School is Back in Session!

Here are Healthy Tips From a Busy Mom to Keep you on Track

by Kimberly Egipciaco, Guest Blogger

Being a parent is hard. There are school and daycare drop off and pick-ups, play dates, doctor appointments, and don’t even get me started about meal prep, swim lessons, and keeping a tidy house.  I find myself on Monday with a laundry list (literally) of things to do by Friday, and very often half of them fall by the wayside or are put on my new “To Do” list for the following week.  I guess what I am trying to say is, you’re not alone, and there is a method to the madness that might help you prepare for the back to school landslide that is upon us.

Busy is defined in a multitude of ways, and it’s different for every person.  What I find is that no one person can do it all or get it all done without asking for help.  If I am being honest, my husband is more like a partner in crime than a significant other these days. Ha!  Without him, the wheels would surely fall off, but that’s okay because we choose to do this parent thing together so we are all in!

For starters, let’s talk meal prep and food.  There are many delivery options available where the ingredients for the meal are already in the box ready to be cooked or the meal comes ready for a quick microwave and poof, you’re good.  The problem is, they may not be as healthy as they seem.  Get familiar with learning to read labels and understanding the ingredients.  With a few basic items, you can have a heart healthy meal in no time!  My husband and I find that making meals together is like a mini date for us.  Pour a glass of wine and catch up on your day while cutting up veggies and fileting salmon.  This ensures that A. We eat. And B. We connect with one another. That being said, there is no time to make a rack of lamb and who cares, as long as we eat healthy and share the evening! It also saves quite a bit of money and I don’t have to grocery shop which saves time.  As for our 14 month old, the second he goes to bed, I make his meals for the next day and pop them in the refrigerator.  No use procrastinating.  6am comes mighty fast and I don’t want to have a screaming, hungry baby and no breakfast ready to go.

Playdates are awesome for three reasons: You have another child to occupy yours from the 3-6pm after-nap-nightmare-streak, you get to have adult interaction, and it is wonderful for little one to increase his or her social skills and stay active.  That being said, many parents are so involved in their children’s lives that they forget to take time to have those adult conversations.  Stress can creep in when we feel unsupported, so lean on those other adults for guidance, advice, or just chat about the latest crave in women’s fashion or your morning run.  You’ll feel lighter. I swear!

Nothing is better than a shared calendar in which it is clear who is taking the kids to their piano lessons or soccer practice or who is making lunches for the next day.  There are tons of apps that offer joint calendars where it’s easy to assign tasks for all family members from chores to meal prep.  Using one, and inviting family members to join it, will help the busy mom or dad to coordinate throughout the week in a stress-free way.  Everyone has access to the calendar, including the children, and therefore, it is always clear who is on deck!  If there was an app to reduce stress, allow more hours in the day, cook for my kids, and pour me wine, trust me….I would have it!  Not only is it important to be healthy physically, it is just as important to have a healthy mind!

Lastly, workout as a family!  Go to a children’s gym or one that has Mommy & Me classes so that you can get exercise but also keep active with your kids.  There are tons of gyms that offer kid’s classes, have group pool rates, and offer family coaching.  And just think…. now you won’t have to argue with your significant other about who gets to go to the gym this time!

At the end of the day, find what works for you and stick with it.  There is no perfect equation, we are all doing the best we can!

Happy Parenting, Busy Bees!

Written by Kimberly Egipciaco, Heart Ambassador and Go Red for Women Passion Chair

The views, opinions and positions expressed within these guest posts are those of the author alone and do not represent those of The American Heart Association | American Stroke Association. The accuracy, completeness and validity of any statements made within this article are not guaranteed. We accept no liability for any errors, omissions or representations. The copyright of this content belongs to the author and any liability with regards to infringement of intellectual property rights remains with them.

The American Heart Association’s blog is not intended to provide medical advice or treatment. Only your healthcare provider can provide that. The American Heart Association recommends that you consult your healthcare provider regarding your personal health matters. If you think you are having a heart attack, stroke or another emergency, please call 911 immediately.