Trying to nail being a healthy mama and juggling everything life throws at you can be difficult. It’s easy to get caught up with looking after your family and keeping on top of everything at work that you forget to make yourself a priority. But there are some simple changes you can make to help juggle your daily commitments without losing focus on your health.
Know Your Priorities
It’s not unusual for everyone to want a piece of you at the same time. Your boss wants you to read over reports, the kids want your attention, there’s housework, not to mention meal prep, school lunches, laundry, homework, being your child’s taxi and connecting with your partner. If you’re a people pleaser, you’ll find it hard to say no. To avoid the overwhelm and struggle it helps to know your priorities. Get up a little earlier and write down everything you have to do that day. Go through the list and label everything that absolutely has to be done that day with a number #1. Anything that’s not as urgent, label with a #2, and everything else is a #3. Lastly, delegate what you can to other people. If it means getting the kids to put away the dishes, even if it’s not up to your standards – do it. And remember, you need to be a priority too.
Meal preparation can mean more time
Having pre-prepared healthy meals that you pull out after a long day can feel like such a lifesaver when you’ve got hungry mouths in front of you. Setting aside a couple of hours on a weekend for meal prepping creates more time for you during the week. Or make double batches when you’re cooking on a weeknight to put in the freezer for a rainy day. Create big meals the entire family can enjoy so you’re not cooking something for you and your partner, and then different meals for all the kids. Try Mediterranean-style meals that are simple to prepare. For salads that can’t be frozen, pre-chop all your vegetables and keep them in sealed containers, so all you have to do is combine them in a bowl, add a dressing and serve. When the evening comes , serve dinner nice and early – heat and eat – and once the dishes are done, you have the rest of the evening to spend time with your family. The Fast 800 have a diverse range of scrumptious Mediterranean-style meals on their website you can access for free.
Combine exercise with quality time with your kids
One of the most common complaints from mums is not having enough time to exercise, let alone everything else they need to do throughout the day. By turning your exercise routine into fun activities you can do with your children, you’re streamlining the things you need to juggle. If you have toddlers, introduce them to resistance training in the swimming pool or yoga. For primary-aged school children and up, go to the beach or take a nature walk. On the weekends, play backyard cricket, head out to hidden waterways with an inflatable SUP or try a ninja warrior style obstacle course.
Find quality childcare
You deserve time-out for yourself, so look for ways to feel comfortable, knowing your children are in good care. Maybe hire a babysitter, so you can spend a night out with your partner or time indulging in reading a book. Team up with another family to take care of your kids for an evening so you can have some time to yourself, and return the favour later. Even if you’re not a working mum, organised childcare once a week can give you the break you need, particularly if you’re not lucky enough to live near grandparents who often love to help!.
Get a good night’s sleep
Sleeping well can make a huge difference to how you handle situations. Sleep-deprived mums are more prone to gaining weight, having hormonal imbalances and being quick-tempered due to tiredness. If you have a newborn, you’ll be well aware of how fragile you feel with broken sleep.
You’ll be surprised by the difference regular early nights can make to your temperament. If you are having trouble sleeping, try a Mediterranean style diet to improve your microbiome and hormonal balance.
Gabrielle Newman – BHSc (Nutritional Medicine)
Gabrielle Newman is a Clinical Nutritionist, BHSc (Nutritional Medicine), with a special interest in weight management, hormonal and metabolic health. She has a love of food that stemmed from her previous career as a short order cook, as well as a Permaculture Design Certificate.
Gabrielle is the Nutritionist and Recipe Developer for The Fast 800. She has a passion for making good health attainable and sustainable through educating people to make the right health choices for them.