As part of our new #MotherCulture campaign, we’re interviewing moms all month for their inspiring takes on healthy motherhood. Moms have one of the toughest jobs in the world and we at Lifeway applaud you for all that you do to make our world a happier, healthier place!
Mom: Charlotte Hilton Andersen, 35, Denver, CO, mom of four kids, age four to 11.
Q: How have your parenting skills changed with each child?
A: With our first one, I was so anxious. I’d watch him sleep just to make sure he was still breathing! By the last one, we trusted them more and trusted our parenting skills more.
Q: Did you have any strange cravings with your various pregnancies?
A: I had very distinct cravings with each. During my first pregnancy, I was a vegetarian but I craved hamburgers and I thought I was awful for it! With my second one, I craved healthy things like blueberries and lemonade. And with our daughter, I could eat an entire watermelon in one sitting.
Q: Does your family drink kefir or use probiotics to stay healthy?
A: My oldest, Micah, was in hospital at nine months old with an unknown infection and a fever of 108 degrees. He almost died. Doctors gave him IV antibiotics, and they worked, but they wiped out all of the good bacteria in his gut and he would up contracting C. difficile, abacteria that can cause all kinds of horrible symptoms. He had diarrhea all the time. Finally, one doctor prescribed probiotcs, and it turned Micah around so fast – it was the closest thing to a medical miracle I have ever seen. I’ve kept probiotics on hand ever since, in all different forms: I sprinkle the powder on their food, my kids drink dairy kefir and I drink the non-dairy kind. We have the Mother Culture at home! I make a kind a homemade soda with it, fizzy and delicious. Any time one of my kids complains of a tummy ache or constipation, they get probiotics. It’s one of the rare “medicines” that don’t have side effects.
Q: Any good tips for work-life balance?
A: I’m not great at finding that balance – I wake up early and stay up super late. But I do believe mothers should be kinder to themselves and know that they’re doing their best no matter what they might think. A lot of us have guilt, but if your kids are healthy and happy, whatever you’re doing is working.
Q: Where can we learn more about you and your take on all things health, fitness, nutrition and parenting?
A: Check out my blog, The Great Fitness Experiment, and my book, The Great Fitness Experiment: One Year of Trying Everything. I also blog for the Huffington Post.