I had always dreamed about being a mother. And I knew that I always wanted to be the best mother that I could be. When I was just about to turn 19 I met the man of my dreams, and since then our relationship has blossomed into an over 10 year partnership (11 years in October), a marriage to my best friend, fur parents to our newfielab Zero and most recently parents to our beautiful daughter Clara.
Over the last couple of years, since becoming a mom, I have learned that you need to take the time to make sure that you are okay so that you can be the best you can be for your family. Being the best you is what your family needs and in order to do that, you need to make time for yourself. It needs to be a period of time when you can focus on your own needs, goals and health. When you do something good for yourself, it translates into the rest of your life.
As moms we tend to feel guilty about taking this time- thinking that we should be with our children, with our spouses all the time (I’m guilty!). Feeling like others are going to judge and see us as selfish. I have learned that you cannot give from an empty tank. When you are full, you can give more. I really see the differences in the mother that I am and the wife that I am when I am doing things that fill me up.
Exercising and taking care of my body had, for a long time, been a big who I was. It gave me confidence, it gave me patience, it gave me the feeling of control and it gave me clarity. I made better choices and reacted less quickly after a good workout, or a healthy meal. So during that time when I focused on none of those things (combined with the lack of sleep from being a new parent) I wasn’t really the person that I wanted to be. My hard working husband deserved a more patient wife and my ever curious daughter, who was just learning the ways of the world, deserved a mother who had all the patience she needed while she discovered life. That’s part of what made the change so important for me as well. Not only the “me time” and the self love- but the result and the ripple effects on my family.
Being a girl in today’s world is tough. Body image and body perception is more focused on than I ever remember. Maybe it is because of all the social media, but if you are not careful- it can take you into some really dark places with self esteem and ideas of what you think you should look like. Raising a daughter, I knew that I also needed to set an example that will help with the foundation of her self worth and how she views her body. I am ALWAYS mindful to not use words like ‘diet’, ‘fat’, ‘skinny’… all those fitness related words that can have a negative attachment to them. The message that I am sending to my daughter on this journey is much greater than that.
I am teaching her about all the things that we can do as women just as much as anyone else can. That we exercise to be strong and to take care of our bodies. We need to eat well, and be active because we only get one body in this lifetime and it is up to us to nourish it in the ways intended. That it is not just about eating broccoli and brussell sprouts for dinner every night (although we love those in our house!), that sometimes we order pizza and eat donuts from our favourite donut place and we LOVE them, and we never feel an ounce of guilt about it. Let’s stop this notion that we eat ‘bad foods’ and that we need to feel guilty about it. We indulge in life, but overall we are mindful, everyday in the choices that we make for the goodness of our body. That is what I want my precious girl to grow up knowing. That happiness, strength and confidence can be apart of your life no matter the body you have- and that as long as you are living the best you that you can be, and doing things that make you happy, you are successful.
I am doing just that- being active, eating mindfully, reading, learning and teaching. And through all of this, I hope she soaks it up, learns it all and will one day be proud of herself. Because on this journey I have created for myself, I am sure proud of me!
Hugs and Kisses,