Okay, I wasn't actually a frog in some freaky past life reincarnation situation, but I was living my life like one. Read on, you’ll get my drift. Cue Dr Libby Weaver's analogy on women and stress: "if you put a frog into a pot filled with boiling water, it would jump straight out. But if you put it in a pot of cold water and slowly started increasing the temperature, the frog adjusts its body temperature accordingly, until the point that the water starts actually boiling". Poor froggy. But that’s EXACLTY what is happening to a lot of us parents these days. Our lives have slowly gotten busier and busier and we just keep on adding more in, taking more on, saying yes when we should be saying no - and the stress is slowly building, yet because it's over a period of time, we don't even realise it - are you nodding your head yes? Until one day things reach boiling point, and boom, you have a health crisis on your hands. You’re the frog.
I truly believe in this day and age we are
Doing It All, but Overdoing It
So, just for a second, go all Joey from Friends on me and ask yourself - "how you doin'?" (if you’re under 30 this line may not make any sense at all). Chances are your stretched thin - kid wrangling, running them about to their different activities, trying to keep on top of the housework (will the washing ever stop?), the schedules, the homework, your work, the hundreds of tiny bits of information swimming about in your head that you have to try to remember, all whilst dealing with life's other ups and downs. It's no wonder half the time we're exhausted and running on empty! But most of the time we don't even realise it. We just keep going, because that's what us mum's do right? That's our 'lot'. We push things aside and just get on with it. That's what I did, ignored all the signs, all those niggly thoughts that I needed to do something, until things got really bad (aka, hubby's constipation/my pms, hypoglycaemia and anxiety) and then the wheels fell off and we were at crisis point - having to spend well over a thousand dollars on naturopaths, specialists, supplements etc. We were the frogs. We were then forced to make some drastic changes. If I could turn back time I would've listened to our bodies much sooner and gotten our health back on track before we got to crisis point, and then it wouldn't have felt so overwhelming and difficult to make a change. So, I don't want that happening to you! I don't want you to be the frog!
Don't wait for a health crisis to start looking after yourself!
I know your life feels busy and to take on another thing feels like too much - I completely get that, because that's how I felt. I had too much on, too much to do, and too many people to do it for - my health and well-being were waaaaayyyyyyy down the list. But, deep down, I knew I wasn't coping well. I knew I needed to start looking after myself and, most importantly, I wanted my children (especially my daughter) to grow up seeing a mum that made her health a priority, because then chances are they would grow into adults that would do the same. Don't we all want that for our kid's? To learn how to look after themselves? If we don't show them that, through our own self-care, then how will they know to do it for themselves when they're adults? If you wait until crisis point it's going to take a lot more time, effort and money to recover (been there, got the t-shirt). Making a change can feel really overwhelming and confusing - I totally get that. It sometimes feels easier to stay where you are, instead of putting the time and effort in.
But, maybe it's time to get into reality, to get honest and to really think about what's going on for you? To ask yourself what you really need?
Our healthy is so precious - it's not until it's gone that we really appreciate it.