When you think of a healthy mom…
Immediately you picture a mom who is beautiful and physically fit. I know, I used to think this way too. But, setting this stereotype aside, if you really take a moment to think about it…
What would make you feel like you’re a healthy mom?
Maybe you feel like you’ll be healthy when…
The laundry is done, the kids go to bed on time and without struggle. You can fit into your pre–baby wardrobe and weekly date nights with your husband have never been better.
It’s not easy to make that happen when you’re a young family. And like you, I want them too. But…they just don’t seem to happen for whatever reason.
For me, I used to think that having a home would make me a healthy mom. At the time, we lived in an apartment.
We lived in our garage for three years. And we lived without a lot of things—like an oven. Our circumstances didn’t seem to be changing, but something changed in me during that difficult time.
What You Need Isn’t What You Think It Is
Instead of picturing a healthy mom as a beautiful woman who was physically fit, my perspective quickly changed to what it is that you really need to be a healthy mom.
Here’s 10 things I discovered…and…to be honest…I used to think these were just nice things to have in my life. Until we lived in our garage, I took these things for granted. And…I didn’t know that I really needed them.
10 Things You Need To Be a Healthy Mom
1. A supportive husband.
You may think this is a given. But, a true supportive husband is a team player.
With that in mind, I really like how Patrick Lencioni describes the ideal team player in his business book, Hungry Humble Smart.
Setting business aside, we can apply those same characteristic to married life—that is what a supportive spouse looks like too.
2. Surround yourself with your people.
It’s probably pretty easy for you to make friends. And family will always be there, right? But honestly, just having friends and family around you will not help you be a healthy mom.
You need to surround yourself with friends and family who are your people—encouragers that make you better.
3. A strong foundation of faith.
During those years we lived in our garage our faith was challenged in so many ways.
The biggest struggle was that we knew God had called us to that place but the question often came up; did we hear God wrong? Are we doing the right thing? Did I hear God wrong?
Because our faith had a strong foundation, when this question would come at us, we knew exactly what to do almost automatically.
4. Make time for yourself.
A mentor mom of mine said once that her husband made a point to come home early on Fridays from work. It was so that she could get out of the house and have some time to herself—away from the kids.
At the time, I thought, how nice is that?
I wish I had that! Because let’s face it, rarely do we get time to ourselves as moms. But it took me awhile to realize that for me, I needed to simply ask my husband for this time. He was totally willing to let me have time to myself.
I just needed to ask.
Does it happen on a regular basis—no, not usually. But I’m working on that too. Life can be so busy that if I don’t schedule it, it doesn’t happen. Before long, I really start to notice. I get cranky, short, and frustrated easily.
I’ve always loved music, but a few years ago our pastor said something about music that really stuck with me. He said, “Songs are simply someone’s testimony of life.”
It got me thinking. Not just about how music moves me—but how songs are an expression of someone’s story. I think that’s why I love reading the Psalms and Proverbs so much.
I’ve realized that in times when I have no words to describe how I’m feeling, there’s always a song that connects with my heart. It could be a happy song, a song of lament, or a powerful testimony of God’s work in someone’s life.
Music has become a medicine to my soul. At times it calms my heart, while other times it gets me energized for life.
7. Healthy Mom Adventure
Remember the days before kids? Oh yes, there was lots of things you did then that you definitely don’t do now. Same here!
And yet, I’ve learned that adventure still needs to be a part of my life. It keeps me excited about life and keeps me young. Otherwise, I can get stuck in the monotony.
Adventure can be something that I look forward to and it also pulls me forward in life—in a good way.
What is a healthy mom adventure?
It’s something out–of–the–ordinary that energizes you.
For me, sometimes it’s taking a different way to get somewhere. And with Google Maps and my cell phone, I don’t have to worry about getting lost.
Sometimes it’s the thrill of the challenge—can I find a quicker route?
While other times, it’s just an opportunity for me to learn more about my city and see new things. In most cases I discover some of my favorite places—off the beaten path!
When we first got married, my husband asked me, “What dreams do you have?” I answered, “Ummm…I don’t.”
You see, after so many years of dreaming about different things and then not having them ever happen, it made me give up. I thought, what’s the use when things never happen anyway.
Do you feel that way too?
A lot of my friends have said they don’t dream anymore either.
As women in general, dreaming is something that can be hard for us because if it isn’t realistic, then we think, why bother?
But, I’ve learned that dreaming has actually awakened something in my spirit. It’s has brought to life a new kind of hope.
This has totally helped me to be a healthy mom! I get to see what can happen, instead of being weighed down in discouragement by what things aren’t happening in my life.
9. Exercise and Nature
When we lived in our garage, I used to spend lots of time outdoors because I thought it was a necessity. But as time passed, I started to notice when I hadn’t been outside in awhile—or when I hadn’t exercised.
So it is no surprise to me to read that those people who spend a minimum of 2 hours outdoors every week are in better shape physically and mentally than those who didn’t go outdoors at all.
Want to be a healthy mom? It’s as simple as taking a walk outside.
9. Clean Eating Habits
There is so much information out there about what it means to eat healthy.
It can all so confusing, but time and time again I can tell you that when I real food, I feel so much better. It’s called clean eating, if you want to Pinterest it.
Essentially, I buy only what’s on the outside aisles at the grocery store and I stay away from the middle aisles.
Within the past 6 months I’ve been more intentional to eat this way because of something my doctor said to me.
He said, “You can never out–exercise your eating. If you want to lose weight, change what and how much you eat. You don’t even have to work out like crazy, just walk.”
For me, I had essentially already been eating more fruits and vegetables and yet the weight wasn’t moving.
So he said, “Just add more water.” I did and I lost 10 pounds in a week.
10. A Complete Healthy Mom Mindset
Of all the things that will make you a healthy mom, this one just about sums it all up. A healthy mom is the whole you—physically, emotionally, spiritually, mentally.
Often we wait until we feel overwhelmed, before we actually think about all of these things—and doing something about it.
For years I neglected to seriously look at my mental health because I didn’t think I had a problem. It wasn’t until my husband and I agreed to take a 30 day self talk challenge, that we realized how much our self talk was literally sabotaging us.
Girl! Those 30 days changed our lives!
And…we’ve never been the same since.
As we’ve taken more seriously our mental health, we’ve noticed that we’ve been able to improve significantly in several other areas of our life.
Feel like you’re a healthy mom?
While living in our garage was no “walk in the park”. I’m truly grateful for that time in our life for several reasons—and these are just 10 of them.
I had no idea that I really needed these things, simply because I thought I knew what it looked like to be a healthy mom.
How about you?
Getting back to my original question…
What would really make you feel like you’re a healthy mom?
What is a healthy life? Another mom said it like this: “As a mom, what does a well-balanced, healthy, God-honoring life even look like?”
Did you resonate with any one of these 10 things? Was there one that I mentioned that surprised you?