I was talking to the ladies of Well Rounded, Kaity and Jess, the other day and told them that I had put off minor surgery for two years. Jess said, “Isn’t it funny how once you become a mom you always put yourself last, even when it comes to your health?” The statement was so valid and got me thinking about the fact that if I wasn’t healthy and taking care of myself, then I was not really being fair to my family.
With the “birth” of Gugu Guru this past year, I have put off so many doctor appointments, let some of the baby weight that I had managed to lose pack back on and just generally neglected myself. At night, when I shut off the computer, I am often just so exhausted that quality time with my kids has turned into The Minions movie and popcorn. This is why I have made taking care of myself my number one resolution so that I can set myself up for success with resolution 2 (being a better mom) and resolution 3 (being a better wife).
First things first, I need to set realistic expectations about what exactly is the best version of me. It’s very hard sometimes to work in this category and see the gorgeous mamas of Instagram who always look good even when they’re bumming around, have their kids dressed so stylishly and just generally seem like they have it all together. Here’s the truth: I will never be that mom and I don’t even know if those moms really are those moms or if it’s just an Instagram facade anyway. (Do those moms really exist?) I just need to make minor improvements to my lifestyle to feel better about myself and thus be a better mom and wife.
Some of the small steps I am taking to make progress on my resolution, in no particular order:
1. Avoid being sedentary as much as possible. My sister told me about a treadmill desk. The entire desk with treadmill is a few thousand dollars on Amazon – thus out of my budget – but we have a treadmill and I spotted this attachment for around $40. I set it at 1.1 miles per hour when I work and wind up burning a whole bunch of calories. I’m a pacer anyway (like I can never sit when I talk on the phone) so this works great for me. It has also helped my back since I am not leaning over the laptop on my dining room table anymore.
2. Look presentable everyday so that I don’t look like a bum when I go to the supermarket or pick the kids up from school. I am not talking a full face of make-up here; I am simply saying that the ratty sweatpants, San Antonio sweatshirt and Fiona’s barrettes won’t cut it anymore. I know that putting just a little more effort into my appearance plays into how I feel about myself. On a low effort but high return note: I discovered this brand of leggings, Yogaletics Wear, and I adore them. They’re high-waisted, so there’s no muffin topping and seamless, so no camel toe. Yogaletics Wear fit my life because they are comfortable to work out in and also stylish enough to wear out-and-about. I pair these babies up with a cute top and I can go from treadmill desk to the nursery school looking like I actually care and perhaps even teetering on looking like a stylish mom (not to get ahead of myself or anything.)
3. Eating right and staying fit. I met Steph Mansour of Step It Up With Steph in a Facebook professional group that we both belong to. I just started the program so I can’t really report on it just yet but what I like about it is that it’s based on four pillars of holistic health: physical, nutritional, emotional, and spiritual – with a strong focus on the mental aspect of weight loss. I especially love the workbook that forces you to be introspective about your weight, health, etc. Will report back on this once I finish the program!
4. Creating a schedule and getting organized. This really is a key component to my second resolution about being a good mom. I have to set a schedule for work time, family time, and ME time and stick to it. Me time is when both kids are at school and it can actually include doctor appointments because that is taking care of me. In the absence of doctor appointments, I can workout, do yoga, get my haircut, etc. – just as long as it’s not work. Because it’s not just my family and my health that suffers when I don’t take care of myself, my work can too.