I'm sure the reason you're reading this blog is because you are well aware of the culture we live in today. You are aware of the messages that promote the perfect body, the perfect diet, the perfect exercise routine and an unrealistic expectation of beauty. Unfortunately our kids are impacted by all of this and as parents we want them to grow up strong, confident and authentic to who they truly are.
A few questions I get asked regularly is how do I help my child? How do I help them grow up healthy and confident? How do I help them love themselves unconditionally and be kind to their bodies and celebrate their uniqueness? These are great questions and somewhat complex. I am fascinated on this topic and I find myself researching it constantly through my grad program.
First I say kudos to caring. The sole fact that you are investing your time to reading this blog and learning is a fantastic step.
Second, I encourage you to explore these questions on your own. Do YOU feel healthy and confident? Can YOU love yourself unconditionally? Are YOU able to be kind to yourself and celebrate your uniqueness? Doing your own work is usually the hardest and most rewarding part in all of this. I don't believe we can tell our kiddos to love themselves exactly how they are if we are constantly checking our own bodies in the mirror and tearing them apart. I DO believe we can model positive behaviors and teach our kids through our own actions, whether we think they notice them or not (because let's be real, they totally pickup on EVERYTHING we do).
(If you want some more concrete steps on creating a positive body image in our children you can read that here )
I came across a research article not too long ago about a study done on mother daughter relationships and daughters body image. Some interesting statements in this article are followed.
So the question is HOW do we do this? I know as a parent we are willing to do anything for our kids. In case, the most important thing we can be doing is working on our own selves. When we can treat ourselves we self compassion, unconditional love and self acceptance it is going to overflow to our daughters well-being and in my opinion our sons and other loved ones as well.
If you need help getting started I have a quick post on self kindness that you can check out here or if you are local drop in to my free women's group.
The most important thing to remember is it's never too late to start creating a healthy relationship with ourselves, our bodies, our minds or even with our kiddos.
So much love to you mama on this journey we are on,
Motherhood. I could simply say this word and mom's everywhere would be nodding their heads with a reassuring "ahh yes, motherhood". It's hard to describe and put into words because it is simply something you cannot explain, you can only experience. The moment you decide you want to become a mother you start learning lessons along the way. My son's first birthday is coming up this month and like most mom's i'm sitting here stunned that a year has flown by. As I reflect on where this last year has gone I can't help but think about how much my little guy has taught me in such a short time.
Time waits for no one
This one makes sense and we hear it on probably a daily basis "just wait, he will be graduating college soon" "he'll be asking for your keys before you know it". I get it now. I mean, I was just in the hospital. I was just waking my husband up at 2AM to let him know "this is definitely it, time for a baby!". We blinked and a year went by. Enjoy every little second you can and soak it all in. Spend less time doing dishes, worrying about the future and stressing about the craziness. Soak up every single second you can. Hold your baby, study their face, sit and play with them, learn along side them.
Take care of yourself
Mom guilt is a real thing but I've learned how important it is for me to get time in for myself. Oh how much I appreciate that 50 minute yoga class or the ten minutes my husband takes little man to go feed the dogs. Whether you can fit in something big or something small, make a priority to fit it in. For me, self care makes me kinder, more patient and a more loving mama. Take the time, make it regular and make it a priority. My self care may not be as leisurely or spontaneous as it once was but it has taught me to be present and intentional with the time I do get.
Baby sitting, help with laundry, a night out, a nap... it takes a tribe to raise a family. It takes grandparents, friends, cousins, aunties and uncles to make this whole thing work. Take the help when you can. We are completely spoiled by being surrounded by a supportive family. I understand that's not always the case for everyone so this is something I don't take for granted.
It's a season
Some great advice I got pre mama hood was to remember...it's all a season. When your life turns inside out just remember it wont be like this forever. Enjoy it, embrace the mess and remember you are strong enough to get through it all.I have felt exhaustion like I never no I could. We're still up 4+ times a night, Sometimes every hour. But man oh man those quiet moments when we cuddle makes every second worth it. When things seem hard and maybe even impossible, just remember it's a season that will pass. Soak it up as much as you can. And on another note, it's OKAY to be overwhelmed, frustrated and exhausted. Motherhood is a life changing, beautiful miracle that I wouldn't trade for anything. But It's also okay to admit that it's really hard. Be gentle with yourself and offer lot's and lot's of grace.
