I talked last week about my struggle with postpartum depression and how finding ways to get through such a difficult time is so important for a person’s health and happiness. Today, I want to talk more about ways to keep you and your family happy and healthy.
It’s hard enough to take care of yourself when you’re juggling a million things every day and being pulled in several directions. Do you eat healthy enough every day? Do you get enough exercise weekly? Do you drink enough water? Do you go to the doctor for annual physicals/checkups and to the dentist twice a year?
I bet you answered no to at least two of my questions. Now, throw in the addition of raising tiny humans. It’s flippin’ hard to make sure you’re doing everything possible to raise happy and healthy children, on top of making sure your own mental/physical well being and happiness doesn’t slip too far down the totem pole!
Here’s what I’ve been doing to keep me and my little dudes happy and healthy:
- Making sure they get enough to eat every day and paying close attention to signs that indicate they’re ready to increase feedings.
- Talking to them all the time and playing with them to help their little brains develop.
- Helping them to have a good balance of sleep and awake time during the day so they sleep well at night (doesn’t always work because sometimes they’re hell bent on fighting sleep during the day, but I try!).
- Giving them lots of love and cuddles.
- Reading them books (their attention spans are pretty short right now, but I get in a short book every chance I can!).
- Keeping them clean and yummy baby smelling.
- Taking them for walks and out to other places so they can see the world and experience new sights/sounds.
- Taking them to the doctor on schedule to make sure everything is OK and that they’re gaining enough weight.
- Accepting help. This one is HUGE! Unfortunately, not everyone is blessed enough to have family and friends nearby to help. Luckily, we are. Accepting help whenever I can has been a huge help for my sanity.
- Eating healthy and drinking lots of water.
- Exercising and playing tennis.
- Making time to see friends and to have people over to see me, the #littlebabies and MAL.
- Giving myself pep talks to help put things into perspective. Even with a lot of help, I get overwhelmed. I frequently give myself pep talks to try to stay positive and do my best to not let things I can’t control frustrate me or get me down.
- Writing and sharing my experiences to help others.
- Giving back. Even though I don’t have time to volunteer right now, it makes me happy to support local organizations and friends who are doing activities to raise money for a good cause.
Speaking of a good cause, part of the reason why I’m writing this post about health and happiness is because I’m involved in a project for a charity called Child Safe Michigan. And, for those of you in Michigan who may not have heard about this organization (which I hadn’t until just a few days ago), I thought it was important that you learned more about it.
Child Safe Michigan is a foster care, adoption and mentoring agency that works with neglected, abused and at-risk children. The organization makes a direct difference in hundreds of children’s lives every year. I’ve worked (and do work) with many organizations that help improve the lives of children (Friendship Circle, Children’s Leukemia Foundation of Michigan and Operation:Kid Equip), so I was happy to learn about yet another organization that helps children. Supporting organizations focused on children is even more of a passion now that I have two little nuggets of my own.
Child Safe Michigan’s vision is a community where every child has a safe and loving family free of abuse and neglect. To accomplish this, Child Safe:
- Strives to be a compassionate and competent system of care.
- Provides a full continuum of care for children and families involved in the welfare system.
- Supports and promotes active learning to help children reach their full potential.
- Enriches the lives of children and guides them to become caring citizens.
Talk about the ultimate way to keep children in need happy and healthy! I had no idea that approximately 14,000 Michigan children are in foster care at any time, and about 3,000 Michigan foster children are available for adoption at any time.
Here’s a short story of how Child Safe Michigan helped twins:
Timothy and T’Maiya were four months when they were placed in foster care. Timothy had two broken arms with an upper body cast to hold them in place, a broken leg, human bite marks on his chest and a blank stare. T’Maiya had six broken ribs. These were the saddest babies and one of the worst cases of child abuses witnessed by Child Safe. Parental rights were terminated after two years of fighting with the courts. The foster parents adopted the twins in summer of 2012.
So you know how I mentioned that I’m all about supporting charities? If you enjoy doing the same (and seriously, why wouldn’t you?!), here’s how you can help Child Safe Michigan. The organization is hosting its annual fundraiser, Celebrities, Cards & Monte Carlo, this Saturday at the swanky Townsend Hotel in Birmingham. There will be celebrity guests, a cocktail reception, dinner, a live auction, dancing and gaming. Individual tickets are $250.
Now, I know that’s a bit of a hefty ticket price. If that’s not in your budget, you can always donate directly to Child Safe Michigan to help the organization bring health and happiness to abused, neglected and at-risk children.
If you do decide to attend the event, MAL and I will be there for a few. I’ll be live tweeting and sharing photos of the celeb guests and all the other fun things happening.
I would love to hear how you keep yourself and your family healthy and happy. Do you do some of the same things I do? What have you found works best to balance it all?
BONUS: If you leave a comment answering the questions above, you’ll be entered to win a little prize from me that you can use to do something for you and/or your family that will bring you happiness. Comment before noon on Friday. I’ll select a winner at random. You don’t have to live in Michigan to win. Sound good? Share your feedback!
Disclosure: I’m receiving complimentary access to this event and compensation for this sponsored post through TweetTeam.com. While I’m excited about this project and a free evening out, I wouldn’t have done this if it didn’t align with what I write about on this blog, and if I didn’t think you, dear readers, would care about the topic. Promise!
Photo Credit: Nina Matthews Photography via Compfight cc