fueling your health in motherhood

I am so pleased to have the author of one of my favorite blogs, ChristianSuperMom, guest blogging on my home base today. She is not only an inspirational woman of faith, but an amazing mother and wife. Thank you Rosann for sharing, and readers- please go check her out.

 

Motherhood is one of the most demanding, yet fulfilling jobs a woman can be blessed with.  And a blessing it truly is.  But our reality as mothers and wives is filled with constant sacrifice.  Our time and energy tends to be completely devoted to caring for our family.  

But what happens when we forget to care for ourselves?  How do we deal with burnout when it sets in?   The truth is, we aren’t effective in our role of motherhood when our physical, mental, and spiritual tanks are running on empty.   

What’s worse, is when we have daughters who are watching our every move, learning through our example what it looks like to be a woman, a wife, a mom, and God’s child.

When it’s not the norm for us to do things for ourselves, knowing what needs the most attention is often difficult to discern. 

An easy way to figure out how to care for yourself is to consider three key components to your overall health and wellness.  

Let’s start by looking at our physical health.   
Our body is like a well-tuned machine that knows what to do at very precise moments, keeping us alive with each heartbeat.  Think about how much our body does just to pump blood through our heart and to all the other organs vital to our survival.  It’s really a miracle we’re alive, isn’t it?  Of course, the mechanics are prone to failure or mishaps when not properly cared for.  

When our physical tank is empty we can fall victim to obesity, a multitude of health problems, lack of energy, and poor self-esteem.  

Fuel your physical well-being with:

  • Exercise.  Do some form of exercise at least three days per week.  If you struggle to find time or just can’t afford a gym membership, consider putting your child or children in the stroller or wagon and going for a brisk walk or jog.  The fresh air will clear your mind and moving your body will get your blood pumping and help strengthen your heart.  
  • Sleep.  Strive for 8 hours of sleep each night.  If this isn’t possible, try to schedule time for a nap every day or every couple of days.  A Sunday afternoon family nap can be quite refreshing to everyone in the home.
  • Nutrition.  Choose to eat healthy foods and limit consumption of those pre-packaged items.  Check labels.  Can you pronounce the ingredients?  Do they come from natural sources?  If not, put it back on the shelf and go for something more natural.  The most nutritious foods to eat are found on the outer aisles of the grocery store.  And those foods are power foods.  In other words, they fuel your body giving you more energy, beautiful skin, a strong heart, fantastic vision, and a healthy digestive system.

Next, let’s look at fueling our mental health.
Keeping our mental health in check is vital to our long term health and happiness as women.  When we don’t challenge our brain on a regular basis we increase our risk of developing Alzheimer’s Disease later in life.  If live each day putting our mental health on the back burner,  we may find ourselves consumed by unhealthy emotions or even sinking into a deep depression.

Fuel your mental well-being with:

  • Continued Learning.  Find a way to challenge your brain every day.  There are many ways you can do this.  Enroll in an online college course to learn a new skill.  Read a book concerning a topic of interest  you’d like to know more about.  If you enjoy games, BrainTeasers is a website that offers a variety of mind challenging exercises.
  • Creative Passion.  What are your hobbies?  If you don’t have one, find one.  Some ideas of creative hobbies are scrapbooking, sewing, knitting, quilting, painting, gardening, writing, or photography.  Schedule time each week to immerse yourself in something you love to do.  
  • Deal With Emotions.  Unresolved feelings of resentment or anger only lead to negative energy and heartache.  Spend time talking with your spouse, a trusted friend, or your Pastor.  Write in a journal.  Pray for God to give your wisdom and a forgiving heart over a situation brewing.  Get your emotions off your chest.  Accept them.  Deal with them.  Then move on.  The past is the past.  Choose to create a better day today.

And finally, let’s talk about our spiritual health.
Life isn’t always easy.  In fact, many of us are faced with daily turmoil or challenges too difficult to endure without Christ as our safe haven.  Unfortunately, when we don’t fuel our spiritual tank we feel empty and it becomes harder and harder to keep our eyes focused on God’s promises.  Without our spiritual nourishment, we lose our sense of joy, and our ability to walk and live by faith.  

Fuel your spiritual well-being with:

  • Bible Study.  Be intentional and schedule time alone each day to spend time in the presence of the Lord, studying His word. (I’ve found this to be most successful early in the morning before the kids wake up)  God speaks to us in many ways, but one of the most powerful ways is through His word.  Struggle with reading the Bible?  Find a good life application study bible.  Your local Christian book store can point you in the right direction.  Another effective resource is to find a daily devotional book which can help bring the Bible to life, for your circumstances.
  • Prayer.  This is so important to our attitude, our ability to be patient and loving, our faith, and our overall spiritual health.  Spend time every day in effective prayer.  A great time to do this is right before digging into God’s word for your daily Bible study.  Keep a prayer journal and refer to it often so you are less likely to let your mind wander during prayer.
  • Worship.  Go to church once a week to get in a group worship setting.  This can be very effective in filling your spiritual tank through a Pastor’s sermon, soul-inspiring music, and fellowship with other Christian’s.  During those weeks when church isn’t an option due to illness in the home or some other unforeseen circumstance, tune into a Christian internet or radio sermon.  Another option is to check your church website for a recorded version there. 

