Glad you all enjoyed the first installment of Hunter’s birth story. The next one should be up later this week. It may be 2 parts or 3… we shall see.
Yesterday Hunter turned 1 week old.
He had a pretty relaxing 1 week birthday.
Today’s guest post is brought to you from another mama, Maryea. Enjoy!
Hi Fit Mama Real Food readers! I’m Maryea and I blog over at Happy Healthy Mama. My blog focuses on wholesome recipes, a healthy lifestyle, and motherhood. I’m a wife and mom of two little ones and am on a journey to live my best, healthiest life possible.
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle takes diligent effort. It isn’t easy when you only have yourself to think about, but add a child (or two or three) into the mix and it becomes even more of a challenge.
Before kids, I remember my big challenge was having to choose between meeting my friends for Happy Hour or going for a run. Now I have an infant and 3 year old and have to find ways to sneak the run in between baby feedings, driving to preschool, and naps.
Times change, but even if my priorities have shifted some, staying healthy will never drop off the list.
Healthy is a relative term, but let’s just say it means eating the right amount and type of food for your body, keeping active, and not neglecting your emotional self. These are the ways I’ve learned to keep my health while still being the best mom and wife I can.
#1 Make friends with your freezer
Motherhood ends the luxury of having an hour to prepare dinner every night. But that doesn’t mean healthy meals have to go out the window. Some nights, you need dinner ready in 10 minutes. You don’t want to have to turn to the drive-thru on those nights, so it helps to have healthy meals in the freezer, so that dinner preparation means simply reheating a meal.
To do this, I often make a double batch of whatever we’re having for dinner so that we have an extra meal on hand for a later date. Meals that freeze well are enchiladas, soups, and casseroles. Some of my favorite meals to make ahead and freeze are sweet potato enchiladas, vegan sloppy joes, and vegetarian 3-bean chili.
#2 Make exercise a priority
I recently had a woman say to me, “You look great! I had my baby 12 years ago and I still haven’t lost the baby weight!” It’s sad, but many women today are in her position. She’s a working mom, and between work, being a wife and mother, and maintaining a home, I’m sure exercise took a backseat.
To make exercise a priority, you have to schedule it into your day. You do have time, you just have to find it. It might mean cutting out a television program you like to watch or going to bed an hour earlier so you can get up early to workout before the baby wakes (this is so not me, but it works for some). If it’s a priority, you will find a time to fit it in.
#3 Get enough sleep
The importance of getting adequate sleep cannot be stressed enough. Getting enough sleep keeps your immune system strong, helps counteract the effects of stress, and promotes stable moods.
The first thing you can do is be prepared to maximize your baby’s sleep. Learn about ways to help your baby sleep well. If baby is getting sleep, then mama is getting sleep. Some helpful books I recommend are Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child, On Becoming Baby Wise, and Secrets of the Baby Whisperer.
Of course even with being ultra-prepared, some babies just don’t follow the book. My youngest Luke has reflux and food sensitivities (I’m breast feeding) that disrupt his sleep. Because of this I’ve had to put other things aside so that I can have time to nap when both kids are napping.
#4 Don’t forget about you
As a new mom, it’s so easy to focus on the needs of everyone and everything around you. Your husband, your baby, the upkeep of your home. I think most moms need to have something with which they can have an identify outside of motherhood. I love to write and have a passion for healthy living, so I find that outlet in my blog. For someone else, it might simply mean putting time aside to go shopping alone. Or being able to have a monthly girls’ night out. A woman’s mental health is just as important as her physical health, so focusing on having something for just you can help defuse the stress of being a mom.
If you focus on these four things as a new mom, you will be light years ahead of most moms out there. It won’t be easy, but nothing worth working for ever is. Sometimes, you aren’t going to be able to do all of these things. That’s okay, too. Give yourself some grace and remember that tomorrow is, and will always be, a new day.
Maryea is a wife and a mama who has a passion for healthy living. She blogs over at Happy Healthy Mama, which is a place for her to share recipes for delicious, wholesome food and her desire to live everyday with great health and happiness.