Written By Amanda Richards (Dr. Mark’s wife)
My jobs: ESL teacher, teacher, alarm clock, server, seamstress, chef, doctor, massage therapist, nurse, referee, counselor, maid, driver, soccer team manager, church volunteer, etc. As a parent, our job’s never end and are demanding. I have learned from my faithful mentors and from experience, how important it is to take care of yourself. It is important that you take care of yourself in all aspects of life: mentally, spiritually, emotionally and physically.
Thus far I have done a fantastic job at all of these. I have a job I love, in which it keeps my mind sharp and challenged. I attend church, read my bible and speak to my Heavenly Father daily. I cleanse my emotions by fully relying on God and attending small group. I take care of my body by getting adjusted, attending my crossfit gym on a regular basis and eat strict 60 day approved meals everyday.Do like me, and you will be happy.
So, maybe, I exaggerated a little- but these things are surely ideas I do desire for myself. I am confident in saying, this is most likely what many desire. If I have the desire for them, why are they not being accomplished? My reason and excuse is the same as many other full time momma’s: I have my three (not so little) babies. I am fully guilty: my mind and body are fully consumed by these little monsters, and boy do I love being their momma.
Why is being fully consumed with your children, their activities, and every aspect of their well being a bad thing?
Reason 1: A wise man once told me: we are placed here as parents, not to raise good children, but good adults. A momma doesn’t do everything for a “good adult”. We are to raise our kids to be more self sufficient and less reliant on us (as much as we’d love to have a “momma’s boy” forever.) Allowing our precious little one to make mistakes, and learn from them on their own, is great gift you can give them.
Reason 2: God asks us to cast all of our anxiety on Him. Why? Because he cares for us and our kids, even more than we do! Why, worry, when we know the Big Guy’s got it?
Reason 3: We need to take care of ourselves. This is the hardest thing for many of us to do. First, we need to realize we are worth it. Second, know that taking care of you IS taking care of your kids. These little beings watch our every move. They do not learn as much from what we tell them, as they do from watching us. They watch what you eat, how you spend your time, what you speak and how you handle adversity. What do you want your children to learn from you? I want them to learn from my exaggerated desires.
My challenge to those of you reading is to make a list of your healthy desires for you life. Choose one item from your list of healthy desire’s for yourself and make a step towards being that example for you children today. If you do not have children: do it because you are important. God had created you for great things.
P.S. Almost every night at the dinner table the kids are always super excited to hear me tell them about how awesome their parents’ did at the gym earlier that day. Well they aren’t usually that interested but the picture above of our youngest son Micah is of him doing his own backyard crossfit. So as much as they don’t seem to care, they definitely pay attention. Oh, and isn’t my wife great? Thanks for reading.- Dr. Mark