top of page
  • Writer's pictureWhitney G

The Struggle with Prioritizing Health as a Mom

Updated: Nov 27, 2022

Doctor checking patient

So, your a mom...I bet you take your kids for regular checkups and have established doctors for any and every area of their wellbeing , but do you stay up on your own health? I mean sometimes its hard to get a shower in, let alone the stars aligning for you to schedule an appointment... and actually make it to that appointment, without someone else's needs taking precedence in between.

Last night, I attended a women's conference held by Sarah Jakes Roberts in Indianapolis. One of the conferences sponsors was the Black Women's Health Imperative. They spent time talking about the big issues surrounding black women and healthcare. This got me thinking about health during motherhood, regardless of race. I became a mother at 23, and let's be one cares about health at 23, so I hadn't been going to a doctor before then and ever since my health has been on the back burner behind the needs of my family. I am assuming I'm not alone in this, and I want to start a conversation about motherhood health and give you some easy tips and tricks to making sure your the healthiest mama you can be.

Why is it so Hard?

I'm hesitant to even start answering this question because it's something I've become pretty passionate about as of late, but I promise not to go on a tangent. When you really look at the world view of a "good mom," whatever the hell that is, it almost always requires complete self sacrifice, and I'm not here for it. We need to challenge what it means to be a "good mom." I'd argue that a mother not prioritizing her health over the health of her child is negligent.

Think about it, on a plane they tell you to put your mask on first in the event the cabin starts losing pressure. If they didn't make this announcement, I'm CERTAIN that EVERY mother on that plane would try to put their kids' masks on first. This isn't bad...we want to take care of our children; we love them. We just need to reexamine what that really means. So, why do they tell us to put our mask on first anyway? It's because our kids need US! Did you know that you only have 18 seconds of useful consciousness when a cabin starts losing pressure? 18 seconds! Not dissimilar to the 18 years we have with our children before they're able to do most things on their own. In those 18 seconds they need us. They need us to prioritize ourselves so that we can be there for them beyond the 18 seconds, much like they need us to prioritize our health to be there for all of those crucial moments beyond the 18 years.

Prioritizing your health is like putting your mask on first. Getting your child to all of their appointments while not even having a primary car

e doctor for yourself is the equivalent of putting the kids' masks on and not even attempting to put yours on at all. The, I'll get to it eventually mentality is comparable to you putting the kids' masks on first, fully intending to put yours on too, but if you can't do it all in 18're out. And to be clear, the "your out" could translate to "your dead" when we aren't talking about the plane. Who's going to get them to all those well-child and dentist appointments when you missed your age appropriate screenings, and now you're helpless with a condition, that was treatable, but now could take your life? This may all seem incredibly harsh, but these are the realities that moms are facing on a daily basis. Realities you aren't aware of until you're sitting in that doctor's office yourself, because you finally stopped ignoring the symptoms once they became bad enough, just to get the news that you never imagined you would. Then the flood of "shoulda, coulda, woulda's" comes rushing in, and at that point it may be too late...your 18 seconds is up.

Schedule the Damn Appointment

Why are we always waiting for the stars to align. If you don't have a primary care physician established then today's the day! It's a great place to start. Choose a health network that you're familiar with (like the one your children are on), look up primary care physicians, and call to schedule a well-woman appointment. Look, I bet you didn't even know that was a thing, but you take your kiddos to every well-child! Tisk-tisk.

Let's do this, check your calendar for a day that you don't have any prior commitments and schedule the appointment on one of those days. Treat it like it's concrete. There's nothing that's going to stop you from getting to that appointment. Before you let someone else's needs make you cancel the appointment, ask yourself, if this was my kid's appointment, would I be comfortable cancelling for this reason? If so, it must be a pretty big deal, go ahead and RESCHEDULE (don't cancel), but the likelihood is that you would simply tell that person your kid has a doctor do that, tell them you already have a doctor appointment, and go. There is no shame in prioritizing your health!

Tips and Tricks for a Healthier You

1. Drink Water

If you know me personally, you know I drink my fair share of water. It sounds cliche, but water's so crucial to your health! My tips for increasing your water intake are,

  • Sip all day, don't chug---it's not the same

  • Get a cute water bottle that you'll want to carry around, bonus if it has oz on it so that it's easy to track

  • Drink half your body weight in oz (if you're 150 lbs you need to be drinking 75 oz. a day)

  • Add electrolytes that DO NOT HAVE SUGAR!

  • This is not sponsored in any way, but pictured below is my favorite brand of electrolytes (I use 4 scoops a day of the red raspberry in a gallon of water)

2. Do Something Active

Look I'm not here to lie to you. I try to get a serious workout in 3 times a week, but the other days it's just not gunna happen. On those days, I just try to do something active with my kids. Here are some of my suggestions:

  • Take a walk- but make it a good one, not just up and down your street; try to get a mile in.

  • Search Cosmo Kids Yoga on youtube and do some fun yoga with your littles

  • Go swimming- this is easy during the summer, but during the winter try an indoor facility like the YMCA

  • Go on a bike ride

  • Play tag (yes this is exercise if you're over 25)

3. Nourish Your Body

When it comes to feeding yourself and your family connivence is so tempting, and with inflation seriously impacting the price of groceries it's often even cheaper to eat out. Gotta love that dollar menu. We have recently made the decision to cut out fast food after realizing just how sick it was making us. We are about 2 months clean and we have learned that preparation is KEY. I'm not talking meal prep, but you HAVE to have things at the ready when hunger strikes. It's been easier than I would have thought to cut fast food out, and you can do it too! Here are some tips that may help,

  • Cook larger dinners so that you have leftovers that can be utilized as lunches the next day

  • When it comes to snacks, in our house the kids are allowed to get unlimited fruits and vegetables (no prepackaged foods, so don't ask). This cuts down on them constantly asking, and cuts out a lot of sugar/other bad stuff. I just keep cucumbers, carrots, cauliflower, apples, oranges, bananas, and strawberries ready to go for them. SUPER CONVENIENT!

  • Cut out dairy where you can. We pretty much have cut out all dairy other than the occasional ice cream and cheese on pizza or quesadillas. We were vegan for a little over a year and after realizing how terrible dairy is for our bodies, that was the one thing that we held onto when transitioning back to a "regular" diet. Some things I recommend are making simple swaps you won't even miss--- like no cheese on burgers or tacos and swapping sour cream and mayo for avocado. The biggest thing is finding some kind of plant based milk to drink and cook with. We like the Almond Breeze Unsweetened Vanilla Almond milk.

  • Here is a very brief surface level video talking about the negative health effects of milk, but I encourage you to do your own research! Pretty crazy!

I hope that this has encouraged you to take control of your health and helped you to understand why being a "good mom" doesn't mean sacrificing your own health in lieu of other people's needs. I challenge you to look at the tips and tricks I've given here and take just 2 of them to start implementing into your life. You deserve good health...and your family deserves to have you in good health. Now, go schedule that well-woman!

Just my thoughts,

51 views0 comments


bottom of page