This post is part of YummyMummyClub.ca’s and Becel’s “Encourage a Mom” program. In its role as founding sponsor of The Heart and Stroke Foundation’s The Heart Truth™ campaign, Becel wants to empower moms and encourage them to prioritize their own health and well-‐being as much as they do others. I received compensation for my participation. This post reflects my personal opinion about the information provided by the sponsors.
“Just so you know and you don’t worry, if anything ever did happen to you, we would be okay.”
These are not the words I wanted to hear on my return from eight days away on a business trip, but deep down, I needed to hear them. You see, I put everything in front of me including my husband, my kids, my work — everything. Now, I know my husband was saying this so I wouldn’t always worry so much when I travel (he knows me too well), but this also sparked an epiphany. The epiphany that one day soon, if I didn’t consider myself among my lists of priorities, that something would happen to me, and life would eventually go on without me.
Did you know that nine in ten Canadian women have at least one significant risk factor for heart disease or stroke, a leading cause of death for women in Canada, but just as many women think they are healthy? I know that I fall in to this category. Many times, I take for granted that my body will just ‘work’ when I wake up in the morning and it took me a long time to realize the damage I was doing to myself by simply being complacent.
My realization came when my husband shared that sentence with me. He meant to say that he really rocked the role as Mr. Mom while I was away but what I took away from it is that I need to reevaluate my priorities and list myself in there too. I need to realize that, like most food, I have an expiry date and I can shorten or lengthen it based on choices I make.
Over the past year I have focused on some changes in my lifestyle to take care of myself. I want to be a mother, wife and role model for a long time still and I’ve come to realize that making time for myself is one of the most selfless things I could do. I’m not out walking in the cold so I can look hot in a dress; I’m doing it so I can run alongside my kids when they learn to ride their first bike.
According to a Becel commissioned survey, the majority (60%) of Canadian mothers say they don’t have enough time to take care of themselves, and over half (56%) of Canadian moms said they would be more likely to spend more time to take care of themselves if another mother encouraged them to do so.
So, this is me encouraging you to take another look at your priorities and make sure ‘myself’ ranks in the top three.
Here are my tips for putting yourself first:
- Find the time – Take a good look at what you do in a day and claim some minutes back for yourself. If you have a good support system, ask someone else to clear the dinner table while you go for a walk before it gets too dark. If you don’t, then bundle up the kids and take them with you. The time is there, just find it.
- Make an appointment – If you can schedule an appointment with the doctor or dentist, schedule an appointment with your health. Write it on your calendar.
- Remember that part of your very important role as a mother is taking care of yourself.
- Remember that your kids would rather have a healthy mother than one who tries to be perfect at everything (between us, that is an urban legend anyway).
- Encourage a Mom – If you don’t have the support in place, reach out to another mom in your community. Does your neighborhood have a Facebook page or community centre? What about at your child’s school? Post a note saying that you want to get out of the house for a walk once or twice a week with your children and ask if anyone else wants to join with their kids. There may be a mom just like you who is passing on their health just because they don’t want to do it alone.
As part of their Encourage A Mom program, Becel put together a wonderful video that hits the nail on the head and sends ‘mommy guilt’ packing. The best part is that when the video is done, you can personalize it and send it to a mom that you want to see around for a long time to come.
Becel made this amazing video to empower moms and encourage them to prioritize their own health and well‐being as much as they do for others.
You can go to the Becel website to easily personalize and send the video to moms in your life to remind them to take care of themselves too!
Encourage a Mom today! #EncourageAMom