The most important job I will ever perform in my lifetime is the one I didn't apply for. But it's the one I work the hardest at and value the most. It is the one I want to be remembered for, but only by my son because other people's opinions of my choices are of no value to me.
Can anyone relate to the picture above? The memory of "who I was before I became a mom" moments?
I used to be an "on-time" person.
I used to have a wardrobe of "business-casual" attire.
I used to have time to read a romance novel.
I used to feel accomplished at the end of the work day.
I used to come home after that work day to a fairly tidy house.
I used to spend my weekends sleeping in and hanging out with friends.
I am occasionally (ok, usually) late.
I wear yoga pants and leggings about 90% of the time.
I have time to help my son learn to read.
I rarely feel like I have accomplished anything at the end of the day, and wake up each day knowing I will learn yet another new thing.
I have a very "lived in" looking house....all...the...time.
I spend my weekends in an arena or on a field hanging out with people who have become friends through our child's activities.
And I wouldn't have it any other way.
Because I know that the years I have been putting into this most important job of my life will be the most successful ever. This isn't a debate about working mom vs stay at home mom. I know some outstanding working moms and I marvel at their abilities every day. Plus, in reality I am a working stay at home mom. My business allows me to have flexible hours that allow me to make my top priority my son. The pay is less, but the rewards are greater! But for me, being a mom is my work for now.
I know that I could head back into the corporate world again in a heartbeat. I know that because I have tested it when I have had moments of weakness, thinking I must be the worst mom ever because I seem to be "failing" at every corner. My outstanding work performance in the past still speaks volumes today and since I didn't burn bridges, past employers still ask about me and wonder if I'm job searching. And one day maybe I will be. Although the job of mom never expires, I know that as the years go by he will need me less and less. But my point is that right now, despite feeling like a failure more often than I feel like a success, when I look at the big picture, I can see that our choice for me to be a work from home mom has been a success. And these next few years are actually the most important ones where he will be faced with many difficult decisions. I want to be the person he turns to when making those decisions. I want to be the larger influence on those decisions vs his peers.
In this world where the role of Mom is undervalued, I know that people wonder why I haven't decided to return to the "normal" working world. Financially it would be the smart move. Let me assure you that its not because I like sitting at home coming up with creative ways to help my son learn his times tables or to write more neatly. It's not because I love spending my winter evenings in cold arenas. It IS because the years are short. I am halfway through the most important job of my life. I'm in the home stretch, but the most challenging time. The "normal" working world will always be there. My son might not be. So be patient with me as I continue to work hard, even if it's not in a job that you find valuable. Because to me and my family, it is the one that counts the most.
I will continue to wear my Mom attire proudly. It might mean I am late more than on-time. It might mean I only dress up occasionally. It might mean I am too tired for regular girls nights (I prefer girls lunches or evenings so I can still get some sleep!). It might mean I can't afford the latest fashions.
But it means we are all happy and healthy, so anything I have "given up" is worth it due to all I have gained!
As an alternative health care practitioner, I would love to tell you that my family ~never~ gets sick. I would love even more to tell you that I have a secret to how you can ~never~ get sick.
But the truth is, we all get sick sometimes. Even if we do everything "right", we still might sometimes come down with something.
The positive note of this blog that I can share with you is this: my family ~rarely~ gets sick!!!! Despite me being an alternative health care practitioner and being surrounded by people who are feeling unwell often! And it is the secrets of how we have managed to make that happen that I am going to share.
How my family remains healthy more often and recovers from illness faster
1. Rest is essential, especially when you feel like you need it most.
Ignoring the fact that your body needs rest is how most people become susceptible to common illnesses. When we rest, we allow our body to restore and repair. Although we all have obligations we cannot back out of (believe me, we are a busy family too!), there is no reason to stay up until your "normal" time just because that is your routine. If you are tired, go to sleep. If you can say no to an obligation, do so. And along this note, don't overbook yourself all the time so that you are unable to take advantage of down time when it's available to you. If you are able to take advantage of a break from work to just rest, do so. When your body is communicating that it is tired, listen and do what you can to give it the rest it needs.
2. Stay hydrated.
When you drink plenty of fluids throughout the day, your body is able to eliminate waste and toxins efficiently. Therefore there isn't a back up of these causing you to stay sick longer.
3. Put lemon in your water.
While you are hydrating, lemon is a great flavor additive to your water. It helps to boost your immunity because it is high in vitamin C and due to the pectin fibre, it supports your digestive system to help flush toxins from your body. Here is a great article discussing 16 great health benefits of lemon water (click Here).
For many years I have been a natural cleanser. You can clean your home safely and naturally with common ingredients without impacting your endocrine system with fancy anti-bacterial commercial products. I clean with vinegar, lemon, baking soda and include some essential oils now (see next point) and these work well to keep our home free of most viruses.
5. Essential oils
Essential oils have been getting a back rap lately because they are being over-used by people not educating themselves on the possible dangers of irresponsibly using them. That doesn't mean that the essential oils themselves are bad, but the user must understand essential oils, while natural, are very powerful and should be used with care. I have done the work and research to educate myself. My favorite oil when it comes to helping clean my home is tea tree oil (anti-viral, anti-bacterial). For periodic diffusing (not ongoing, just in bursts) eucalyptus (helps with congestion and is also a disinfectant) or cinnamon (helps clear bacteria in the air and is anti-viral). I do not recommend taking essential oils internally. Although I know there is research stating otherwise. This is just my personal practice with their use.
Come on, you knew it was going to be in here :) One of the best benefits of reflexology is how it helps break up and clear out toxins from the body. It also works to restore the body to balance which can help boost immunity. So when a family member is feeling a bit under the weather, one of my first go-to's is a treatment. I usually use coconut oil and an essential oil blend to help boost immunity.
So yes, even my family gets sick! My son had the flu for 19 hours (the 2am, "Mom, I feel great, can I play?" wasn't fun), my husband had a "man-cold" for a few days and when we went away I also had cold symptoms for a few days. While not fun, none of it was severe. After hearing from so many others about how their family was sick for days on end, I was prompted to write this and share our tips for recovering quick from family illnesses.
I know there are many natural tips out there that other families use. Share with me what your family does to increase immunity and recover faster when illness does happen. I can't wait to hear!
Tanya Goreing is the proud mother of one boy and the owner of Soul Treatments. The natural health of woman and children is her passion!