As moms, we tend to care for ourselves last. It is our nature, genetic imprint, guilt threshold, whatever you want to call it, we just can’t seem to help ourselves.
Mom, it is high time you work on that programming.
Your health, both mental and physical, is far more important than you might believe. By taking a little time everyday to put yourself first, you will not only improve the way you look and feel, you will be setting an excellent example for your children. These 6 simple steps will go a long way in improving your domestic godess standing.
1. Do a Little Something EVERYDAY!
By this, I mean something physical. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Race your kids around the block. Do some yoga stretches or practice your pull-ups on the swing set. Better yet, have a dance party with your ankle bitters. Not only will they get a kick out of playing with mom, you will get a little cardio in.
2. Play with Your Kids.
Seriously, get on the floor and build blocks; play hide-and-seek and actually hide not just seek; bring out your inner Picaso with crayons; build a train track and actually play trains; be the swinger not just the pusher or take a quick trip down the slide. Allowing your child-self to peek out will help you bond with your children, clear your mental clutter AND, in most cases, buy you a few more minutes to yourself when you need to get emails out or supper finished. When your children actually believe that you will do something WITH them, they will be more patient when you need “just one more minute.”
3. Don’t Skip Breakfast
I’m sure you have seen the Snickers commercials about hunger. Please, don’t have a candy bar for breakfast but do eat. Your metabolism and brain have asleep (well, with any luck, they have been). Food is your body’s cue to jump back into action. If you are not typically hungry right away, you can keep it as simple as a scrambled egg, yogurt or handful of almonds while you prep the kiddos for the day. Later, though, when you can slow down, make sure you eat more, mixing a protein, fat and carb for a more sustaining energy boost. (ie: a piece of ham, string cheese and an apple or leftover chicken, a few walnuts and some blueberries).
4. Wear Something Bright and Pretty
From toe-nail polish to your bra and panties, having on something bright and pretty will lift your spirits. You might be covered in playground dirt and spilled juice but your pretty pink toes or the knowledge of your lacy bra can make you feel more human and feminine.
5. Don’t Deprive Yourself
Most women are always “watching my weight” or “on a diet”. I cringe! No, really, eat… but that is different post for a different day. For today, know that deprivation is a sure step toward eating the whole cake after the kids go to bed. You take the kids for Froyo, go ahead and have some. You baked cookies for after school, EAT ONE! Now, note I didn’t say eat half the dough while baking. I’m not giving you permission to go crazy, I am simply giving you permission to NOT DRIVE YOURSELF CRAZY. A treat is just that, an occasional indulgence to make you happy.
6. Sing, LOUDLY, and Dance
We have a tradition in our house. When we are cleaning, making dinner, or simply puttering around the house, we have music on. Yes, occasionally you will hear “MMMOOOOOOOMMMMMMM, stop siiiiinnnggiiiinnnngggg”. Ignore it! Chores go faster, arguments halt and supper gets on the table if you bee-bop around while you do it. Plus, there is a little, cute 20 month old singing and dancing along with you. Who cares if you can’t carry a tune in a bucket or dance like Elaine Benes, nobody can see you except your children and, though they may act embarrassed now, they really do love it!