Mom, Are You Taking Care of Yourself?

The guilt. Why didn't anyone tell me about the guilt that accompanies being a mom?

And then homeschooling. On top of the guilt. More guilt. More guilt that motivates me to want do more for and with my kids than is humanly possible, but somehow I run ahead with awesome ideas and don't count the cost. 

Creating 24 layers of rainbow cakes and themed co-op days for 100 kids and their parents (not really, but maybe you do?), photo-copying the entire year's worth of school stuff all at one time (this actually saves my hide in the end), making sure the gluten-free people don't get wheat anywhere, running 4 loads of laundry a day, getting kids where they need to be, lecturing about the affects of Prohibition on the following American decade, working the back end of blogs and sites and marketing, speaking to groups all over, and keeping my toenails painted.

It takes a toll.

Even if you're smarter than I am and saying no to all of the options that abound, are you taking care of yourself? Here's a little checklist to ask yourself this week. It's not meant to add to your to-do list, but to help you evaluate where you might be neglecting your own health. I'm adding no guilt to your cornucopia!

  1. Do you know how much sleep you should be getting? Find out here.
  2. Are you sleeping as much as you should be? 
  3. Are you brushing and flossing your teeth at least twice each day? 
  4. Have you seen a dentist this year? Here's why you should.
  5. Have you had your annual appointment with an obstetrician or midwife? Current PAP guidelines are here (and they're no longer annual).
  6. Are you conducting breast self-exams? Here's how.
  7. Take a shower, Mom. A fussy baby can sit in the car seat on the floor of the bathroom while you jump in, soap up, rinse off, and jump out. 3 minutes, tops. Baby will survive, I promise (and I've raised 8).
  8. Are you eating more or less than you should be? I find myself snacking on the leftovers, and my body doesn't need that food. Try the Lose It! app to help you keep track.
  9. But don't just count calories. Make your calories count! Get nutrition help if you don't know where to start. 
  10. Exercise. Oy. The secret? Find something you love to do that moves your body. Anything. Forget trying to look like the people on the video. It's their job to look like that. Is it yours? No. Just move your body every day in some way you enjoy enough to keep you doing it.
  11. You know that smoking and excessive alcohol are unhealthy. So are prescriptions drugs or coffee or Diet Coke or anything else you feel you must have to make it through every day. Yes, I said coffee. A socially acceptable addiction, but it's still an addiction any way you slice it.
  12. On the other hand, if a cup of coffee or a glass of iced tea or a cube of butter or whatever is your afternoon pick-me-up, then so be it. It's not cocaine. If you are having serious withdrawals if you don't have that thing, then it's probably time to evaluate your commitment to it.
  13. Are you nurturing your mind? Reading something you love, listening to podcasts that stretch you, watching TED Talks, taking a class on Khan Academy, skimming the news and current events, attending a book signing.
  14. Are you taking care of your soul? If you need wisdom, ask our generous God and He will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking. James 1:5