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You love your kids, right? But what about you?

You love your kids, right?  But what about you?
Published: 13/01/2017

Being a mother is a tough gig. We are constantly at the beck and call of those we love, but sometimes this can be to the detriment of our own selves. I come from a place of understanding though.

By the time my second child came along, I was trying to be super woman whilst running a retail business, studying a bachelor’s degree and just simply trying to keep on top of the washing. I literally had to set phone alerts so that I didn’t forget to pick up my oldest daughter from school. Don’t be under any illusions though, help was scarce. My husband was also working full time, studying his post grad diploma and had other responsibilities to attend to. You could say life was a little hectic at times. However, it was when my youngest was one year old that I nearly experienced a breakdown that forced me to learn the importance of looking after myself first, so that I could actually have more in the tank to give to everyone else that dearly depended on me.

Let me share with you a story of a wonderful lady I met recently who had had enough of being overweight and exhausted constantly. Before I launched into prescribing an exercise program for her, we needed to deal with some other issues. The main issue she faced was the fact that she was a mother to 4 children, with two of those children having special needs. During our discussion, she had a realisation that she had to start taking care of herself, and that is why she was seeking help.

We discussed what she normally ate for breakfast. She didn’t get time she explained, she had to get breakfast for her children. What about lunch? Well, she prepared lunch for the 4 kids, but then she would just get McDonalds for herself while she was out and about. What about dinner? Well, of course she made dinner for the kids, but then sometimes she would be out at Uni and would eat from the vending machine. And this is even before we started to discuss exercise.

It struck me though. This is how most women live! Selflessly giving everything to our kids, but leaving ourselves entirely empty to the point of exhaustion and self-loathing.

Later that week I had another discussion with a friend battling the same issues. I asked her “Do you make breakfast for your kids”. Of course she did. “So tell me, can you not make breakfast for yourself at the same time?” “Do you make your kids lunches?” Sure she did, she’s a good mum. “So tell me, can you not make yourself a packed lunch at the same time?”

“What about exercise….you don’t let your kids just sit on the ipad all day without sending them outside for some sort of exercise do you?” Well, of course she didn’t. She also made sure they got to their dance lessons, gymnastics and swimming lessons. She loves her children.

Then there is the question of sleep. Most good mothers put their kids to bed on-time don’t they…so they’re not tired and cranky the next day? “How about you? Do you ensure you are getting enough sleep?”

So, my question to all mothers is, what about you? You need to know that you need and deserve to have a good breakfast, make sure you have a nutritious lunch, ensure you are getting enough exercise and put yourself to bed on-time. These small changes would ensure that you are a better wife, mother and human being all round, and you may just come to a point where you will be able to love yourself and others a little bit more.

Written by Kellie Walker.

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