Taking Time for Mom
Posted 4/13/2016 by UHBlog
Let’s face it: Super Moms only appear in comic books. No mother – no matter how awesome – can be all things to all people. Moms who put their own health and wellness on the back burner while caring for their family 24/7 usually end up suffering from burnout.
“Mothers who don’t take good care of themselves emotionally and physically can’t take good care of anyone else, including their children,” says internal medicine specialist Stephanie Reznick, MD. “When moms don’t eat properly, get enough sleep or lack personal time, they’re not serving themselves well or providing good role models for their children.
“Moms should not feel guilty about finding ways to be good to themselves,” she says.
Dr. Reznick offers these suggestions to help you take better care of your health while still being a great parent, including:
- Exercising –Try to exercise daily, and if you can’t make it to the gym, turn your house or neighborhood into a fitness center.
“Moms with babies can do yoga together or take long stroller walks,” she says. “And it’s fun to dance with your kids to YouTube videos. There are plenty of creative ways to exercise with the kids and have a meaningful, family bonding time in the process.”
- Eating healthy – When time is short and mealtime is near, have some quick and easy recipes handy, along with their simple ingredients.
“Moms should never skip meals no matter how busy they are,” she says. “By eating nutritious meals and snacks with her kids, mom sets a good example – and if her children help her prepare the meals, everyone will benefit.”
- Sleeping – Getting a full night’s sleep should not be a luxury – it's a physical and emotional necessity. If you’re sleep deprived, consider calling a babysitter, relative or neighbor to put the kids to bed so you can hit the hay early.
- Arranging play dates – “It’s so important for moms not to feel isolated,” Dr. Reznick says. “Playgroups and play dates are as meaningful for mothers as they are for children.”
- Taking personal time – Make sure you carve out time for yourself, whether it’s for the salon or spa, some retail therapy, to see a movie or visit a museum, and/or to meet friends for coffee or drinks.
“Every busy mom needs time on her own to decompress, relax and keep herself centered,” she says. “Not taking care of herself will make mom feel run down and resentful in the long run.”
Although all moms face daily stressors, if you have children with special needs, you have to be particularly mindful to arrange a breather for yourself, Dr. Reznick says.
“These moms must realize they can’t do everything by themselves – and that it often takes a village to raise a child,” she says. “They should not be afraid to access community services or ask close friends and relatives to pitch in. Caring for children with special needs is a marathon, not a sprint.”
No matter what your situation, it’s essential that you recognize that you’re not perfect and only human, Dr. Reznick says.
“The important thing is to celebrate that you and your spouse/partner have created a human life and to give yourself credit for that,” she says. “Children are young and innocent for such a short time, so do your best to enjoy them. It’s hard to realize it while you are in the moment, but these marvelous, fruitful years go by in just a blink of an eye.”
Stephanie Reznick, MD is an internal medicine specialist with University Suburban Health Center Physicians. You can request an appointment with Dr. Reznick or any other University Hospitals doctor online.