Amongst the cleaning, school runs, sports, extra curricular’s, cooking, family time and everything else in between; we as parents can tend to end up exhausted and sometimes unwell. If we aren’t careful, we not only find ourselves putting everyone else in front of us but sometimes we can realise that we actually aren’t on the priority list at all!
By not making us a priority, is that really putting others first? I use to think it was my job as a mother to take care of my family before myself. That was until a good friend of mine recently said ” If Mum isn’t looked after, how can she be her best self to raise her children?”.
This sat with me for a few weeks. Somewhere, in the back of my mind, I knew she was absolutely right! If our bodies aren’t healthy, how can we expect to be strong enough to be more than “just enough” for our kids? If our minds aren’t healthy, can we really cope with the demands of little humans getting used to their huge emotions? In the end, I’ve decided that it’s not fair on the kids or myself if I wasn’t 100%.
So with that in mind, it’s time to look for some solutions. Seeing a doctor about all health issues is the first and most important step to take. If we get our bodies up and running at full capacity then we can hit fitness goals, and in turn makes for a healthier mind. If you’re bettering yourself along with me, then here are just a few things that you can ask your doctor to check.
- Iron levels and nutrient levels
- Full blood count
- General cancer screening depending on your age
- Pap smear or prostate examination
- Make sure you have no underlying health issues that you don’t know about
- If you’ve been getting a lot of anxiety and depression then please also express this to your doctor and get on top of your mental health
- Write a list to take with you of every health issue you have had since last seeing the doctor (and those issues you just “forgot” about last time)
- See your doctor once a month for checkups
After seeing your doctor and having all of the tests and treatments you need, it’s time to focus on your mind. The best things (that I’ve found) for a healthy mind is exercise and a clean house. This may vary for some but generally, most people respond really well to a regular exercise routine.
- Take 10- 30 mins (at least) per day to either workout or go for a walk
- If possible, opt to walk the kids to school or walk to work
- Find an activity that gets you moving, one that you love to do (Dance, ride, walking, workouts, team sports etc)
You don’t need to focus your exercise on losing weight or getting your fitness up. Focus them on getting your blood pumping and releasing those endorphins and you will soon see how fit and healthy your mind becomes.
Time for you!
Nothing you do to become a better parent will stick unless you take at the very least 1 hour each week for yourself. Weather you’re a single parent or married/ partnered, you need something for just you! This has to be something you enjoy doing but don’t always get time to do. For some, this might be a weekly sport, an hour in the bath while someone entertains your kids, going out to take photos etc. Taking just one hour a week (min) to feed your passion and hobbies as an individual will benefit the entire family!
To recap, you need to…
- See your doctor to work on your health monthly
- Exercise to work on your mind daily
- Make time for yourself weekly
By doing these 3 simple things to better yourself, you’re creating a better and stronger parent for your children. So let’s change the stigma that parents need to put themselves last; because when you put yourself first, your children are the ones who will benefit the most from it. In reality, making us our top priority, automatically puts our kids as the top priority too.