As women and mothers, we all realize how important it is to know our health-risk factors. We’ve all heard of BMI, HDL, LDL, LOL. Okay, so that last one isn’t technically a health-risk factor but if you are deficient in it, it could lead to serious depression. But even more important, is finding out your MGF because it can have a serious impact on the above mentioned health-risk factors as well as your health and well-being.
What is MGF you ask? Mommy Guilt Factor. All moms have one and it could be one of the most important factors in determining your overall health.
More often than not, mothers put their selves and their needs on the back burner in order to address the needs of the family. Most of the time, these aren’t even pressing needs. I mean how truly urgent is doing laundry and preparing gourmet home-cooked meals every day? Do your kids only own one pair of pants that must be washed each day? Will they perish if they eat a store-bought rotisserie chicken once in awhile? And do not get me started on the unending list of daily errands!
And while topping the list of your priorities with kids is great, it doesn’t have to mean that you plunge to the bottom. In fact, if you are the person responsible for the care and well-being of those human beings, how well can you do that if you’re in bad shape be it physically or emotionally? Would you want you taking care of you? By the looks of it, you’re not doing such a great job of it.
At the end of the day, my kids don’t really see what I do for them. They just see me. And I want what they see to be inspiring. Remember moms; put your air mask on first. If we’re not in good shape physically and emotionally, how can we possibly provide the stable and productive environment that we so desire for our children? Wait … don’t waste another moment thinking about that. The answer is … we can’t. So how do we assess our MGF and what do we do to lower it?
Every time you sacrifice doing something for yourself in the name of “motherhood” stop and ask yourself … “what would happen if I don’t do this right now?” What would happen if I sat down, had tea, and read for thirty minutes instead? I hate to ruin the moment for you, but the earth will not stop spinning.
As an example, if you don’t go to the gym and work out because you think you should be baking cookies from scratch for your son’s class instead of picking them up at the local bakery, your BMI will in all likelihood increase as will your ass. Because not only did you not work out, I guarantee you ate some of that cookie dough and at least one of those cookies. Look me in the eye and tell me I’m wrong.
Why do we do this to ourselves? Did our mom’s do this? If our moms smoked crack would we think we had to too? It is a vicious cycle that we must begin to break. Just today, I wanted to spend thirty minutes of my day getting a manicure but opted to go to the market to buy snacks and breakfast items for my daughter and her spend-the-night company. This would have been appropriate had we not had perfectly acceptable snacks and cereal in the pantry.
When I stopped to ask myself the MGF question, I had a revelation. I realized that maybe I was using my children to avoid myself altogether. Even the good stuff. We all know spouses who use the kids to avoid each other but avoid ourselves? Yes, it’s true. Aha! Busted! Well ladies … the jig is up.
The reality is that all of this self-sacrificing is highly unproductive and typically leads to anger, resentment, and ultimately depression. We all must admit that on occasion, we have overreacted, or as my daughter puts it “come apart” at something simply because we are stressed and a tad bitter. I often say to my children “where is it written that mothers don’t have feelings?” In fact, I would offer that mothers are the most sensitive creatures found on Earth. Granted, teenage girls run a close second, but we as mothers, are so in tune with the hearts of those around us that when we hurt, it is excruciating.
The symptoms of a high MGF are quite obvious. In fact, a medical doctor is completely unnecessary. You can actually self-diagnose and the remedies are easy and come in a variety of options. Here is a quick test to measure your baseline MGF.
Answer yes or no to the following questions:
Do I remember the last time I took a hot shower, put on makeup, and got dressed without interruption?
Do I purchase the novel I’ve been wanting to read because I know I’ll carve out some time each day for myself to enjoy it?
Do I exercise each day because I know that it will increase my health and well-being and therefore allow me to be a healthier and more energetic mother?
If you answered yes to any of these question, good for you! You are on the right track and I bet your family notices it too. If you answered no to at least one of these questions, your MGF is at an elevated level and you need to modify your lifestyle immediately.
Put the PTA budget down and back away slowly. Now … pour yourself a cup of coffee and read an article in a newspaper or magazine or online or a porn magazine, I don’t care. Just stop what you’re doing and focus on yourself for a few minutes. It is important that you take steps to decrease this level as it will cause harmful effects to yourself and humanity as a whole.