08 October 2009

Again...a day in the life of... balance

“Health is wholeness and balance, an inner resilience that allows you to meet the demands of living without being overwhelmed.” — Andrew Weil, MD

I posted this quote on my Facebook page this morning around 5:00 a.m or so this morning while my children were sleeping, only to hear my daughter coughing at around 5:30 a.m.  I quickly dashed to her and gave her water in hopes that it would settle her down and she could get back to sleep. She has been fighting something since last Thursday.  I had to keep her home on Friday and again yesterday because she does indeed have a cold.  Some may say, "AGAIN? Wow, she seems to get sick a lot."  Well, I am not sure a lot is a proper choice of words, but she does not eat well on a consistent basis and I think her immune system is often compromised.  

I pride myself on being overly cautious and very "hands on" when it comes to taking care of my children because I know that in order for them to feel good and perform well, particularly in school, they must be strong and well.   I teach them about nutrition to the best of my ability so that they can understand why I do what I do.   Some parents/people may think it's too much, but I do not.   

First of all, having a child like Nia puts me at a disadvantage because she is definitely "picky" about what she eats. She sits and analyzes the texture and color of foods before she will remotely consider tasting certain things.  I try my best to convince her that I would never feed her anything that is "disgusting" in taste, but she challenges me each and every time.  Luckily I was able to introduce her to "soups" at a very early age, and so I can get her to eat a very nutritious bowl of soup that is packing with value.   People may notice that I often post on my Facebook page that I am making soup.... AGAIN.  When you find what works, you have to run with it and make it work to your advantage.  

I go out of my way to feed the children healthy breakfasts and dinners so I know they start and end the day strong, but I have no control over what happens at lunch time.  Though I make their lunches daily, I have no idea if they will eat it, all or part of it and this is especially the case for Nia. She loves to bring home "unfinished" lunches.

I feel however that my constant limited food selections done for Nia's picky ways puts my son at a disadvantage because he enjoys ALL sorts of foods.  I blogged before about how he could definitely be my "obese" child if I allowed him to quench all of his culinary THIRSTS.   Color, texture, aroma ALL appeal to his senses, and he is always curious about how various delicacies "taste."  I admire this trait of his, but it's a bit scary at times, so with this adventurous child of mine, I have to take time to explain to him that "shoveling" each and everything he sees could have severe repercussions for him that may not unfold until he is a teenager or an adult.   I give him the plain simple facts about "abusing" the right to eat.  

My mind wondered all over the place this morning after I prepared a lovely cup of GINGER and PEPPERMINT tea for Nia since she complained about her stomach, which I suspect was ailing from post nasal drip or the "CABBAGE" dish I prepared for dinner last night... LOL! Imagine she did enjoy it!   Miles was very fatigued which seems to be the case for him a lot given the fact that his weekly injections of Methotrexate truly slow him down, so for him, I made a weak "regular" cup of tea to give him the "feeling" that he was getting an energizing cup of "adult" tea.   He had to redo some homework that he had not done correctly last night.   Now that we are in 5th grade, his responsibility to his work has increased incredibly, and it's a challenge to make sure he is getting everything done, on time, neatly and properly.   I actually sit with him and go over EVERYTHING, making sure (to the best of my ability) that he is really understanding  the "WHY" and the "HOW" of all his work.  I don't want any surprises later in the school year.   He will be getting these injections until at least next June 2010, so it will be a process throughout. 

A lot of "day in the life of..." things occurred in this one little morning, and quite frankly, they occur daily and it got me realizing that my quote at the top of this page is really significant to all our lives and how we go about handling the "little" things.   The "little" things can truly become "big" things if you don't handle them properly.  

Friday and yesterday, my life was stopped, once AGAIN,  dead in it's tracks, as I had to drop everything and tend to my child to get her well.  Keeping her home from school is not a simple, "keep her home from school," where I do my work and she just lays down.  It entails "nursing her" "feeding her well" to get her strong enough to return to school the next day -- hopefully.   I could not go against the "parenting schedule" that I have in place with my ex-husband last weekend, but if I had kept her Saturday and Sunday, I would have worked on her to get her truly well for school on Monday.  Monday she was clearly still congested but her symptoms were being "masked" with cold remedies.   Cold remedies from the drugstore do NOT cure anything.  

Tuesday she ate dinner with her father, and remember my "finicky" eater does not appreciate certain foods, so imagine (she told me) her distress when she told me that she had "fried catfish" for dinner that night.  Her belly was not full, and certainly had nothing nutritious in it to help her "build" up her immune system.   

Back to those parents/people who think that "caring" for children is no big deal or does not warrant certain effort, that is not the case.  It's a very big deal.  I have actually witnessed my children's behavior when they have eaten certain things and thought to myself, "never again."  It could be that their focus is affected, or they get stomach aches, headaches, hyper, jittery, fatigued or just "blah," and this is why it's just as important to monitor what they eat like how an adult would if they care about their health.  

I used yesterday and this morning to pack as much nutrition as possible into my babies, and I thought about the "great" feeling I had that I make this effort because I know it serves a purpose.  I actually sit down and "talk" EYE to EYE with my children explaining my purpose so they understand.  I ask them if they ever feel sick in school because I want to know if it could be related to something they ate so that we can know how it affected them and know what to change for next time.  I am not going to just send them off and not know "why" they may struggle on some days when I could have done something to prevent it.  

Back to those crazy thoughts.  Hang in there with me.   I also thought about how I used to be a few years ago when I had a nanny and would leave the house at 5 a.m. to get to the gym before work, a time in my life that I truly appreciate, but I can say, "wow, my attitude is different now."   At that time,  I don't think I had the thought of "balance" in tact as I do now.  I am much more "aware"and in tuned to the "present moment" as it affects health.   I actually stop and think about what choices I make for my children, at a given moment, knowing that it is IMPORTANT for their health.   What I do NOW, will make all the difference in their FUTURE.   Perhaps I can help them to grow up WITHOUT the struggles of worrying about weight and health -- which ends up ROBBING people of a lot of their time.  Time that they invest psychologically, mentally and emotionally.  

I also realized that I used to get "crazed" when the children would get ill, definitely feeling overwhelmed, upset, angry.   You know that feeling, the "oh great, this is all I needed!" attitude that does not help anyone.   Dr. Weil truly made a great quote when he talks about having that inner resilience that allows you not to be overwhelmed.   It's not about my daughter being home sick AGAIN, it's about me knowing what I have to do to keep her well, and ME also realizing that as much as I want to complain about what OTHERS are feeding her and not doing effectively for her health is OUT of my CONTROL.  I can only do my part to teach her and eventually as she grows up, she will know what is BEST for herself. 

Managing your health and wellbeing definitely gives you that INNER RESILIENCE that enables you to not let any small mishaps with health overwhelm you because you know you are doing your best to avoid the big mishaps later down the road.  


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