From the moment that I became a mother, everything changed. Now there are changes that you expect as you become a parent, those that come along with caring for a tiny human. Those changes might include changing diapers, folding tiny laundry, and responding to another's needs at all hours of the day. Two things that I didn't expect to change were my relationship with food and movement. But those unexpected changes are ones that I will be forever grateful for.
During my second pregnancy, I experienced horrible morning sickness. I tried everything to relieve the nausea but unfortunately it lasted until I gave birth. Early in my pregnancy with my third son, my morning sickness was so bad that I could only eat crackers & alternate between drinking Gatorade, ginger ale and ice cold water. One of my fondest cravings during that pregnancy was lemonade. As someone who had a short list of beverages that I liked to consume, this was unusual for me. I could not get enough lemonade. It still reminds me of being pregnant to this day.
Family meals are a staple in our household. When planning meals for the week, I often ask my sons what they would like to have for dinner. No meals are off limits and they get excited when their meal is served. They help prepare food, set the table, empty the dishwasher, serve food and clean up.
Before I became a mother, I always ran in the morning. It was my favorite thing to run while the rest of the world seemed to still be sleeping. I ran my first postpartum marathon when my oldest son was 10 months old. He ran the majority of the miles with me as I pushed him in the jogging stroller. As we had more children, the jogging stroller got bigger and eventually my sons started riding their bikes with me while I ran. They were the ones who encouraged me to run until I delivered my youngest son. Running went from something that I exclusively did on my own to something I almost always share with others. My boys know about my running goals, they see me work towards them and cheer me on when I cross the finish line. They also see me days where I cut my run short due to temperature or fatigue. They see me take time to rest or recovery from an illness or injury.
Engaging in movement in the outdoor is something that has always been important to me. My family and I share time outside on a regular basis. We love to stand up paddle board on Lake Superior early on a Saturday morning when the lake is flat & looks like glass. We watch the sunrise then go get breakfast & visit the farmer's market. Or we may spend the afternoon mountain biking before getting ice cream and heading to the beach for the evening. In the winter time, we cross country ski in the moonlight and warm up with hot chocolate by the fire in the lodge.
I hope you're able to take some time to reflect on how you were changed by motherhood or how your food or movement habits were influenced by your mom. As kids, we learn by watching the adults in our lives. Let's be sure we are modeling a relationship with food where all foods fit and where movement adds joy to our lives.
Happy Mother's Day to all those that nurture others. If you have fur babies, hold only memories or have never been pregnant, you are a mother too.