Welcome back. To me that is :) Been trying to keep up and stay healthy for our little goober bug up there. Those aren’t new teeth, that’s oatmeal. This is after one of our big weekly blood draws. Trust me, her face looks nothing like this during those vein attempts. God bless every infant phlebotomist everywhere. (Yes! That’s really how you spell it!)
It’s those moments that lead me to this post. I hear being a parent is hard. Our parent life has been anything but normal, and I’m genuinely curious what that’s like. I will say that being a parent to an “extra-ordinary” baby is very, very hard. Whether it be physical disabilities, mental set backs, or even something as common as ADD or autism, being a warrior mom is no joke, and not for the faint of heart. It’s very normal for us to do everything for Jane since she cannot YET sit up on her own or feed herself. Every little task throughout our entire day requires a lot of physical, mental and emotional strength (for her and us). Seriously, sometimes I wonder how I don’t get a trophy at the end of every day! :) And there are many parents like us, including those who are now tending to their own elderly parents. It’s exhausting. Plus there’s always taxing moments like these:
They are holding a thrashing, screaming Janie down to attach EEG leads to her head. At this point in time I could either A. Crumble into a weeping ball B. Beat these people with a baseball bat C. Take pictures. These are the moments that create warrior parents.
In this lifestyle, of tedious mental strength, full schedules and unknowns, it is possible to 1. Neglect the health of your body 2. Feel run down easily
Which is why I would love to share some simple things I do and partake of to keep my body going and prepared for tough days.
*Disclaimer: This is not an all-inclusive list (ain’t nobody got time for that!), I am not a doctor, and I love cheeseburgers.
1. Water – NOT sponsored by the CA drought committee –
Simple! I know! It flushes out the bads, it enhances the goods! You need it! Your skin, organs and body LOVES it. Put it in a fun glass, add some fresh fruit. Do what you gotta do to get on that water hype! (Pretty sure it’s not hype if it traces back to the creation story) I’m not against coffee. In fact, that is one of my absolute treats (iced almond milk or raw milk latte, in case you were wondering). But I do ask that you counter that diuretic with at least twice the amount of water.
2. Eat clean or “Think Before You Eat”.
I love french bread, and In&Out, and brownies. But there is no substitute for eating “real” food. What is that? No one had to mess with it to make it consumable. This can be especially hard when life is “on the go”, or you are frequently visiting hospitals. But it is especially those instances that require the most stamina.
If you can, keep it organic. If it is poison that kills bugs, why do you want it on your food? I understand that can be a big step for some, so maybe start with sticking to purchasing only the dirty dozen organic and go from there. I often abide by this list and feel no shame for buying non organic if it’s considered part of the “clean fifteen“. I know, what language am I even speaking. Just look up those links friends :) Fresh food is magical. It actually contains nutrients that help your body, give you energy (not heartburn), and works together to fight disease! Organic/fresh food is not a fad, its the original plan. Your body will love you.
Think before you eat is one step further, or maybe just the cousin to “Eat Clean”. Stay with me! I’m not asking you to ELIMINATE sugar or fat. Why would I do that!? I’m not the devil! I am asking you to stop and think about what you are putting in your mouth. I love an example I heard from a friend who read a blog. Compelling, I know. The question when eating your food should not be “Is this good, or is this bad”. You then have automatically punished yourself for eating “bad”, when you should’ve had “good” and have entered the world of “dieting”. YUCK! The question should be “How nutritious is this for my body?” You can eat almost anything. I can inhale the highlighter marker on my desk. That doesn’t make it nutritious. The same goes for a bag of hot cheetos. Eatable? Yes. Nutritious? No. And that’s all I have to say about that.
My favorite has been lettuce wraps, or things on greens. If you can eat it on bread, you can eat it on greens. Nachos, burritos, burgers, mayonnaise-based delicacies… Above is a “turkey sandwich” wrap. Oh dear friends, YUM! Avocado, bell pepper, turkey meat, cucumber, sauerkraut. Yay! (And goats milk brie cheese on Mary’s Gone Crackers, cause I like cheese!)
