I saw a meme this morning on Facebook – “Behind every great kid is a mum who is pretty sure she is screwing it all up.”
Mother’s guilt has a lot to answer for. From the second we get that positive pregnancy test the guilt and the worry starts to sink in.
- “I shouldn’t have had so many drinks last week.”
- “I shouldn’t be smoking.”
- “What if that Panadol I had for a headache damages my baby?”
And so the (negative) self-talk starts. And I am not too sure when it ends. I’ve met many mums well into their 80s who are still worried about their children.
One of the best things that you can do for your children is to be a positive role model – to be happy, healthy and energetic. This means being the best possible version of yourself. So how can you do this, especially when you have a newborn?
Star with some self-care (I can hear you laughing )
Ok, so maybe you are not going to achieve the conventional eight to 10 hours of sleep each night that you used to take for granted before children, but try to get as much rest when you can. This may involve compromise: the house doesn’t need to be immaculate; you don’t have to watch that final episode on TV; and it’s ok to have an afternoon nap. Sleep is vital to your well-being.
And lots of them! Try to focus on the healthiest diet that you can. That doesn’t mean calorie restriction, but more like avoiding processed foods, junk foods, alcohol, non-prescription medication and smoking.
Take time out.
Take time with your children to get outside every day. You don’t need to frantically exercise, but just keep moving. Walk bare foot on the beach or go swimming at a favourite swimming hole. Enjoy moving and enjoy nature.
It’s also important to take time by yourself to have a coffee with friends, to laugh and to have fun.
These three basic concepts will take you a long way towards being a fantastic role model for your children, and enable you to have the vitality to really enjoy every step of their journey into adulthood.