Does Motherhood Make You Healthier?

park with my girls and nephews photo

My past Mother’s Day Friday Quickies addressed gift ideas and gratitude but thought I would bring something new to the table. I asked myself if being a mother made me healthier. I’d love to have you consider the same. 

The good…

  • I my whole life, I had never consumed more nutrient rich foods then when I was breastfeeding (and once the nausea subsided, pregnant)
  • Children don’t listen to hypocrites (mine especially) I buy fruits and veggies for them to eat – I eat them too.
  • Pregnancy and it’s aftermath taught me A LOT about my body and I’m someone who loves anatomy so, this was a surprise. Becoming aware of what you didn’t know you didn’t know is mind bending and empowering. I am definitely a better advocate for my health as a result.
  • The data on the childhood obesity epidemic is heartbreaking. That responsibility as a parent is impactful. My family takes “family walks” and enjoys park play time at least once per week. My girls are pretty daring – so I’m moving and climbing right next to them – it’s exercise for me too.
  • I don’t multitask while driving because my kids are in the car / need me. That’s healthier for me and other drivers.
  • I take better care of my car because my kids will be in it. That’s healthier for me and other drivers.
  • Breastfeeding can reduce your risk of breast cancer – I did my best there.
  • Pregnancy may lessen the symptoms of endometriosis, uterine fibroids and PCOS. Happy to have that in my pocket.
  • Although a little less quantifiable, my connection to other individuals is stronger than before I had children. I am more empathetic and compassionate. That contributes to a healthier state and a stronger sense of community.
  • I took on the role of cooking for my family which I didn’t do when it was just Pat and I.  I know I consume fewer carryouts and heavily processed foods because of it.
  • I am very sensitive to setting a healthy body image example for my girls which comes in handy as I age.
  • There is no better stress reliever for me than seeing my girls smile, laugh, hug or even look at their pictures. Priceless.
  • I am most definitely more resilient since having children. (I firmly believe that there is a strong parallel to military boot camp training and motherhood – future Friday Quickie fodder)

The bad… 

  • Meal planning/cooking for the family is a lot of work. I could do with less of that responsibility some weeks.
  • I don’t sleep as much even though my bedtime is earlier. Seriously, the other night I was in my pajamas at 5:30pm. (See incriminating photo.)
  • My stress level is higher – I worry about my kids / work harder because of my kids. That’s not necessarily a good thing.
  • It’s harder for me to make time for myself. I don’t know if anyone ever told you this but, children are time consuming! Worth it – but terribly time consuming (Like to give suggestions? Feel free to send any and all ideas for remedying this problem – I’m open.) 5:30pm pajamas photo

The bottom line…

It’s not why I did it, but I suspect I am quite healthier because I had kids. We all have different paths, different choices and each life is challenging and unique. If you are a mom, hopefully you will have a little time to consider if your journey as a mother has helped you be healthier or challenged certain areas for healthful living. In honor of Mother’s Day this weekend, remember that you are precious and important and make a little time to care for your health and be well for your life. I wish each of you time to enjoy your loved ones this weekend! Happy Mother’s Day!