The Parenting Vortex

Vortex is defined as “a mass of whirling fluid or air, especially a whirlpool or whirlwind.” Am I the only one who feels that this can also define parenting?


I have been reading about the blue zones for many years and one topic that I notice is not covered very often is how these centenarians feel about parenting. All of them had parents who likely taught them much about the life they are living. Many of them, I’m sure, had children and parented them in a certain way. Yet, there are very few articles about how parenting affects our longevity.


Perhaps they do not want to delve into what might be a sticky topic. Or, perhaps there just isn’t any science or data that shows how parenting affects how long we live.


As the parent of two amazing little people and as something who is in the stickiness of parenting (sometimes quite literally), I have to wonder if I am giving my kids the tools they need to live a long, healthy life. Am I demonstrating the importance of healthy food, daily movement, reduced stress, and healthy social circles?


Am I teaching them about fruits and vegetables? Yes, I believe I am. I regularly serve healthy meals and we have a garden at our house that the kids sometimes participate in tending to.


Am I teaching them about daily movement? Sometimes is the best I can do here. Yes, they see me moving – cooking, cleaning – but I am not sure that really shows the importance of exercise. They see these movements as chores. And, generally, they try to stay out of my way in case I might get the idea in my head that they should be helping (this goes for my husband, too). So, I ask you – how do you get your kids involved in your exercise regiment? Is there a way to incorporate exercise as a family that fits into a hectic schedule? And, is it something that everyone can enjoy?


Less stress and social circles. Here, I certainly struggle. Working several jobs means that sometimes the stress does bubble to the surface. And, it does mean that I have to explain to the kids that mommy needed to work late. Or, mommy needs to be on the computer tonight. Social circles – outside of birthday parties, we don’t often have social gatherings at our house. We are in a new community and are still struggling to find “our people.” Hopefully the gatherings we do have instill a sense of community for our kids, but this is definitely something I hope to work on this summer!


As a parent, I strive to be there for my kids. I am not sure I am doing everything I should be doing, but during this busy time of life, I just hope I am doing what I can do so they understand how to live a healthy, happy life.


Are there daily mottos or mantras that you try to live by and that you discuss with your kids? Share with me!


To Your Health,


Rachel

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