Friday, September 2, 2011

Taking Care of Ourselves

is not being selfish.

It's being a good stewards of our body & mind! It's Biblical.

Over the years, as I learned, I changed eating habits or stopped using products I learned are toxic. But I didn't take care of myself in other ways, that led to some health problems. So I'm writing this for me as much as for you, my friends ;-)

I was working so much I had all my mail sent to my work address. I wasn't home long enough to keep the mailbox from piling up. A couple mothers told me their kids who'd came to the birth center for appointments with them, would say “I want to go to Crystal's house”. Probably to play with the toys, but you get the idea, I wasn't the only one who thought I lived there! Seeing the long hours errrr make that days, I was gone, my aunt teased me saying 'the secretary makes more than you!'. And I had to agree! Now I was never in it for the money, but I'm trying to make a point here. Learn from my mistakes! Slow down, while you still have the choice, before your body does it to you!

Now as a stay at home mom I feel like the Lord is allowing me a season of rest. Caring for our infant daughter (even w/sleepless nights, projectile vomiting/acid reflux & now teething) has been some of the least stressful days of my life compared to midwifery. (Not to say there hasn't been some moments of frustration, but that's called parenthood, so that goes with out saying.)
Don't get me wrong I found midwifery very rewarding! I enjoy mothers, birth & babies! It's still a passion of mine. I have a feeling my midwifery days are not over.

It seems as if Christian woman, especially Christian moms, feel somehow that it more spiritual to be a living martyr (what I mean by that is, by complaining & looking haggard) then to take care of themselves.

If we are living surrendered, we'll be teachable. Please pray about how to best take care of yourself. I'd appreciate prayer to! Please leave a comment of what you do to nourish your mind/body/spirit. That way it will give us ladies some ideas to try.

Ladies let's take care of these bodies of ours!! It's the only one we get!

Someone once used this example. You are given a car. Only one car to last your whole life. Would you go around carelessly, joy riding? No you'd keep it in mint condition! Why don't we do the same for our bodies!

Part 2
Regular intimacy is important in maintaining a strong, healthy marriage. But because it's easier said then done... And because many people I know don't know where to find answers or may be too embarrassed to ask... I felt lead to write this post.

This is a subject that I feel as a midwife & now a wife and mother myself, I can help woman with. So here are some ways to increase intimacy &/or increase your desire for intimacy:

1) Retreat!! Pray! Praise!
If fatigue is coming between you & your husband, ask your hubby to watch the kids for a day. Drive to a favorite location, for me it would be the beach.

Spending time with your First Love on a praise/prayer walk or reading His love letter to you, will refresh you. If you explain to your hubby you are needing this time alone to recharge, because you want to work on increasing the intimacy in your marriage, I'm sure he will quickly agree to the idea. Maybe even suggesting you take this day trip regularly!!

Have a nursing baby? Leaving the older ones w/Daddy & taking the baby with you will still be good for you to get out of the house.

A friend recently went to a retreat center. She said they had an art room, where you could go any time of the day. The place was beautiful, quiet & meals were provided. An other friend lives on a retreat campus. She says they have all sorts of outdoor activities such as canoeing. Gazebos galore, walking paths, beautiful scenery, w/meals also provided. I've only been to camps as a teen. I didn't even know just anyone can go to places like this, till recently. Google to find a retreat center near you. Go & enjoy some quiet!

2) EAT!
Raw food is energizing! Eat as much raw fruits & veggies as you can. Try juicing or green smoothies if you're not a salad sort of person. Juice Plus helped me with increased energy!

Concentrate on increasing these specific foods in your daily diet:
Flaxseed or other types of food containing omegas.
And one you probably already know, which happens to be a favorite 'food group' of mine...

Be sure it's healthy chocolate. If it's not, you will decrease your immune system, leading to female infections (natural remedy for yeast infection) leading to a decreased intimacy! Thus defeating the purpose!

For more ideas think Super foods, foods that increase circulation (ginger, ginkgo, cinnamon), foods or snacks that give you energy...

3) Join a mom's support group. If there's not one in your area. Start one!

I belong to a local mom's circle. One day they were discussing ideas of how to support one an other. It was suggested that a few moms could watch the kids while the others took some time for themselves. One mom who drove about an hour to join us said, “I'd drive an hour for a nap!”

4) Take a nap!
Nothing wrong with allotting nap/quiet time to the whole family, yourself included!

5) Simple explanations
When the kids are old enough to understand friendships/relationships, offer a simple explanation i.e. Daddy & Mommy are best friends & need to spend time together so... we are all going to bed early tonight... Or Daddy & Mommy are going away for the week-end...

6) Exercise

7) Get plenty of sunlight. It improves moods, among other benefits

8) Slow Down
Think of it from our kids perspectives. What would they rather have: more music lessons, soccer practice, this & that, going, going, going! Resulting in divorced parents, because we didn't make our marriage priority? Or parents that are willing to take care of themselves? Thus strengthening the marriage and in the long run strengthening the family.

In other words slowing down & simplifing will be
1) a key in decreasing stress [it sure has helped me!!]
2) increasing energy & time for intimacy.

9) Pamper yourself

(now let me clarify... I'm not saying we should get & do whatever we want in the name of "I need this" . Buying a $50 purse is not taking care of yourself physically! And besides it's not being a good steward of the money God has blessed you with.)
Chiropractic care

Have more intimacy questions? Please private message me if you can't 1st find the answer with in this blog or in the link lists to the right. There is no such thing as a silly question.

I pray this has been a help!