As mum’s we tend to put a lot of pressure on ourselves and put our needs and wants last, always trying to put our families, children first because we want the best for them but this can lead to us becoming so run down that we end up getting sick, fatigued and then forced to rest and take some down time.
You shouldn’t feel guilty for taking some time to enjoy the things that make you happy or for wanting to look after yourself. Living a healthy lifestyle and creating healthy habits isn’t about being selfish, it’s going to give you more energy to play with your children, you are going to be more patient, happier because you are going to be more relaxed and be able to think clearer and lots more. These healthy habits will rub off onto your children, your children are watching you constantly and taking in everything you do.
Your children may resist at the start and there is going to be some tough times but as long as you keep up the healthy habits, make it fun (not only for your children’s sake but for yours), keep it an enjoyable experience, slowly but surely they will come around.
Remember this change is for YOU, you want to see your children grow up, see them get married, be able to run around with your grandchildren, age without feeling old. Now you may think well, all that grandchildren talk is a long way away, changing unhealthy habits won’t happen overnight! It will be a process, there is going to be good and struggling times but let me tell you that how you handle this journey will impact your children and hopefully in a good way that they will pick up the habits and fuel their bodies with nourishing, nutritious foods.
So if you are just starting out, talk to your family and let them know that you are going to be making healthier choices to implement into your life, hopefully they will support you and not discourage you. Unfortunately though not everyone is going to accept these new choices due to it being a change and something different. Please, don’t let it get to you, if they aren’t as supportive as you would like, take it like water off a ducks back. Let them know that you aren’t expecting them to make these changes but would appreciate there support and then educate them on why you want to do this and how it can benefit them. A few examples could be:
- So you have more energy to play and do things for them
- feel better about yourself so you will be happier and more enjoyable to be around – not that you aren’t already!
Education is huge! – Talk to your children about food. Explain to them why they should be eating vegetables and fruits. What the benefits are. What your favourite vegetable is. What is their favourite vegetable? Why they like it, is it because it’s crunchy? juicy? tasty? Ask for their help with picking, prepping and eating them.
If they aren’t in on the whole vegetable band wagon, get them to come shopping with you and ask them to choose a vegetable for you to have with dinner or lunch. Make it fun and let them know that you won’t be making them eat it but try to encourage them to collect it for you ( that way they are handling the vegetable) and put it in the trolley, thank them and move on.
If they are in on the whole vegetable band wagon – yay! Let your children pick out one vegetable or fruit that they would like to try, get them to pick it out of the vegetable and fruit aisle of the shop, place it in the bag and put in the trolley and talk about what they chose, why do they want to try it. Be very supportive and encouraging. Include them in the prepping of the vegetable or fruit, get them to wash it, even ask if you can try a little of what they chose as well.
The most important thing to remember is to keep it fun and enjoyable. Don’t get upset, nag or force them if they don’t want any – let them know that there is now more for you, have a bite of it in front of them (you aren’t just all talk) let them know that you think it’s yummy and try again another day.
This principle also applies for exercising and being active, ask them if they would like to join you but if they don’t want to, don’t force them. However, if it is possible try to workout within the same area that way they will catch glimpses of you being active.