This post was written by Kaity Brita, NP, PPG – Cardiology.
I am a wife to a wonderful husband and mom to two sweet, energetic little girls (ages five and three). I also work full time. Like so many women, I am constantly juggling the demands of all of these roles, and spoiler alert: I don’t have it all together. But what I can tell you, is that I’m a work in progress, with a goal to be a better version of myself with every passing day.
Working in cardiology, I spend a lot of time focused on the biological function of the heart, but I would also argue that the theoretical aspects are just as critical. No matter where you are in your journey of motherhood, my hope is that I can offer you some tips to help optimize your physical, mental, spiritual and emotional health.
Important reminders for mothers everywhere
- Move your body – There are a lot of opportunities to fit fitness into your routine, whether following a structured exercise regimen or being active with your kids. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends 150 minutes of physical activity each week. You can do 30 minutes of activity five days per week or break it up into smaller increments. Include your children and promote healthy behaviors by playing a game of tag, kicking a ball or spending time at the park.
- Fill your cup – I frequently tell other moms and my patients that “you can’t pour from an empty cup,” meaning you need to find a hobby that fulfills you mentally, physically, spiritually and/or emotionally. This also includes eating a well-balanced diet, drinking enough water and getting the appropriate amount of rest to nourish and restore your body.
- Accept help – Admittedly, this has been a challenge for me in the past. I thought I could handle it all. But over time, I’ve realized and greatly appreciated the people in my life who come forward to offer help, and have learned to see it as a blessing, rather than a failure on my part.
- Ask for help – Much like the item above, this one can be difficult. We have to acknowledge our limits and understand we can’t be everything to everyone in every place at all times. The World Health Organization (WHO) reports that up to 10% of pregnant women and nearly 13% of new mothers experience a mental health disorder with the most common being depression. Don’t hesitate to talk to your healthcare provider if you need additional help working through what you’re feeling.
- Find your support – Surround yourself with good people and services to help you succeed. Cherish time with the friends and family who want to join you on this journey. Seek out resources within your community to assist you in your journey as a mother and ease the challenges you are facing.
- Stay organized – For the sake of my own health and overall well-being, I do my best to stay on top of managing my schedule. I try to book appointments on a day off in order to stay current with routine health practices. I rely on my calendar to plan and keep track of work and school events for the family, all in one place. Lastly, I find that making lists, for the grocery, to-dos, etc. work best for my lifestyle and keep things clear in my mind.
- Give yourself some grace – In my opinion, this is one of the most important aspects of motherhood. They don’t hand out a manual on navigating life with children when you leave the hospital with a new baby. There are going to be days when you miss a workout, eat fried foods without much nutritional reward, run out of patience with your children. You have to understand that tomorrow is a new day, and a new opportunity to try again and to be a better version of yourself. Give yourself grace.
I asked my mom for her advice on balancing life as a mother, and it was simple. “Do the best you can every day.” I hope that as you tackle the beautiful journey of motherhood, you’re able to approach each morning with a calm mind, peaceful heart and an understanding that you are doing the best that you can, in an effort not to just survive, but thrive.
Fort Wayne Parks Department has features parks and trails to enjoy as a family, as well as programs available in the area.