I'm sure I'm not alone in wanting the best for my family. Mothers are notorious, though, for leaving themselves out of the equation when seeking what's better for their kids, husbands, parents, neighbors...you get the idea. I'm no exception. I often put others before me.
It's hard to put my needs first for a few reasons. First of all, I don't whine and cry as much as the kids. If I need a nap I don't make that crystal clear by busting into tears at the drop of a hat, even if I might feel like doing just that! Secondly, there's only so much money and time to go around. It's easier for me to wear jeans that are almost threadbare for another month when the kids have outgrown theirs, along with their shoes, shirts, underwear, socks...you get the idea. Putting #1 in the second position if pretty easy to do.
Lately, I've been trying to feed us better. I figured that serving healthier meals would benefit all of us, even me! And it does. But it's also discouraging. I get a little down on myself when I hear how gross and disgusting everything I make is. I know Jace and Gracie are culinary experts, but they think they are, perhaps from watching a bit much of Top Chef and Last Food Network Star! (Actually, Gracie's pretty funny sometimes. "Mama, what I like about this is the way it looks. What I don't like is the way it tastes. Maybe next time you could add some sugar?") They get to me, though, even when I know they shouldn't. Even when I like what I've created. They get to me.
And I want to do even better than I am with food. I want to invest in grass-fed beef. I want fresh veggies. I looked into joining a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) and decided not to this year. The most local one (less than a mile down the road!) costs a little more than I feel I can put into eating healthier right now. I hate saying that. Now I'm not even putting the kids needs in front of mine. I'm putting the budget in front of everyone's. Reality sucks sometimes, if you'll excuse my potty mouth.
There are things I am doing though, things both Scott and I are doing to make our lives and our kids' lives better. He is riding his bike to and from work. He's enjoying it and feeling great. He even commented last night that he thinks a 20 minute bike ride is more decompressing than the 35 minute car commute he used to have in Georgia. I don't doubt it for a second. I'm thrilled for him.
We're also taking the kids to the pool twice a week. Hopefully they'll learn to swim along the way, but at the very least we're having fantastic family fun! I've started going to the gym and using the parent's room once a week. It's a room with an area at the front for the kids to play, read, or watch TV. I can use a treadmill, bike, elliptical machine, rowing machine, or pull our a mat for stretching or floor exercises. We're also walking. Before tonight we'd been walking every so often. Starting tonight, I'm going to be walking daily. Period. Not for weight loss, although if that happened it would be a total bonus! I'm walking for fitness, to strengthen the muscles in my back after visiting the chiropractor. (More on that in a minute.) I'm planning on including daily walks in our homeschool schedule as well. I wanted to do some sort of fitness during the days, and now that I have to walk...they might as well join in, right?
So, the chiropractor. I know that not everyone thinks chiropractics is legit. But to me it makes perfect sense. If the body is in it's best alignment, it'll be a more healthy body. I used to go pretty regularly when we lived here in Washington before. After moving to Georgia I stopped going and made tons of excuses why it wasn't important to return. However, I've been having a lot of pain and a horrible time sleeping the last couple weeks. So, I went in for a check up. I got x-rays and an exam and tonight Scott went with me to see how "jacked up" I truly am. That's how he lovingly refers to me. As it turns out, I'm decently jacked up. Not completely beyond repair, but enough that I am quite relieved that I went in sooner rather than later.
Starting tonight I am getting frequent adjustments to work my way toward being less jacked up. After each adjustment I'm supposed to take a walk and ice my back and neck. I feel like an athlete or something cool like that! I did those two things tonight, like a good patient. And it occurred to me while walking, that I'm doing something for me and it's something that has a significant cost. Part of me wants to run and hide, put the money into savings, and pretend that my back will fix itself. But it won't. And I won't. Because a bigger part of me is proud that I'm taking care of myself. Happy that I'm setting a good example for the kids. Relieved and thrilled that I have unwavering support from my incredible husband. (When the doctor asked if we had any questions about the x-rays Scott said, "No, I knew she was jacked up." See? Completely supportive.)
So, in the end, we're eating as healthy as we can for now. Whether the kids actually eat the food given to them or not, they're being served real food. And we're incorporating fit living into our social family time and homeschooling. Maybe I can stop thinking about what we're not doing and realize we are doing better than we were. And doing better is doing the best for my family.