I so badly want to believe that you alone are the master and creator of your own destiny and that you are the only one responsible for your successes, failures, habits, and/or beliefs! However, this is not the case, there are certain factors that are out of your control, such as your parents and the environment you were raised. I have never met anyone who before they were born, was able to choose his or her parents. Do you know of anyone who has specifically chosen their parents? I bet you haven’t. So why are some people born in 3rd world African villages, while some are born right here in ‘Merica, the land of opportunity? If you think about your own life, you did not choose your parents, your country, your city, or even your neighborhood at least not for many years. So the argument can be made that a lot of what makes you, YOU, was the environment you were raised and the example set forth by your parents.
What does this mean? It means that out of all the “jobs” in the entire world, being a parent has the highest amount of consequences for determining the future of the Human Race! But most importantly it means that having kids is not an excuse for being unhealthy! In fact I would argue that being a parent is the biggest reason ever, to be healthy, because now you are directly responsible for the life of another human. It is like the argument for illegal drugs, is it a crime if you are only hurting yourself? That’s definitely debatable, but what we can all agree on is that once you harm someone else you are now committing a crime. Same goes for your health, if you don’t have any children and you want to be an overweight, who cares (it is your life journey), for the most part you are only effecting yourself, however if you are unhealthy and you have kids well now you are effecting someone else’s life. And not just anyone, you are effecting the health and livelihood of your own flesh and blood. You are now effecting someone that is 100% depended on you for food, shelter, protection, wisdom, etc.
Let’s clear the air right now, I do not have any kids (at least not that I know of 😉 ), so now is your chance to use this fact to tell me I don’t know what I am talking about and ignore everything else I have to say about this topic. The truth is I do not know what it is like to raise a child but I do know that:
- You are your child’s “god” – For a minimum of 18 years your child is 100% depended on you for survival. This dependence is so strong that it is natural for the child to emulate his or her parents. Which means, if you live an unhealthy lifestyle, by default, your child will live an unhealthy lifestyle! Your child has no choice in how you choose to raise them, however your choices good or bad have a 100% direct influence on nearly every aspect of their life! If you are active, your kids will be active too. If you eat healthy, your kids will eat healthy too. If you have diabetes, most likely, your child will have diabetes (the apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree).
- You are a role model for your child – If you met yourself, would you be impressed? Kids are really smart and I am guessing by the time they are 10-year to 12-years old they know whether you are a winner or a loser at life. They will know whether you are healthy or unhealthy. Remember when you were a kid and you thought your dad could beat up Superman? Once you found out that your dad was not Superman, did he still impress you? Well if you are overweight do you think your child is impressed that you get winded walking up a flight of stairs? Most likely your child will always love you (unconditional love), but is your child inspired by you? Is you child proud to say, “that’s my dad” or “that’s my mom”?! Don’t forget that kids can be cruel, how does your child feel when your child’s friends say, “your dad is fat”? So let me ask you, if you are not your child’s biggest role model, who is? Let’s ask the Round Mound of Rebound for his opinion.
- You “perform like you practice” – Any successful athlete will tell you that the game is not won on game day, the game is won in the days, weeks, and months leading up to the game. When it comes to sports, games are won in the off-season and on the practice field, because it is a universal law that we perform like we practice. It is impossible to give a half-assed effort at practice, and think that on game day you will be able to just “turn it on”, if this were true, there would be no incentive to practice! The same thing is true for a parent. If you think you can treat yourself like shit but somehow “rally on game day” for your family your are highly mistaken. You can’t help your family if you can’t even help yourself. You can’t protect your children if you can’t protect yourself. You can’t “phone in” your life and then expect to be supermom or superdad. Suppose the zombie apocalypse were to happen tomorrow, ask yourself, “will I be an asset, or a liability to my family”?
- People love to play the victim role – It is a well know fact that it is easier to be a “victim“, it is easier to blames others, than it is to take personal responsibility for your own actions. It is easier to hide behind your kids and convince yourself that you just don’t have the time, then it is to MAKE TIME! Trust me you can find the time, for every “I am the victim, cause I have kids” story I hear, I also hear success story from someone in a very similar predicament. What’s crazy about these success stories is that many of you “victims” will hate on anyone that finds ways to “get it done” despite having kids. Hows this for opening an old can of worms?
- Your responsibilities will increase – Yes having kids is a life changing experience! Yes kids are expensive! Yes they will require more of your time, but this should not be news to you, you should have known this when you “signed up for the job”. We can’t hide behind increased responsibilities when those same responsibilities were listed in the job description! This is the equivalent to having “million dollar dreams, but a minimum wage work ethic”! We have to do the job we signed up for!!! So take responsibility and find a way! Hire a babysitter, find a gym that offers child care, do whatever it takes, because in order to be the best parent you can, you need time for self-improvement!
Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying you need to look like a supermodel, a fitness model, or Maria Kang the “Fit Mom”, what I am saying is that as a parent it is your responsibility to be healthy, it is your responsibility to be strong and it is your responsibility to be as inspirational as possible, not just for you, but for your family! Never forget that your family is counting on you being the best possible version of yourself, anything less, and you are cheating your family. So if there is one take away from this post it is:
No matter your circumstances, doing some sort of self improvement is the least selfish thing you can do!
Are you an asset or a liability?