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I Am Just As Important As My Children

Why is that "fine" for you but not for your kids??

When my kids first started eating solid foods it wasn’t even a thought whether I would make their food or buy jarred. I went to whole foods (my very helpful dad also went to Whole foods), I stocked up on organic fruits and veggies and started steaming and pureeing.

When I go to the store to buy the staples of the house for my now five and one-year-old, my cart is quickly filled with organic chicken nuggets, organic waffles, organic milk, yogurt and meats, fruits and veggies. The second I am close to running low on any of these items…I rush out to restock.

Every week, I drive my daughter to her gymnastics classes that are a good 20 minutes away from my house. I do this without too much complaining and rarely miss a class. I take my son to his mommy and me and music classes despite the inconvenient times or how tired or not in the mood I am.

I bathe my children most nights. I use chemical-free shampoos and conditioners. I make sure they both get good, full nights of sleep and start their day with a somewhat healthy breakfast.

Why am I telling you about the specifics of these mundane events?

I promise you I am not bragging. I am more brainstorming all of the thoughts going through my head lately while I complain about having to cook a healthy dinner for myself, drive to my gym class at an hour of the day that I am too tired or “not in the mood,” spend extra money for my own safe, non-toxic cosmetics, and force myself to go to sleep at a normal hour.

Why do we, as moms, find the things that we do without question for our children or the people we love, so annoying or difficult to do for ourselves?

Why has it become normal for me to order in processed, chemical-ridden chicken for myself while I am cooking only the best for the rest of my family?

Why do I have a hard time splurging on the shampoo that is $10 more so I avoid using loads of chemicals, but when it comes to my kids I don’t even debate it?

So you know that lesson that we all teach our children about treating others the way you want to be treated? How about the lesson about how our children model our behavior? If I want to teach my kids that it’s important for them to take good care of themselves as they get older and are more independent, shouldn’t I be doing these things for myself while they are watching? Of course, shouldn’t I be doing them for myself anyway because I, too, am worth the extra time, money, and rest. I seem to have lost sight of this somewhere along the way, but it is not too late to change that and go in a direction that is more on track to a healthier, happier me. After all, happy mom, happy kids, right?

For us moms, I think the basic, simple lesson is quite often the most difficult for us to follow: to treat ourselves the way we treat those around us!

You think we can do it?

If our goal for our children is to give them the most healthy, safe and positive up-bringing…shouldn’t we also be leading by example?

Do we want them to think they are more important or worthy than us?

I know that is not my goal! Oops!

So I have decided that I am going to try to apply the thoughts that I have in relation to the things I do for my children to how I treat myself! It’s much easier said than done but for the good and health of my future self I am going to try hard!

I promise to get back to update you on my progress, and I am hoping that you will join me in an effort to remember that we, too, matter and deserve only the best.

My checklist of “me” priorities… (what’s on your list?)

  1. Make my own grocery store staples as important as theirs.

  2. Schedule time for “play-dates” with my friends (not just toddlers)!

  3. Make sure that getting to my gym is as much of a priority and a part of my schedule as gymnastics and music class.

  4. Nap time might be a stretch (although it sounds glorious) but I will schedule “Me” time and be as diligent (or lazy depending on the day) with that time as I am with my son’s nap-time.

The truth is that as much as we believe there is no time for us…that is probably the most important time spent and most important lesson to teach our children.

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People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.

- MARCUS AURELIUS

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