Motherhood inspiration from one of our Registered Dietitians.
For an instant, it can leave you feeling like you are still that insecure, lost, teenager, unsure of herself, and looking to peers for what is acceptable. However for me, that occasional fleeting thought quickly fades as I remind myself of the most important job I have been blessed with, being a mother to three unique, funny, kind-hearted children. In that instant, I am immediately grounded; grounded back to those 3 precious faces whose lives depend on me.
So how do I, as a mother, remain grounded, present, confident in my whole self, and care for my body as well as my three munchkins? It takes constant thought, effort, and gentle reminders.
Motherhood Memorable Moments
What has worked great for me is caring for myself along side caring for my children. When it is breakfast time, we all eat together, choosing from a nutrient-dense array of breakfast choices we keep around the house. We sit down together, chat about our upcoming day, how we slept, and how we are feeling. You may not know this but in those moments, you are practicing and modeling mindfulness. When it is time to get dressed for the day, I get the kids dressed and then dress myself. This may seem minimal to some, but as a mother to 3 little ones, getting dressed for the day is a big way to respect myself and make me feel good.
More parenting tips
Once they get in a mood to run around and expel energy, we go in the basement where they have open space. They get some energy out jumping and riding bikes and I get on the elliptical 20 to 30 minutes. Prior to being a mom of 3, this amount of activity wouldn’t have ‘stacked up’ as enough, but it helps to put it into perspective that any movement is caring for myself, and it also mirrors to my kids that exercise should not be excessive, obsessive, or an obligation.
Lunch and dinners follow the same trend as breakfast. We eat together. We typically eat similar meals. I don’t feed them nutritious food and limit myself to just their leftovers as a way to manage portions, or gorge on snack-foods when they are not looking. Little eyes are always watching, and it is helpful to model healthy eating habits.
Keys to peaceful motherhood
Sweets are okay
Don’t get me wrong, we frequent the ice cream, frozen yogurt and snow ball shops in town too. This mama doesn’t refrain from these treats to ‘manage’ my weight. I enjoy alongside my kids. This models that there are no bad foods, and that food is meant to enjoy and partake in.
Snacks are structured
Snacks are also structured. Just as I don’t allow them to run around the house with food, distracted and disconnected, nor do I allow myself to do this either. We re-group at the table for family time, talk, and re-connecting with one another over food.
Self-care is key
Care for yourself as you care for your children. Be a healthy role model as you parent them, along side parenting yourself, with moderation, enjoyment, and mindfulness.
On days you are struggling to parent yourself with healthy habits and moderation, remember that little eyes are constantly observing us. Our kids are like little sponges, and yearn so much to be like us. Go about each day taking care of yourself just as you care for them, with full attentiveness, love, and respect.
If you are struggling with body image or eating issues, we have a specialized team of eating disorder experts to help you..
Rebecca Bitzer loves to empower Registered Dietitian Nutritionists (RDNs) and their clients. Co-author of Welcome to the Rebelution: Seven steps to the nutrition counseling practice of your dreams and Taste the Sweet Rebellion: Rebel against dieting.