A Note to Parents :: Take Care of Yourself

Every so often a tragic event occurs that shocks us.  It reminds us of what is most important in our lives.  It reminds us of where we should focus our attention and to not shy away from sharing our feelings.  Recently, several events have  hit me this way.  A sextuplet father passing away from a heart attack after trampolining with his kids, a triplet father killed instantly by a car while he was cycling, and the most shocking to me, a good friend of mine passing from a heart attack following an intense exercise session.  All of these men were young and left this world before their loved ones were ready to let them go.

Amidst my personal shock and sadness, I got to thinking.  What can be learned from these situations?  What stuck out most to me was that we need to take care of ourselves.  I know we moms spend all of our energy reserves caring for our kids, husbands, house, pets, and jobs.  And all of that is important.  And exhausting.  But sometimes we need to move ourselves up from the bottom of the to do list.  Make your health a priority!  And while you’re at it – get your husband on board!  Men’s health is equally important as women’s and just as often ignored.  As I have been reminded, you just never know how long you have… so why not give it your best shot?

Camp Gladiator{Me at Camp Gladiator – Pearland.}

Get Checked Out.

How many of those well child visits has your kid missed?  I’m guessing none.  You don’t want to miss something that could be wrong and very much preventable with your child.  Now, how many annual physicals / well womans / dental check ups have you and your husband missed?  Hmmm….  Not sure?  Too busy?  Don’t have time?  Y’all.  Just do it.  Make the appointment and go.  You don’t want to miss something wrong and very much preventable with you or your spouse.  I just recently got back on track with check ups.  Sadly, as nice as it is to be aware of my overall health, it has been nicer to get a short break away to myself {yes, going to the doctor is a break}.  However, if your spouse is like mine, getting him to the doctor is nearly impossible.  I recommend checking with the employer.  Not only do most insurances cover annual exams, but many large employers do in house physicals for free or super cheap.  My husband’s company even offers incentives for participating!  And if your man complains about any uncomfortable / embarrassing parts of the physical, just give him a detailed description of your last well woman’s exam.

Follow Up.

Once you’ve got the ball rolling with your regular check ups, keep up with them!  Go every 6 months or 12 months or whatever is recommended.  And if your doctor tells you to follow up on an issue – do it!  Ignoring a problem doesn’t make it go away.  If there’s something you’re even remotely concerned about, please get it checked out.

Know Your Limits.

Taking care of yourself and living healthy is more than doctor visits.  It’s eating right, exercising, sleeping enough, and so on.  I’m the first one to admit I have plenty of room for improvement. {I don’t know what sleeping enough is!}  As I’m working to improve myself, I encourage you to develop healthy habits into your lifestyle – but be aware of your personal limits.  Eat a balanced diet and practice moderation {no crazy crash diets}.  Exercise to improve fitness, but don’t push yourself too hard.  Know your body and if / when you need a break – take a break.

Be Grateful.

I know I do not have an attitude of gratitude everyday.  And some days everyone and everything wears on my nerves.  And I do not do a good job of hiding it.  But I’m working on it.  I AM extremely blessed and I AM grateful for my family, friends, and the support system God has placed in my life.  And I could definitely let them know that more often than I do.  So what about you? How often do you show your appreciation?

Why not start today?

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Lauren became a Houstonian in high school. After attending Baylor University- where she met her husband, Dave- Lauren returned to Houston for graduate school, earning a Masters in School Psychology. After working several years in Houston area schools, Lauren is now a stay-at-home mom to her sextuplets {April 2012}. Andrew, Benjamin, Caroline, Leah, Allison, and Levi keep Lauren, Dave, and their slew of volunteers on their toes! When Lauren isn't looking after her 6 kids and dog, Maggie, she enjoys running, baking, reading, mindless TV, and getting out of the house! Follow the sextuplet adventures on Lauren’s blog, The Perkins Pack

1 COMMENT

  1. Thank you for the encouragement, Lauren! As parents, it is easy to think that we are doing the best for our children when we are sacrificing (time, sleep, health, money, marriage, etc.), forgetting that they need us at our best. They benefit greatly when we are healthy, rested, recharged. We moms need to keep that in perspective and be willing to prioritize our own well-being at times, even if it means asking our husbands and friends for help. Thriving children and families begin with thriving parents!

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