There’s a saying: “If Mom isn’t happy, the family isn’t happy.” In my case, maybe it should be changed to “If Mom isn’t healthy, the family isn’t healthy.” Let me explain.
Growing up, I was competitive in track and long distance running. I sometimes say that I was in training for all the running around I would end up doing as a parent. Please don’t misunderstand; I’m not saying in any way that I don’t love running my kids around. In fact, I cherish all the time I have with them—even in the car. They grow up way too fast and, as a mother of a 16 year old driver, I especially miss the running with him.I think as hard as it is to be a kid these days, it’s just as hard to be a good parent. There are so many demands: activities, laundry, homework, projects, sports, laundry, work, dinners, grocery lists. Oh, and did I mention laundry? It can be difficult to put ourselves on our own “to do” list and make being healthy a priority. As I write this at 5 a.m. (should I be at the gym instead?), I become suddenly aware of the hypocrisy I’m demonstrating as a parent. As a mom, I make sure my children eat, hydrate, take their vitamins and stay active. Me? Not so much. I don’t apply these practices in my own life. I’m clearly not on my own “to do” list. I skip meals, rarely workout and what vitamins? My excuse is that there just isn’t time. How will I fit that in to my already packed schedule? What are my actions—or lack thereof—saying to my children? As I’ve said time and time again, as parents, our actions speak louder than words. What we model for them holds more weight than anything we could ever say. So, are my in actions instilling in them that “to do” lists are more important than health? Wow. This balancing act we call parenthood can be overwhelming, but when we allow ourselves to examine what is really “life important” and make adjustments when necessary, we will model for our children ways to create a healthy foundation for how they will live their lives. As much as I hope MASK The Magazine will increase your awareness on a variety of topics, being part of MASK continues to help make me a better parent by increasing my own awareness. This issue is focused on food and fitness, and I’m faced with changes I need to personally make. Not just for me, but for my family.