A wise friend and amazing pediatrician once told me, “parenting is as easy as nailing jello to a wall.” How fantasticly accurate is that quote?
The constraints of my 90 minute to two hour time block between feedings has been more pressing the last couple weeks. The girls have been going through a growth spurt and are feeding more frequently. They also have a cold gifted by their loving big brothers. It is a wonder how many times a parent can “remind” the todler mind, “please don’t lay on the girls, you are sick”. Sometimes I think my voice either does not reach their ears or they hear words but nothing gets observed.
This week, in my greatly sleep deprived state, I have found that I have trouble finding the humor and joy in the creative stress free thinking of my boys. For example, brushing teeth can be a ridiculous and dramatic event some mornings. The boys find the request to leave their play and go to the bathroom to brush their teeth a hugely inconvenient process. Most mornings I try to move them from table to bathroom immediately, but on the days that step gets lost, ugh what a challenge. Yesterday was an especially busy morning getting ready for preschool. My husband left early for work and I was pressed to clean the dishes, prepare lunch, get the boys washed up and feed the girls before my mother in law came to pick up the boys. I was trying to move the boys into the bathroom while both girls were crying, so I felt ultra rushed. But, not my boys. They decided this was an excellent time to for a game that we play on mornings when we have more time…The toothbrush walk. I give them a sequence of movements together their bodies moving and minds diverted from whatever I am pulling them away from. For example, they do six jumping jacks, run around the island in the kitchen, four wall climbs and log roll to the bathroom. At the time all I could think of was the time that game would take. In hind sight, I could have left the dishes for later and bought a little more time and enjoyed that moment with my boys. My goal for the boys and I in month three is to incorporate more play and “together time” into every day. I also need to find a creative way to continue with a structured approach to raising the boys without overwhelming them with corrections. An important lesson I have learned is to continually reevaluate what I’m doing. What may have worked last week is not necessarily going to work this week.
Pan example of reevaluation is a change that has recently occurred with me is my approach to eating fat. Throughout pregnancy, I was sure to add extra fat in the form of coconut, avocado or olive oil and grass fed butter to my veggies. I felt like my body needed the extra fat during pregnancy both to ensure adequate energy intake as well as to aid in the absorption of fat soluble vitamins. During pregnancy, it’s important to monitor protein intake. Typically, I eat a higher protein level, around 25% of my total energy intake. But, during pregnancy I reduced that amount to about 15-20%. So, I made up for the reduction in energy intake with added fat and carbohydrate. Vitamins A, D, E and K are particularly important during pregnancy. In the post partum period, I am experimenting with eating fats only in the whole food form and reserving liquid fat like oils and butter for cooking. For example, I use seeds and avocado along with an acid like lemon juice to make a salad dressing. Consider the micronutrient density and fiber of whole food fats in comparison to liquid fats.
Continually adjusting our diets, movement and stres management strategies to our bodies needs is important. As a trainer for fifteen years, I have found that a big hurdle for clients to overcome is their willingness to continually change. Many people would get locked into a certain way of eating or exercising because it “use to work for them.” Successfully reaching ones goals requires success revaluating our bodies needs and applying the appropriate strategies.