Moms of toddlers are so busy caring for our children's needs - sleep, food, exercise - that they can forget about their own needs for good food, adequate sleep and exercise until it is too late and something crops up which was easily avoided.
Let's take a look at some easy ways to make sure you are looking after mum!
Of course everyone has preferences, and your toddler will show theirs soon - they will prefer certain tastes and textures to others - but as you are the one buying the groceries you can steer them towards healthy good things to eat instead of empty calories and processed foods. If you are unsure how to start eating well for your own health and your toddler's rapidly growing body, then consider these articles.
The next area is a little trickier for moms of toddlers, but I would encourage you to take health checks seriously. I tend to avoid doctors and prefer to find a natural alternative for most health related concerns, however there are certain things that we need specialists for. Annual feminine check ups, regular blood tests for those with a predisposition to diabetes or cholesterol issues…are just as important as your toddler's "well child" checks. It was at one of these check ups that we noticed our son had very flat feet and low muscle tone when he was two. Because of diligent work on his side and the help of a podiatrist and bio kinetics he is a strong young man active in sport. One word of warning...always get another opinion and pray that the Lord gives you wisdom in all things medical.
Lastly, rest! What rest do I hear you say? Mmmmh yes, rest is something that seems to slip by when our children are small. But each day your toddler should have quiet time, and so should you. Depending on whether your toddler rests for 20 minutes or 1 hr, you can choose your own quiet time activity. Reading a book with a cup of tea, having a quick nap while they sleep...whatever...just find a little time each day to rest. It has been my experience that tying to squeeze crafts and hobbies into rest time doesn't generally work when there are little ones in the house as just as you get going, they wake up! This sort of thing is nicest when you can arrange for a willing granny, aunt or dad to watch over the little ones and you can have some quality craft time.
It is character shaping when we choose to do the right thing when
Moms of toddlers listen, the first way you can do this for your toddler (and yourself) is to decide ahead of time what your responses will be. For example, there will be times when your toddler is grocery shopping with you and you will be called to compromise when your toddler wants the candy they see at the check out point, if you have decided on your response before hand you will be more likely to stick to your guns.
For mom it may be that you really would prefer to not go for your evening walk, or even when you want to push yourself to stay up super late for something. Choosing to do the right thing, over something that is more pleasing to you will strengthen your resolve next time you are faced with a compromise.
At Home Activities
We are currently in winter and as I write this article I am reminded of the many rainy days when we were trapped in our home and our toddler’s energy was looking for escape! Indoor obstacle courses are one of the most fun things to do! If you are in summer and are unable to travel to a walking place, then you can set up something similar in your yard. This is a great repeat activity to build gross motor skills.
Together with his three friends he was able to stand firm when offered food choices that went against what God had told the Israelites to eat. They were also asked to compromise later on their worship and for this Daniel ended up in the lions den and his three friends in a fiery furnace!
Do these Daniel Bible crafts with your toddler all the while reinforcing making good choices.
Bible link for moms
Mom, this Bible story has something for you too! Start the way you plan to finish! What I mean by this is that if you would like to have your toddler grown into a young person who is equipped to make the right choices with regards to their health, then you need to start now while they are young. Daniel's first meal taken in the Babylonian captivity was what God wanted him to have, not what was being offered. I think it is also important to note here that we are also told to "not despise these small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin." Zechariah 4.
While the context of the verse is somewhat different, I like to remember it when I am trying to make another good change in the health of our family. Taking one thing at a time to work on is a small beginning and the Lord rejoices in that. So if it is too much to think about exercise, food, health checks and rest at the same time, set your mind to just dealing with exercise for e.g. When you find yourself exercising regularly with your toddler (and without) then address the next thing that needs to change.
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