Thursday, March 3, 2011

Stay Home, Stay Happy - Chapter 2: Feed Your Soul, Work Your Body

starting from this chapter, all of the notes will be directly quoted from the book. My own comments/additions/opinions will be in italics.

Keeping mentally and physically fit. That's what this chapter talks about.

You are exhausted with good reason
  • there are a few jobs more mentally and physically challenging than caring for children. Needless to say, it's a 24-hour job, if not more than that.
  • while mothering is indefinitely rewarding, doing it well calls for the patience of a saint and the energy of a three year old
  • if moms want to do anything more than the bare minimum for both the kids and ourselves, we have to be fit, both in mind and body

Get inspired: What's your Mommy motto?

  • Every mom should have her own spiritual or motivational motto that sums up her aspirations as a mother or defines who she is and why she does what she does for her family.
  • Mother Theresa - "Do small things with great love." - Rachel's mommy motto.
  • Find your quote or saying. Put them on the fridge or on your bathroom mirror. Let it be an instant pick-me-up throughout your day.
  • I don't have a definite mommy motto yet. I am still compiling some of my favorite mottos and also trying to compose my own - one that reflects what I want to achieve everyday with the family. After watching the movie Eat, Pray, Love, I found my "word" which I think I can also use as a mommy motto. 
    • BELIEVE... Believe that I can do everything that I put my mind into. Believe that everything will be ok with HIS help and guidance. Things will happen if I believe.
Prayer and meditation create inner fortitude
  • Prayer is to the mind and soul what exercise is to the body. 
  • Moms need prayer for strength and sustenance.
  • Prayer allows for introspection.
  • Praying at the beginning and the end of our day is crucial for moms. 
    • Praying at the beginning of our day can help thwart the common pitfalls (being cranky, stressed, and just not much fun to be around) and get us off on the right foot.
    • At the end of our day, prayer and quiet reflection allow us to examine our thoughts and interactions with our family and understand our triggers and bad habits.
    • Can help us to identify problems and positive solutions for dealing with our kids and family.
    • Time to pray and reflect at the end of our day gives us the opportunity to put today's issues to bed and offers the promise of a new beginning when we wake up.
  • But prayer does not have to be limited to morning and bedtime. In my case, I pray any time of the day when I feel like I am not strong enough to face the current situation. When I know that I am not being patient. This gives me strength and focus. And it also serves as a break, to calm myself down.
  • Prayer will give you and your family strength.
  • A prayer book can take some of the "work" out of prayer and help you get into a spiritual state of mind. A friend of mine recently gave me a devotional book which I read every morning, and when the time calls for it. The stories are very real and easy to relate to, and the prayers after each story helps in getting me through the day, or the moment. 
  • I have also found a prayer which fits the daily "needs" of every parent
    • Heavenly Father, 
      I am grateful for the children you have given me. There are times that raising them is challenging and stressful. Please give me the right words for both correcting and encouraging them, the strength and composure to be firm yet loving, and the wisdom to guide them in every situation. 
  • You'll have far more to give to your family if you take time to take care of yourself from the inside out.

Exercise makes moms strong
  • Exercise virtually tops every mom's list of items that simply keep getting put off (and never done!). Lack of exercise takes a mental and physical toll on moms.
  • If exercise is not part of your day, you're probably not operating at your full potential - and you know it!
  • Find a workout partner, preferably another at-home mom who won't mind the occasional crying coming from the baby in the stroller.
  • Statistics prove that people who work out with a partner are more likely to stick to it. Also, there's the bonus of socializing and bonding with other exercise-minded people. In my case, I have a friend (the same one who gave me the devotional book) who I sometimes go out jogging with. We try to go once or twice a week. We are able to exercise, burn the fats, and build up the muscles during our runs. At the same time,  we catch up on what is happening in our lives or what we plan to do the following week. We often get a good laugh, too!

Be realistic
  • Know yourself and be realistic about what kind of exercise will actually work.
  • Every mom needs to figure out what works for her and commit and invest in that plan.
  • 8 tips for working out at home
    1. Commit to a time of day. Consistency and routine is crucial.
    2. Keep your appointment with yourself: the dishes, laundry and phone calls can wait.
    3. Invest in efficient, motivating equipment
    4. Your exercise room matters: is it big enough? what about the temperature in the room?
    5. Don't talk yourself out of a workout just because time is short: fifteen or twenty minutes of cardio, abs or toning is better than none.
    6. Put together several workout playlists for your iPod or stereo: great music helps workouts go by faster. I remember one time when I went jogging alone at night, I had my Iphone with me and some fast music playing. I was able to run for 3kms in a faster pace than usual, and I didn't even realize I was doing so until I finished and checked my runmeter record!
    7. TIVO or record your favorite shows: if you only allow yourself permission to watch them while you work out, it can be a great motivator.
    8. Wear cute and flattering workout clothes: they're not just for gym rats. If you look good, you feel good!
  • And don't overlook the simplicity of an evening walk to get your metabolism revved up before bedtime. Doing this with your family members, everyone can benefit from exercise, fresh air, and an opportunity to bond as you take in nature's changing season.
2 for 1: A combined approach
  • Feeding your soul and working your body are both essential if you want to give your family the best of you.

    Done with the exercises? Now we're ready for the next chapter...

    Chapter 3.....

    Source: Stay Home, Stay Happy by Rachel Campos-Duffy

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