It would be interesting to see my markers of wellness pre and post babies. I’ve given a lot of my nutrients to my babies, in the womb and breastfeeding. I don’t eat as well as I should cause I’m so busy caring for them. I don’t sleep more than a few hours in a row. I am getting a bit isolated from other adults and am sometimes lonely. I definitely don’t exercise as much as I used to. Writing all this out I’m realizing what a bad job I am doing at taking care of my own health, and I know I’m not alone! We need to keep our mamas healthy!
I’ve been thinking about what I can do to improve this — here is my plan to get healthier and happier:
- Wake up when first kid wakes up in morning
My toddler wakes up EARLY. Sometimes 6am and sometimes even earlier. I usually try to get him to lie down and sleep — this does not work. I lie in bed groggy and grumpy until finally getting up with him, usually having lost the first hour of my day this way. So instead, I’m going to try getting up right when he wakes up and to use this time better. He can have quiet playtime while I get up, make coffee, and have some of my own reading and quiet-time.
Pre-babies I had beautiful “morning gold” time. Maybe there’s some way to have a version of this with my kids.
This also means going to bed earlier, so I’m going to try to go bed by 9:30pm to get a long stretch of sleep with my newborn.
And my sleep needs need to be balanced with the rare time to have a glass of wine and relax with my husband – also important for our health and wellbeing, see #7 below!
- Run with toddler, do yoga during baby naptime
I have not been exercising much lately but I know I am both healthier and happier when I can find time to exercise every day. My 2-year old loves going in the “running stroller.” It’s good exercise and also nice time we get to spend together, talking and exploring. Sometimes later in the morning I can get about 45 minutes of quiet nap time for a yoga practice when my newborn sleeps. Now that I’m pumping/storing milk and will soon have childcare, I’m also planning to get to real yoga classes soon.
- Eat a good breakfast
It’s amazing how I can feed everyone else in my family but don’t feed myself. I make a big pot of oatmeal in the morning for my 2-year old with added flax seeds, coconut oil, probiotics, berries, yogurt. It’s delicious and healthy with lots of fiber and healthy fats. Yet I don’t have any for myself! I’m going to start making myself a bowl also — today was day 1.
- Drink more water.
I forget to drink enough water. I feel much better and more energized when I am fully hydrated. I’m going to get out my water bottle and start carrying that around with me. Today was also day 1.
- Snack better
Since I don’t eat regular healthy meals I’ve been doing a lot of unhealthy snacking – goldfish, chips, bagels, crackers, sweet treats at Peets. Instead, I’m going to stock up on healthy snacks and eat them throughout the day: nuts, dark chocolate, fruit, avocado.
- Green load for dinner
I’m obsessed with getting greens in my toddler and spend tons of time making peas or spinach in whatever form he will eat them. But I need them too! It’s my new resolution to eat a huge amount of greens nightly. I’ll buy bunches each week at the farmers market, saute collard greens or kale with garlic or cook a big bunch of asparagus.
I’ll also make a big batch of green soup weekly and store it in the fridge for reheating during the week.
Here is my super simple green soup I’ve been making: Saute garlic and onion with coconut oil and turmeric. Add water and veggie stock, add 2 potatoes and 2 zuchhini – turn up heat and cook them until soft ~10 minutes. Add can of white beans. Add broccoli and spinach (lots). Salt to taste. Blend all with immersion blender. Store and serve all week.)
- Don’t be lonely
Being a mommy can be lonely! I need to socialize, especially with other adults. Go for coffee dates, walks, play dates. Call/text people. Spend time with my husband after the kids go to sleep.
If you haven’t seen it yet, check out this great article on the epidemic of loneliness and what England is doing about it: