My kids are normal kids and I’m a normal mum. Although I do my best to feed them well and we have lot of wheat and dairy free tendencies in our household and try to do as much organic as we have access to here in Mount Gambier, I am not unrealistic about my offerings and abilities as a parent.
I know all the theory and definitely apply the knowledge I have to my ill patients. I do try myself not to be too much of a food nazi in my home as I do not want my children to grow up with any stigma about food.
I remember a story one of my lecturers told me at college – both his parents were naturopaths and he was never allowed to have ice cream like other kids. To this day (he was in his 40’s when he told us this story) he still has no self control when it comes to vanilla ice cream and chocolate topping. He shared how he makes himself sick with it having no self control and eats until he either vomits or gets diarrhoea! I don’t want this for children.
I don’t want my kids to be the only ones in the class who can’t have a lunch order or who don’t have lunch box treats. I do however do my best to control what they have at home to be organic and best quality as I have control over this part of their diet.
We love to cycle but sadly do not do enough of this as we like. I find getting time to ‘exercise’ as such a challenge although I am trying to commit more to this in the last few months. I attend a walk around our beautiful Blue Lake and attend body balance classes several times a week. I also try to do yoga a few times a week with my girls as Anika in particularly LOVES to do this.
We take our children to playgrounds and parks several times a week which is how we incorporate ‘exercise’ into their lifestyles. My husband Adam and I are passionate outdoors people and dream of the day that we can take the girls hiking and bush walking. We LOVE to do this but unfortunately Alyce who is only 4 doesn’t have the stamina for this type of activity yet.
The bottom line is that we all do what we can with the time and the circumstances that we have to deal with every day. We all know we need to eat healthy and to incorporate exercise and a healthy lifestyle into our families timetable. This can be really challenging and I feel there is a lot of unrealistic pressure on parents to do ‘everything!’
By the time mums and dad hold down jobs, keep the fridge and pantry stocked and keep their kids happy with school and after school activities there is not a lot of time yet. We have made the commitment to each other lately that we are having more technology free time and work free weekends as much as we can. This has been great for our family and I have even gone so far as to try and have one day in the weekend in my pjs just playing lego and reading stories to my girls and even trying to get a nap when I can on a Saturday afternoon.
Why am I trying to do this, because I am aware of the pandemic here in Australia of adrenal fatigue. Adrenal fatigue is the new classification for exhaustion and impaired immunity and digestive function. I see this every day in my clinic in almost ALL of my cases and I think that it comes down to one this. WE are all trying to do TOO much! Too much for others and not enough for ourselves and maybe even trying to meet targets that are unrealistic to begin with. There is so much pressure on parents to be ‘perfect’ and to have the perfect balanced lifestyle. When you find it can you let me know!!
There is no such thing as perfect, instead there is just great intentions and effort that follows.
My tips for preventing adrenal fatigue and supporting immunity come down to:
1. Try to do the best you can and being realistic about your outcomes.
Don’t set yourself up for failure with unrealistic expectations. Be realistic about what you can and can’t do.
2. Keep moving but don’t stress about it too much.
It doesn’t have to be a gym membership and every sports activity under the sun for your kids. It can be easy and enjoyable like a picnic in the park with a soccer ball or a walk to get a few croissants for breakfast on a Sunday morning.
3. Relax and take the pressure off!
Work with bringing balanced meals into your home and a variety of nutrients. Try to avoid the same meals every week as this is only giving your children a selected group of nutrients. Mix it up a bit.
4. Focus on getting one thing right at a time.
For example – focus on food for a month and then focus on exercise. This makes the process of change less overwhelming. Also small changes made gradually stick, rather than all or nothing extreme changes!
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