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Thursday, May 23, 2013

Before I became a mom, I would sometimes be critical of parents and the ways they were bringing up their children. Not realizing my complete ignorance on the subject, I thought I would have done better in many cases. Then reality came… And it hit hard… Parenting was the most difficult thing I had ever faced in my entire life.

So, when I started realizing that, I promised myself two things. First, I would carefully listen to every parent that had a story and an opinion to share. Each and every one would definitely have a good advice to give. Second, I would do my best to never judge a parent no matter how much I disapprove of their actions. Every parent, every kid, every family is different and we have no way of knowing what their background is. So, if you keep on reading this and your actions are different than the ones suggested, please don’t feel that I’m judging you in any way. I’m just sharing my own opinion on the subject.

Parenting is a hard, full-time job. More full-time than any other job in the world. And you get no day-offs, no vacation, no leaves. When you’re a parent, there’s one thing you’re constantly craving: more time. But you’ll never have it. Each new day you only have 24 hours to fit everything in. And you want to do everything for your kids. Work as much as you can to provide everything they need, take them to places they want to go, drive them to their friends’ parties, take them to sports activities, help them with their homework, and the list goes on. So, where does fitness and eating healthy fit in such a tight schedule? Most parents would easily give the most obvious answer: “I don’t have time for this. I have my children to think about, I can’t be selfish and think about myself and how I will find time to work out or learn to eat healthy. My children are my first priority.” Hmmm… Would that be an act of selfishness? Let’s think again.

Most of us feel that we owe things to our children. Material things they need, good education, entertainment and spending time with them. But the most important thing we owe them is a single one: being there. Being there when they need someone to play in the park, being there to race them down the road, being there to dance with them in the living room, and most importantly being there for as long as we can. Bad habits put all these in danger. Smoking, drinking, eating junk food, not caring about our health could eventually deprive our children of what they need the most: their parents. How can we say we do everything for our children and completely ignore the well-being of their only source of guidance, support and help they have in the world? Isn’t that an act of selfishness?

And let’s not forget our other role as parents. Whether we like it or not, we’re the example makers. Our children will most likely follow in our footsteps. The same way we followed in our parents’ footsteps. If they see us live an unhealthy and sedentary life, they’ll probably do the same. Or they’ll end up growing up facing a variety of problems before they decide to do something about it. And then they’ll have to experiment on many different wrong ways to do it. Like we all did, otherwise we wouldn’t be here. Do we want our children to go through the bad things we’ve been through? I’m sure none of us does.

We don’t need extra time to put exercise in our lives. We don’t need to steal time from the precious moments we spend with our children. We can learn to do it with them. We can walk with them, ride our bikes with them, dance with them, play with them. We can experiment with them in the kitchen trying new recipes with healthy ingredients. We can go grocery shopping with them and show them the incredible variety of healthy food that nature has created for us.

Our children deserve healthy parents. They deserve parents who will watch them grow and will be there for them.
Let’s show them that we’re trying to make that happen.
One day we’ll all be grateful that we did.
And so will our children.

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    perfect post! I'm not where I want to be in herm so fmy own health, but I can see the effects of my attempts at better health on my kids. They are interested in the health aspects of our meals, they ask to go for bike rides "for exercise", they pick up my weights and do a few reps, they ask for "a healthy snack", or "can I have something fresh?". It's a great feeling knowing that I am teaching them without lecturing...simply by making the right choices myself.
    1825 days ago
    I like as you say, our children deserve healthy parents.
    I don't have children yet. But I want to enter parenthood with a healthy body and mind, to be an inspiration for my children.
    1826 days ago
  • GEORGE815
    I have two children. Tried to live by example and say the right thing. They make their mind on their own.
    1826 days ago
  • 123ELAINE456
    Great Blog. God Blessings to Everyone. Have a Fantastic Day. Take Care. Hugs!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    1826 days ago
  • ANNIE1114
    Good blog!
    1826 days ago
  • -AMANDA79-
    Great blog! As I see my girls turning into little fitness junkies and see them eating their fruits and vegetables, I can't help but be filled with pride. It motivates me to continue with healthy habits.
    1826 days ago
    Excellent blog. May we all be the people we want our children to become!
    1827 days ago
    First of all - don't you know we are ALL parenting experts - until we actually become parents? You were not alone! Took your advice - took the kids bike riding in front of the house - we also walked in the park (well, they roller skated - or tried to). We also ate sandwiches in the park - and ended our day having a nice yogurt at the local yogurt shop. I even capped it off and had one little brownie bite (took 1 for each of us) along with the yogurt to make it extra special.

    Feel guilty? No - but I'm going to go downstairs and work out while watching "Where the Wild Things Are" with the kids. It has been a family filled afternoon. Yup - we are usually together, but we are usually all busy. It's nice to do it as a team - RELAX and ENJOY!

    Kids are fabulous!

    1827 days ago
  • 2BEHEALTHY2014
    Great blog!
    1827 days ago
  • BAKER1009
    Great blog and so very true. I especially love the pics at the end and the sayings that go with them.
    As I watch Emily struggling with her thyroid right now, I realize our diet may have to change even more than it already has since starting Spark, and I realize how much this will benefit everyone - not just her and myself!
    Thanks, this was perfect timing for me! THANK YOU!!
    emoticon You're the emoticon
    1827 days ago
    This is one great blog!
    1827 days ago
    I too loved reading this blog this afternoon. I am a parent of 3 and it is very hard to find time to exercise amongst gymnastics, school, football, soccer, and piano lessons. BUT it's a choice I have made to make my children grow to be healthy and happy people. Right now I am not at a weight I want to be but I am working at getting there. The kids notice we don't go to McDonalds as often for fast meals but rather we go to Subway. Also, desserts have changed from cake, brownies or ice cream, to yogurt, grapes and cool whip, or a fresh fruit smoothie. These treats are just as tasty and better for them.
    The kids are super helpful at holding me accountable too. When I tell THEM I am going to do something I have to follow through. And trust me if I start to slip or try to put it off they'll remind me!
    1827 days ago
    I LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE your blog!!!!! I could NOT agree more.

    Becoming a parent is what has really made me want to be fit. I want to run and play with her, and then also, see her grow older and maybe have kids of her own!!!

    Plus, me being healthy = her being healthy, because I give her healthier foods to eat, not junk!!!

    I do workout in the morning before the house awakens, but then in the evenings, I go for walks and take the kids. I think it is a great example!!!
    1827 days ago
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