Recently, I have taken in brief news previews by Global News sharing a comparison of the happiness and contentment of full time to part time working moms to stay at home moms. These news bulletins made me want to assess where I am at as a stay at home mom.
I can see both the values and benefits of returning to work after maternity leave as well as staying home with your little one until they begin attending school. I would neither encourage or discourage a mother to stay at home or return to work because this decision is so important to be assessed and decided based on each family and what is right for them and them alone. Many children thrive in day care and many children thrive at home, their success in life is not based on their parent’s decision to stay at home or not. For me in my home, I feel very blessed to be able to spend so much time caring for and shaping my boys.
Assessing my life as a stay-at-home mom, I began to think about how I care for myself. I was recently concerned about my own health because I am fifteen pounds lighter then the low end of my pre-children weight. What could be wrong with me? Then a good friend of mine said, “Perhaps you are not keeping up with your caloric requirements of chasing after a toddler while nursing.” This statement provided me again with something to monitor and sure enough, I am bending, squatting and constantly in motion sometimes with extra weight (baby in arms); I am moving in ways that I never would have prior to children, in addition I find I am so busy ensuring my children have had all of their nutritional requirements that I may allow myself the leftovers, instead of ensuring I have had enough to eat myself. When I was working I may have missed breakfast on occasion (regretfully disorganized is why this would occur) but I would never miss lunch. I went for daily walks at lunch with co-workers and now with the weather being cool and/or children being ill, I don’t make it a priority. I am failing to look after one of the most important people in my children’s life at this time; in affect failing them.
If you ever watch Dr. Phil, he will often make reference to a healthy parent being most important to a child then a parent who sacrifices themselves to live for their child. The best part of writing a blog is it allows you to sit back, be analytical, get it down on “paper” while having to assess your own life; isn’t it great my fellow bloggers! Again, for me it is about discipline to make it a priority to eat, sleep and exercise for my health. I am now so aware of my failure to care for myself that I need to make it a priority and act on it, not only for my own health but to ensure my children have a mom who is healthy enough to continue caring for them and have the patience and tolerance they require at this stage of their lives.
Photo courtesy freedigitalimages.net