You ARE doing a good job
Advice on sleep training, nursing, solid foods, nap schedules and everything in between can make you question yourself. I have had plenty of conversations with God and my husband saying "I DON"T KNOW WHAT'S RIGHT". There is so much advice, resources and different way to do things. Remember, YOU are doing a good job. YOU can love on your little like no one else. Life will go on if you don't follow the perfect bedtime routine or schedule.
From the moment we decided we wanted to become parents we began learning the art of patience. Pregnancy doesn't always happen when we want it to. We don't always (or ever) go in to labor on our due dates. Nap times don't happen at the perfect time every day. As our kiddos grow older and they want to do things on their own ( like walk through Costco over being held) and it forces us to sloooowwww down and step out of our busy, fast paced life. Having patience is one thing I have yet to master but continue to learn on a daily basis.
I have been pooped on, spit up on, woken up hourly, bitten during teething and I love that little man like no other. I have not been the perfect mom, I've been on my phone too much at times, I've become frustrated, my anxiety has gotten the better of me and that boy just wants to crawl up and cuddle with his mama at the end of the day regardless. The love that a mama and her child has is like no other.
Try, try and try again
This has been a humbling lesson for me. So many times prior to motherhood I would think things were impossible, too hard or I failed too many times. Do you know how hard a baby has to work to do anything!? I mean, Jacks worked so hard to learn how to crawl, walk and the most recent, run without falling face first. I've watched him try and fail over and over again until he could finally, successfully put a blanket over his head and play peek-a-boo. I've watched him unsure on how to climb off the couch until he tried over and over again and it became easy. Being a mama to this sweet little boy has proven to me that anything is possible if we don't give up.
Get clear on priorities
We unfortunatly are working through our first sickness with mister Jacks. It is heart breaking, difficult and a sure way to get clear on priorities. When your baby needs you and is sick, the things you were so worried about don't seem to matter anymore. Mamahood helps you get clear on the things that are truly important to you.
I am learning new things daily and this list could go on and on... but these are some things that have really stood out to me. I would love to hear about your journey and lessons that you've learned along the way too!
Our little man got sick for the first time last week (which resulted in a first birthday cancellation). It is THE hardest things watching your kiddo fight through the flu when they're so little. I wanted to share with you some of the things we did to help support his little body and also support our bodies. I also want to start off by saying all mama's are different and all mom's know their babes best. So do what works for you and your family. I believe in a good balance of natural preventative help and support and also the use of modern medicine. I am beyond thankful I have tools at home that I know support our bodies AND i am grateful for modern medicine and a doctors visit (especially as a first time mama). So, as always, do what works for you and your family.
Preventative Support For The Family:
Our little one has been at the stage where sleep doesn't happen too often. So this is an area we were totally lacking in. However, if you are in a stage of your life where you don't have a little one waking up constantly, make a priority to get a well rested night. Your body repairs itself at night so getting adequate Z's can help everything from your immune system to your concentration. A few simple tricks to a good nights sleep are
Staying hydrated helps your body in so many ways. Some of these include helping the body naturally detox, boost the immune system, increase energy and help repair cells. Aim for half your body weight in ounces and more if you can.
Here are some tips
Certain foods offer the body extra support. In the winter months especially we try to up our intake of greens, garlic, ginger and bone broth. We are mindful of the sweets we consume as well and work to nourish our bodies as much as possible.
Here's some helpful tips
We use essential oils daily for many benefits. When it comes to immune support we use doTERRAS onguard products all.the.time. They're seriously amazing. As a preventative we use the onguard cleaner, hand spray, tooth paste, beadlets and roller bottle daily. We use the roller bottle on our spines and bottoms of our feet. We use this for the entire family. Additionally we diffuse onguard daily in the winter months. I just watched this video on a hospital that is beginning to offer essential oils to clients opposed to pain medication. so amazing!
Here's some tips
I hope some of these tips help you. Luckily since we have started implementing essential oils and healthier habits into our home we haven't been sick in years. Now that we have a toddler that goes to the church and gym daycare weekly we are learning we may have to step our game up just a bit ;) I would love to hear any tips that you have to keep you and your family healthy .