How Mother's Day can change how you think about your health.

Priscilla Barnes

Why? Here's one snapshot that will convince you to do so and will help you change your daily actions.

When I worked as a nurse in the Neonatal ICU, or even during my time in the well baby nursery, I often had a recurring thought:

"If babies, once they were adults, had a video of what I saw their parents do, especially their mothers, they would treat them differently once they were adults."

I constantly watched mothers sacrifice their body, their sleep, their time, everything for those newborns. (Fathers, too, just in a different way.)

Life was all about the baby, and even those months leading up to delivery. It is the most selfless gift. 

However, speed crash past newborn life and people defame their parents, yell at them, or disrespect them continually.

I know, in my own life, I would be a lot less irritated with my parents at times if I had a video of the mayhem that was my mom being pregnant with me, while she and my dad raised 3 other girls. Or all that she did for me while she was pregnant with my younger brother and managing her own life’s stress.

Parents give everything during that time for the future of their child, however, we never see it. Maybe you’re a parent, so you know this even more intimately than I do.

And if you are, when was the last time your child said, “Thanks for waking up at 1 am to feed me while I was screaming my head off as a newborn.” Doubtful.

Growing up my father told us many times, “I don’t care how you treat me, but be nice to your mother.” Usually with tears in his eyes.

A statement he frequently told us was, "Don't forget to call your mother."

Why? Because he did see what we never could see. He did see the sacrifice she made for us. And for him.

My father also referred to a time when he was involved in ministry to inmates in the 1970's. While at the prison, he noticed there was one day out of the year when the line for the telephone was the longest. Mother’s Day.

“If those convicted of crime take time to call their mother, you better do the same.”

In his mind, rightfully so, no matter how we turned out, our mother deserves our respect and care.

How does this relate to your wellness?

Because just as life-changing as I think a video of infancy could be to alter how children treat their parents, I believe a video of you later in life could quite literally transform your life. 

Aging requires dependency on others, I don’t care how full-functioning of an elderly adult you are.

The hospital system and healthcare system is too much for elderly individuals to navigate alone, let alone technology these days. 

If you saw a video of how the small, repeated actions you took today would affect you at 85 years old, it would change things.

Here’s how:

  1. You’d stop being so hard on yourself.

    You’d see the benefits of the small habits in your life. What you do 20% of the time brings about 80% of your results.
    Those small habits that you think don’t add up to anything because you can’t lose weight, will be proven to help you maintain your mobility.

  2. You’d stop being a victim to the latest nutrition trend.

    You’d realize celebrities are off their rocker and listening to them for health and wellness advice isn’t sound. You’d see that healthy aging is dependent upon muscle mass, and without enough nutrients and calories, you become frail.

  3. You’d be a little harder on yourself, too.

    You’d realize watching TV or sitting at a desk for hours on end is the portal to a sedentary lifestyle.
    And that your ability to function fully now gives you no excuse for living a sedentary lifestyle.

  4. You’d be appalled and terrified at the amount of work others have to do for you.

    Or how negatively your life is altered if they don’t. I don’t care how you feel about nursing homes, the truth is, no one can care for you, at any age, like those who love you. People go to nursing homes to die. Just like if an infant saw how many diapers their parents changed, how many times their parents stressed to make money to provide for their future, I believe if we saw how much our health cost others in our lives, we would be appalled.

I had a small view of this when my father took care of my grandmother when I was younger.

However, the insight that I have while my siblings and I care for our parents today, has reinforced these beliefs. (Read more about caregiver syndrome here.)

The insight I have seen makes me put my vanity aside and do things that aren’t popular to prevent being a dependency on others in the future. If you saw that, you might do the same.

If you are blessed to still have your mother alive today, did you call her on Mother's Day? Maybe you should.

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