In another case where anyone in the know gives a gigantic "duh," a new study has revealed that new mothers of young children neglect their own health in favor of caring for others. File this one under: We didn't need a study to tell us that!
The moms in the study had less exercise and generally had a higher Body Mass Index (BMI) than their childless counterparts at the same age. Men didn't have the same kind of disparity.
It's true that moms, usually more than dads (although not in my husband's case), get so busy that we tend to forget to shower, let alone actually get up and get ourselves a healthy meal, good workout, and time to decompress. We spend a lot of time on other people and very little on ourselves.
And it shows. The problem is, of course, that many moms wear this as a badge of honor, some "I am so much more selfless than you" point of pride that actually hurts them more than it helps them.
The fact is, there is no badge of pride in martyrdom. There are no medals given out at the end of life for "Most Selfless Mommy" but there is a whole lot of misery to be had with a life not lived, at least a little, for oneself.
There is a reason why we're told on planes that should the plane lose pressure, we're to put our oxygen masks on before we assist others. If we can't breathe, no one can.
There are two different issues. Many moms would love to have the time to work out or to sleep more or to eat better. They simply cannot because their lives are too busy. The fact is, having very young children is very taxing and it does take a lot out of us.
On the other hand, we make time for what matters to us. We just do. I am a runner and I would die without it. With two children, a full-time job, a condo, and a marriage to maintain, it would be very easy to let running slide. But I won't. I do it at 5 a.m. if I have to.
Ladies, if you aren't making yourself a priority, this is your fault. Refuse to eat processed crap. Better yet, refuse to give that to your children. Take them on long walks. If you can't get a sitter to go to the gym, jog with them in a stroller. There are options and they are plentiful, but you have to be willing to take them.
Go to the doctor. Get a little exercise each day. Brush your teeth. Comb your hair. Put on your own oxygen mask first. It will make you a better mom.
Do you have trouble doing things for yourself?