Tuesday, April 26, 2011

A Healthy Mom, A Happy Family

I've been enjoying thumbing through the copy of a 1915 book called Your Baby by E.B. Lowry, MD. Although it was written nearly a hundred years ago, it is filled with practical, common sense instruction and advice for young moms.

One section I particularly enjoyed and thought I would share with you, because it was so motivational to me, is called "Exercise for the Mother." (I'm typing it as written, ignoring my editing instinct to add paragraph breaks and additional commas where they should be.) :)

"Fresh air and exercise are indispensable to the health of every woman. Both are classed with the luxuries in many a mother's life, whereas they should be looked upon as necessities. 
Every mother should make it a point to spend at least half an hour a day in the open air and another half hour doing something for her own pleasure. If her work is a drudgery she cannot accomplish as much in a given time as she could if it were not so. A half hour's rest or change will give a woman added energy so that she can attack her mountain of housework with increased zeal.

Exercise and fresh air are essential for the health of the baby also. A mother, who is tired out and suffering from oxygen starvation, cannot give her child the same care that she could if she were in a fit condition. Any one who is worn out with sleepless nights cannot expect her brain to perform the same work that it would if it had been rested.

The mother's work is never done, and it seems as though there were no time for exercise or pleasure. She cannot find a stopping place where she can leave her work for a few minutes. This is one of the cases where one must 'make time.' Drop the work, if necessary in the midst of ironing. It is much better that a family should wear a few un-ironed clothes than that the mother should become worn out, nervous and cross from overwork. As a child grows older it remembers and appreciates the happy moments spent with mother playing some simple game much more than it appreciates ruffles and embroidery correctly starched and ironed. The mother who holds her children's love and confidence is not the one who makes a drudge of herself that her children may appear in clothes better than their neighbors, but it is the one who finds time to go for a half hour's walk in the woods with the children, talking with them about the wonders of nature. It is the one who finds time for a game of blind man's buff. Begin while the baby is young making it a rule to spend an hour a day playing with the child, out of doors if the weather permits. It is in these hours of unrestrained freedom that the mother learns her child's nature, its longings and aspirations. the mother who is a chum to her children, who enters into their play and interests, not only keeps herself young but is the one best beloved by the children. The mother needs to keep her mind active by reading books in order to be able to interest her children and hold their respect.

Remember that the mother's condition, both of mind and body, will affect her child. Worry, anger, illness, or overwork on the mother's part are as harmful as improper food or lack of cleanliness."
We all have much work to do in a day, but let's try to schedule in a small break to get outside if possible, get some fresh air, and have fun with our children. This short break may just provide enough refreshment to keep a happy, less stressed home.


  1. OH, I love this. Thanks for taking time to type it all out for us. These "older woman" are supposed to teach us (Titus 2)... and it's good to heed their words.

  2. AnonymousMay 02, 2011

    Thanks for posting this excerpt. I am due at the end of July with my first and I always check your blog for pregnancy news since we are so close.

  3. Thank you for sharing! I'll have to look for this book. I've been enjoying reading "Stepping Heavenward", first published in 1869. Old stuff is often some of the best stuff!