By Kenda Mullert
Just today a friend commented on my Facebook picture that I posted, “You make being a healthy mom look easy.” I almost did a double take, and with a look of disbelief I commented that it was certainly not easy.
Being healthy is not easy. And putting forth the effort to be healthy is never easy. As a mom, we’ve done a million things wrong and a million things right—but for some reason, it’s much easier to remember what we’ve messed up doing. As a working mom, I know that the easy thing to do is to think back on how I’ve been healthy over the last week and think I’ve failed, that I’ve messed up.
Your healthy lifestyle, pre-kids
Remember when you could sleep in until just an hour before you had to be at work? Maybe you even packed a healthy lunch in that time frame, too!
Those days are gone, and we are left scrambling to find a granola bar or yogurt for breakfast and grabbing anything for lunch is a huge win. Our days are completely different now that we are working moms, with daycare pick up times and soccer practices to drive to. If we don’t make adjustments to our framework of what being healthy looks like, we will drift away from the forgotten land of self-care.
As a working mom, we always put ourselves last, on the back-burner with the dirty dishes from last night. It’s in our nature and I don’t think it will ever change. And secretly, I’m ok with that. It’s comforting and a safe place of familiarity. But that doesn’t mean we should forget we are important—and not just in our roles we play, but in who we are.
Losing sight of yourself
At the end of the night as you do your final toy sweep or dirty dish collection, you can finally have a moment to remember who you are:
- Remembering who you are can be the breath of air that your soul needs…yesterday.
- Remembering who you are can be the motivation to try again tomorrow.
- Remembering who you are can be empowering and encouraging even on the hardest days.
In the best state of who you are—you are rested, think clearly and positively, have discipline and willpower, and are nice to be around. And that’s just you—not even as a mom!
Of course, being a mom changes a lot of you, but it doesn’t take you out of the picture. Being a mom makes us a better woman—if we’re not overwhelmed by it.
Reasons to make the effort to be healthy
Finding ways to be healthy enables you to be your best self. Research consistently says those who put forth effort to be healthy by exercising, eating healthy, and manage their stress all sleep better, are more positive to be around, and can think clearly, modeling discipline and willpower.
If you’ve failed a million times at being healthy as a mom, consider reframing what being heathy looks like now that you have a kid (or more) and a job. It MUST look different. Because even the smallest effort to be healthy will allow you to be your best self.
My healthy life now looks like this: small steps, consistently. Like: shorter (but interrupted) workouts, parking far away and being more active in my daily life, adding a vegetable to my plate at every meal.
I’d love to hear your answers—we all learn from each other:
What does your best self look like? And what small effort can you do today to be your healthy, best self?
Kenda Mullert is a working mom that helps women believe they are worth the effort to be healthy. She blogs at The Healthy Confident Woman.