I am one of those people who pays attention to the safety routine before my flights every time. I count how many rows I am away from an emergency exit row, and I will definitely be sure to put the oxygen mask on my own face before I put it over my children’s faces because I won’t do them much good if I pass out. This last idea is one that I also apply to parenting little ones.
I often eat a small snack before making a meal. It is best when I eat a few almonds or a little bit of peanut butter, but sometimes I just drink a little bit of milk. However, I only have this dilemma during the summer when I am home with my children; my husband cooks every dinner for our family unless he is out of town or if we are going out to eat, and so I can say that this theory applies to both parents in our home. Our children are much better off when we as parents keep our blood sugar regulated throughout the day. We are much more likely to send the kids out of the kitchen when we are starving.
Breakfast is essential. I had to test my blood sugar regularly throughout my third pregnancy, and the numbers don’t lie. My entire day went much better when I ate enough of the right food for breakfast. The crazy thing is that because I stuck to the plan that my OB/GYN and nutritionist helped me make, I had a great pregnancy*. It was much easier working, parenting two pre-schoolers and keeping up with my full plate because I had consistent energy throughout the day. Now I’m trying to go back to those lessons I learned because of how great I felt during those months.
Visit your healthcare professional for well visits, and tell them when something is off. I was in college when I knew something didn’t feel right, but a doctor told me I was probably just stressed from college. A mono test came back negative, and it wasn’t until several years later that my husband I were joking about my symptoms with my Father-in-law when he assured me that my feelings weren’t normal. I visited a doctor that people recommended, and he found that my thyroid was a little off. We got it regulated. But I’ve gained weight in the last decade; my current Doctor upped my dosage ever so slightly, and it has made a big difference. Our plan now is for me to get in shape so that I can avoid upping the dosage again and to avoid diabetes becoming more than just a pregnancy problem. I share these personal experiences because sometimes there are underlying issues that need to be addressed in order for parents to be able to best care for their families. It is important to eat right and exercise, and it is important to know that if something still doesn’t feel right, don’t give up until you and your healthcare professional figure out what is not right.
My husband is uplifting and encouraging and a blessing in my life. If your spouse is in a different place physically, find a friend or co-worker who will keep you accountable and more importantly, encourage you to be the best you for your family. That might mean eating better, sleeping more, exercising, losing weight, seeing a doctor, or finding balance. Whatever it is, do it! It is worth it. And remember, always put on your oxygen mask before assisting a child or someone in need. Take care!
*Everyone’s health experiences are different. Follow advice of doctors and take notes so that you can work with them on what is best for your body.