20 Apr 2015 Mommy's turn
by Katelin Whiddon
I think at some point, most of us say it – “I’ll take time for me after I have kids.”
Unfortunately, this isn’t usually the reality, and for those that it is, it didn’t come initially. As moms, we tend to do everything for others before we do things for ourselves. This often leaves us physically and mentally drained. Thankfully, there are some great, easy, inexpensive ways to help you feel more energized and healthy.
Be active. Even a small amount of physical activity in your day will help to boost your energy levels. Try to get outside to do a quick walk or something similar for some Vitamin D as an additional benefit. When the weather doesn’t cooperate, try doing some indoor activities with your kids or alone to help boost your energy too.
Increase your water intake. Even being slightly dehydrated can cause fatigue, headaches and numerous other symptoms. Maintaining an adequate water intake will help to keep you feeling hydrated and charged. Drinking plenty of water will also cut down on your feeling of needing to snack.
When you do need a snack, go for something healthier with some protein to help keep you satisfied longer. Nuts, peanut butter, cheese and eggs are all great snacks that will keep your hunger away. Greek yogurt comes in a variety of flavors and packs in the protein. Sugary foods and candy will give you a quick energy boost, but then as the sugar wears off, you often “crash,” leaving you worse off than you were initially.
Sometimes we need a little break. When your children are taking a nap or are at school, or while you’re waiting on the school parking lot for your kids to get out, take at least 5-10 minutes to yourself to relax and take a deep breath. If you have other friends with small children, offer to take turns giving each other breaks. Watch a friend’s kids while she goes to the grocery store and have her do the same for you. Having a small amount of “me-time” can help to reenergize you as a mom.
While breaks are great and well deserved, try to get in some real quality time with your kids too. I struggle with this as I always have something going on or something to get done. However, putting away all other distractions, and just playing with the kids without rushing or having to complete tasks can be what we all need as moms. Sometimes while I’m getting ready in the mornings, my kids will come in and we turn up the music and have a dance party. Sometimes reading at night turns into reading several books, or taking baths becomes playing mermaids under sea.
These are all times where quality time with my children is so special and priceless. As my children are growing older, I’m learning that these times will be gone sooner than I would like and I need to cherish these moments while I can.
Find what works best for you and your family, but always be sure to know that while you are a wonderful mother, you are still yourself too.
A native of Conway, Katelin Whiddon is a family nurse practitioner at Central Arkansas Pediatrics. She and her husband, Daniel, have two daughters. A graduate of the University of Central Arkansas, she has her bachelor’s and master’s degrees.