3. Go outside
There’s that sassy lettuce wrap again. Why outside? Vitamin D, fresh air, fresh perspective, life, peace, hope. I’m not kidding. Sometimes you just need to breathe (Unless you live in my town right now, in which case you would just inhale pollen, in which case you should only go outside if you’re wearing a Hannibal Lecter mask). Often when Jane is FREAKING out, we just go outside. She usually calms down. Or when living “hospital life”, going outside for just a few moments resets something. Being in nature reminds us that God is creator, we are not alone, and life still exists! 4. Exercise
Move. Stretch. More than wanting a fit bod, or looking good in a bikini, you need to detox and de-stress your weary muscles. Move those bad boys outside pushing a stroller. Do some gnarly yard work (one of my fav’s). Do lunges as you walk into the bathroom. Yoga and pilates your way to a non-stiff neck. Just move. We gotta think long haul, us moms and dads, and staying strong is not for a magazine cover that you’ll never be on, it’s for the benefit of our kiddos. And spouses :-)
5. Supplement it up
If you live in America, you are most likely not receiving all the nutrients your body needs to thrive through your food. I have just a few I try to take everyday.
A. Vitamin Code Raw Prenatal (Cause I’m breastfeeding, not currently preggo) – A solid multi-vitamin
B. Apex Energetics Probiotic supplement – Good for my gut and intestines! ( I encourage you to look up the benefits of a probiotic on your own. Or ask my smart nutritionist friend Cheers to Health)
C. Fish Oil – Good for my brain, heart, and skin!
D. Magnesium powder – I drink this powder before bed in the evenings and I’m loving it. Most commonly known for bone and heart health. If you deal with stress, I’m talking to you every mother in the world!! Magnesium is great at regulating blood pressure, and helps you feel super duper chill dude …
I have a couple close friends I have on speedial AKA group text. They are part of my lifeline. Those close friends make up about 6 individuals (I say about because I have lots of great people that love me and I don’t feel like counting right now) that I update atleast once a week on our life with Jane. It keeps me sane. Reminds me I’m not alone. Helps get me out of horrible thought patterns. And simply, helps me laugh. They know when to bring me coffee, or invite me out. Or pray precious prayers for me. Community is everything. It can be hard to let others in when you are a hard working mom, or if you feel different than other moms, but it
Meditate – to spend time in quiet thought for religious purposes or relaxation – merriam webster
Take a moment to quiet your busy thoughts. Your unknowns about the future, and let go. I prefer to do this with my favorite worship music playing and giving all my thoughts to Jesus, since He seems to be the only one who can handle my drama. Many people find other ways to meditate. I like this the best.
It’s just fun to laugh. With friends, by yourself (maybe not to avoid insanity), at yourself (most definitely). When inundated with medical facilities and practices, boy oh boy do we take time to laugh! Thank you The Office and Parks and Recreation. Leslie Knope you are my spirit animal. Steve Carrell, you are the best uncle I ever had.
Here’s what Google says about laughing:
- Laughing lowers blood pressure. People who lower their blood pressure, even those who start at normal levels, will reduce their risk of strokes and heart attacks. …
- Reduces stress hormone levels. …
- Fun ab workout. …
- Improves cardiac health. …
- Boosts T cells. …
- Triggers the release of endorphins…
- Produces a general sense of well-being.
Be with your honey. If you are a single parent, first of all BRAVO, and second, treat yourself, or make sure your friends do so! Or have your friends read this and they will get the clue! Invest in that love of your life. The one battling alongside of you. The one carrying as much stress as you are. Go eat tacos or file mignon. Or just curl up with some chips and guac and watch Chris Pratt be Burt Macklin again. Love you babe (Rich, not Burt Macklin).
I know, that’s kind of like the opposite of what we’re going for right? Isn’t that all we do as parents? I guess the point would be to look outside your situation. Come up for a little air and realize your little world is not the only little world. Give money away (Ronald McDonald Foundation, Vacaville Storehouse, Three Strands). Buy another mom a coffee, drop off some flowers at her door. Give when it doesn’t make sense and watch how fulfilling it might be for you!
Proverbs 11:25 The generous will prosper; those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed.
Our friends Kate & Paisley & baby Ewing who we had the chance to meet at eat waffles with at our last visit to the Orange County Children’s Hospital. A warrior mom and dad who have faced grueling challenges with little Miss Paisley and are givers to the core!
Hope you feel refreshed this week wherever you are in your parenthood journey. Go team!