The Challenges of Being a Mother and Prioritising Your Health
Being a mother is a full-time job that often requires putting the needs of your family first. Whether it's preparing meals, managing schedules, or attending to your children's needs, it's easy to neglect your own health and wellbeing.
One area that many mothers struggle with is maintaining a healthy weight and a healthy body. In this article, we'll explore what mothers can do to prioritise their own health.
Why Can’t Mothers Find Time For Themselves?
Bringing children into this world and raising them is a life changing experience. From the moment of birth, the focus of the mother will be her child and not herself. The baby’s needs and wants often take centre stage… However, this can create problems for the mother who is giving ‘round the clock care.
In the airplane, before take off, passengers are advised to put their own masks on before attempting to help others. This announcement is repeated over and over again which tells us what we need to know about a mother’s instinct.
Without a doubt, we know that mothers will rush to help their children first and even hold their breath in the process. However, this is quite dangerous because they can pass out before they get their own mask on. The mother’s instinct is great but often, they forget to look after themselves first – not in a selfish way, but in a way you can be of more use to themselves and their children.
In the early years of the child’s life, a mother can often forget about herself and her needs and wants – similar to our airplane analogy. What many don’t recognise is that this comes at a big price.
Sometimes mothers actually feel guilty about taking any time for themselves, doing anything for themselves or even thinking about themselves as if in some way it makes them a lesser mother. And this is just wrong – but that’s not how mothers are encouraged to feel.
This confusion between selfishness and selflessness causes these same mothers many problems down the line. Mothers often feel bad about taking any time at all for themselves or to themselves as though they are being selfish by doing so.
But taking some quality time it’s anything but selfish. The motive behind it is selfless as everyone in your life is going to interact with a better, happier version of you.
If you don’t prioritise your own health, one side effect can be weight gain due to an unhealthy lifestyle. Before we find some solutions, let’s try to explore this first.
Why Mothers Tend to Gain Weight
Aside from not prioritising themselves, there are also several factors that can contribute to weight gain in women, including hormones, postpartum weight, and lifestyle habits.
Women's hormones can have a significant impact on their weight. Hormonal changes during puberty, pregnancy, and menopause can all contribute to weight gain. Additionally, some hormonal conditions, such as polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), can make it more difficult to maintain a healthy weight.
Pregnancy and childbirth can also have a major impact on a woman's weight. Many women struggle on how they can lose the weight after pregnancy, and some even gain additional weight during the postpartum period.
Finally, lifestyle habits can play a major role in weight gain. Busy mothers may find it difficult to make time for regular exercise or to prepare healthy meals for themselves.
Additionally, stress can also affect weight loss. Firstly, when we're stressed, our bodies release a hormone called cortisol. Cortisol triggers the body's "fight or flight" response, which can increase appetite and lead to overeating. Additionally, cortisol can cause the body to store fat, particularly in the abdominal area.
Secondly, stress can also lead to emotional eating. When we're stressed or anxious, we may turn to food as a way to cope with our emotions. This can lead to overeating and consuming unhealthy foods, which can contribute to weight gain.
Lack of sleep
Balancing home life, taking care of children, career, hobbies, friends and family can be a lot to take on. This is why we say plenty of times that women are like superheroes! But of course, having so much to do can also lead to disrupted sleeping patterns.
Studies have shown that lack of sleep can lead to weight gain, as it can disrupt the hormones that regulate appetite and metabolism.
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What Can You Do to Prioritise Your Own Health?
If you're a mother struggling to maintain a healthy weight and overall healthy lifestyle, it’s completely understandable. This is true especially since there are studies showing that women have a harder time losing weight than men.
As we have mentioned previously, the cards are stacked against mothers. But here at BodySlims, one of the things we teach is called peak or flow state and this concept will greatly alter how you approach this issue. Let us show an example:
So let’s assume we all have a goal of being 100% happy, positive, energetic, fit, healthy and with great mental health. When this happens, everyone who meets you, who interacts with you gets a far better version of you.
So during that 16 hours a day that you’re awake everyone you meet gets to have a happier, more joyous you. And of course, your child will also benefit from this. You may not be at 100% but if you’re close, the difference is amazing! And the price? About one hour a day of prioritising yourself is all it takes!
Now let’s say you don’t take the hour. Your performance now is about 50% or 60%. You may be spending more time with the child but the quality of time will not be the same. If we can give a net score to your overall state, it would look like this:
16 hours at 60% = a net score of 960
15 hours at 90% = a net score of 1,350
Looking at these scores, it’s about understanding the difference between being efficient and being effective:
Effective means "producing a result that is wanted". Efficient means "capable of producing desired results without wasting materials, time, or energy".
The difference is that when something is effective, it produces a result even if it takes some unnecessary resources to do so.
Make time for yourself
When we talk to the new members of the BodySlims community, one of the first things that our founder Gerard Moran tells them is that they should walk an hour a day for themselves. An hour of walking is our preferred form of physical activity here at BodySlims because it is proven that walking leads to weight loss! We call this the hour of power.
And it’s not surprising that he’d be met by a line of women who have trouble finding their hour of power. They often say that they are busy with kids, taking care of sick relatives, and many other reasons. And the point he always made was in all his years he never had a man come and say he couldn’t take an hour.
Finally, don't be afraid to ask for help and support from friends, family, or a professional. Joining a community that dares you to dream in achieving your goals is the first step.
And on BodySlims we meet so many people who tell us how along the way they effectively stopped taking proper care of themselves and prioritised their children 100% to the point that they now hardly recognised themselves anymore.
One of the constant remarks we receive after completing the BodySlims programme is that people feel twenty years younger. And we believe them because BodySlims is all about taking you back to the stronger, happier, healthier you you were always meant to be. Not someone new just you but a new and improved version. And with this new found vigour and pep in your step it’s not surprising that we’re also told how mothers feel their relationship and time with their kids is now hugely improved from having taken just that one hour a day to themselves for themselves.
So while we want to salute all mothers around the world we also want to urge them like the airline, please, please, please look after yourself and care for yourself too. You are worth it too. And a better you will be to the benefit of all those around you.
Make the first step with BodySlims, follow our many success stories and join our 10-week weight loss programme that combines diet plans with calorie management, daily walking, online motivational seminars, and more!