. You can plan your daily outfits or pack your lunch the night before, to get some extra zzz’s in the morning.
Whatever we do as moms, we think of our family first. But there are some physical and personal priorities that we all must remember to take for ourselves. This will keep us healthy and give us the energy and abilities to keep up with our kiddos and be the moms we strive to be!