There is no doubt that creating and nurturing a life is one of the most valuable things that an individual can do with their time, and it is something which continues the essential cycle of life and existence. However, it is also an exceptionally difficult activity, and requires the considered devotion of both time and finance in order to raise a child successfully. With this in mind, it soon becomes increasingly difficult for new parents to maintain their own health and well being while caring for an infant, which can cause serious consequences in their short and long term futures.
Interestingly, a recent study conducted by the Paediatrics journal revealed that mothers rather than fathers are baring the physical brunt of child care, although both receive reduced levels of nutrition and exercise when compared to their childless contemporaries. The detailed study, which followed an approximate 1500 high school students into adulthood, revealed that the women who became parents subsequently consumed over 400 calories more per day than childless women of the same age and demographic.
A Question of Time
The primary issue seems to revolve around time, both in terms of mothers not being able to prepare a health conscious meal and also being unable to exercise accordingly. This creates a distinct imbalance with regards to the volume of calories consumed and the levels of subsequent physical activity, and leads to the individual becoming increasingly vulnerable to various health issues such as obesity. Although it may be argued that this is part of the personal sacrifice required to raise an infant child, it benefits nobody if the mother falls ill or suffers health issues as a consequence.
Of course, when individuals are rushed and focusing on the well being of their child, it is all to easy to prepare a quick meal that is high in fat and low in protein and the necessary carbohydrates. Ready meals are a perfect example of food that can be prepared and delivered quickly, but that ultimately does not deliver any of the dietary requirements needed for a healthy lifestyle. Perhaps this course of events is in some ways unavoidable given the birth of a new child, but the issue becomes more complicated when you consider that fathers involved in the study did not experience anything like the contrast in lifestyles with their childless peers.
Primary Carers Feeling the Strain
Although it is fair to state that the majority of primary carers in the US are mothers, this does not explain the vast differences that exist in lifestyle between them and their male partners. What the study tends to suggest is that there are an increasing number of mothers who are feeling the strain of being a primary carer to their children, and who perhaps require further assistance from their husbands or an outside source. This kind of social issue needs to be addressed swiftly, otherwise an epidemic could ensue and leave a generation of unhealthy parents unable to raise their children adequately.
Given the rising level of obesity in the US, society can ill afford to see even more citizens become vulnerable to its perils through the significant pressures of parenthood. In order to tackle this issue, there perhaps needs to be a change in the perception of parenting roles in contemporary society, with the separate entities of career and child raising considered as equal in terms of their impact. This would force mothers and fathers to create a far more equal distribution of duties when at home together, and ease the pressure on mothers as the primary carers within their household.
Sharing the Burdens of Parenthood
This spirit of cooperation is well suited within a modern environment, and supports the contemporary view that parenting is as demanding and taxing a role as any equivalent career. Therefore, if both parents are considered to have a equilibrium with regards to their day jobs, then the foundations are laid for fathers to share the physical and mental burdens of parenthood in their free time. This would surely see an improvement in the health of contemporary mothers, and cultivate a crucial balance between each parents lifestyle.
Many modern issues in society are the consequence of an outdated point of view, and individuals need to challenge these perspectives in order to effect corporeal change. Parenting is a primary example where traditional and stereotypical views are prevalent, and although many consider them harmless there is a clear indication that they are having a debilitating effect on the health of the modern mother. The answer is for working fathers to respond to these issues, and assume responsibility for improving the existence of their respective partners and children.