Remember friends, it’s not selfish to take care of yourself and your needs.  In fact, by doing so you are giving the gift of yourself filled with joy, compassion, and love to your children and your husband.  I assure you, they will reap many benefits from that special gift.  Oh yes, and imagine how great you’ll feel and how bright God’s light will shine through you and in you when you aren’t running on empty!  

… 

 Rosann is currently residing in Western Pennsylvania with her husband, Mark, and their daughters, Faith and Abigail.  After spending more than 15 years working in the auto finance industry, she now enjoys life as a stay-at-home mom.  Writing for her blog ChristianSuperMom, Rosann has a strong desire to glorify God while sharing the heart of her journey through a life of faith.

SUV mom

Well, we finally did it. This past weekend we got a new car. What a grueling process, but in the end is a very happy momma.
And God really helped in this situation. I had been pretty set on a small crossover size SUV. Hubs and I had it pretty narrowed down and we set out last Saturday to conquer a number of dealerships and hopefully bring something back home.
After test driving a smaller crossover, I admitted to my husband that I did, indeed, want something a little bigger. Awhile ago hubs was wanting me to look at Ford Explorer’s and I just refused.
We then looked at a few larger SUV’s and I was madly in love with the space. The groceries, the dogs, the kid(s) and all of my stuff can fit! Although I didn’t make the mini-van move, I can kind of see where you mini-van moms are coming from. It is so darn spacious! I was sold.
I tell you what, something about driving an SUV just makes you feel that more like a mom. I can’t wait to have the soccer team or dance team back there.
After dinner out a few nights ago, Chris was driving with Audrey and I for the first time in the SUV. He had a major moment: “Oh, I’m just an SUV Dad now!” Pretty soon kids will be yelling, “Are we there, yet?”

I love it.

a day in the life of a s.a.h.m & wife

A newly pregnant girlfriend of mine recently asked what a typical day in the life of a stay-at-home-mom and wife is. Although we keep a schedule, I still plan every day as it comes because with a one-year-old, you never know. Therefore, I decided to keep track of a typical day of mine and share, although every day is different and full of surprises. It may not look that exciting, but I wouldn’t change hanging out with my baby for anything. And while these are average times, everything always takes longer with diapers being changed, a quick game of hide-and-go seek, books she wants me to read and yes…tantrums thrown.

4:00 a.m.: Wake up with Chris to make breakfast and his lunch.

5:00 a.m.:  Back to bed.

7:00 a.m.:  Audrey wakes up. Every morning for some reason she likes to hand me every stuffed animal, blanket and pillow that are in her crib. This takes a good ten minutes, change the diaper and we’re ready to start the day!

7:15 a.m.:  Audrey is seated for breakfast. I get her juice and my coffee and make the both of us breakfast.

7:30 a.m.: Audrey eats breakfast while I also eat and do my devotionals. Then I clean her up, she watches Baby Can Read or plays in her room while I have “me” time on the computer blogging, checking e-mail, doing finances, etc…

9:00 a.m.:  I start doing some house chores such as putting the dishes away, starting laundry and making the beds. Audrey and I always brush our teeth together. Lately, Audrey likes to “help” with all this, so it takes awhile.

10:00 a.m.: Audrey lays down for her morning nap and I get this time to really whip out what needs to get done (and what seems impossible when A is awake). On this particular day it was baby shower invitations. I take care of billing, so a lot of the time I’m doing that.

11:30 a.m.: Audrey wakes up, gets dressed and I prepare her lunch. She gets to eat in her stroller while we go for a run.

1:30 p.m.: After a run, I usually shower and then we do different things every day. Run errands, grocery shop, have a play date, play in the pool, etc… We are very social so every day seems to have something to get ready for or go to.

3:00 p.m.: Audrey lays down for a second nap (usually) giving me more time to clean or finish tasks.

4:00 p.m.: Daddy is normally home and we’ll spend time catching up with him about his day. Audrey loves to help Daddy in the yard while I start preparing dinner.

5:30 p.m.: We have dinner as a family and talk for awhile.

6:30 p.m.: Daddy gives Audrey a bath and then reads her a number of books before tucking her in.

7:30 p.m.: Audrey lays down.

8:00 p.m.: Chris & I head to bed and read. Depending on the book, I could be up another two hours! (Recently, The Hunger Games).