Taking Care from The Inside Out, Literally

I am the typical mama.

I make appointments for the children. I make sure they have their teeth cleaned, their annual check-ups, and their vaccinations done on time. If they have a scratchy throat, a sore ear, or a fever, I’m on it. When they get hurt playing sports or playing with each other, I make sure to ice those bruises and bandage those scrapes. They get their back-to-school haircuts, they get signed up for extra activities.

They are well taken care of.

I am that mama. But this year, I am more than that.

This year, I am taking as much care of myself as well.

You know the old saying, children mimic what they are shown not what they are told? For health, this couldn’t be more important. From showing them you brush your teeth morning and night (for more than five seconds) to getting your own haircut, to making sure your doctor sees YOU once a year, these are actions that show your children you are important. When my boys see me doing these things they are less inclined to be lazy or passive on their own health and hygiene.

It seems so easy, almost too easy! But the reality is that as mama, we tend to shy away from all those things and put everyone above ourselves. And while I do advocate putting my family first, when I take care of myself, I am also putting my family first, because I am part of that family.  

When I take care of myself, I am putting my family first, because I am part of my family.

Years have passed for me to understand this fully. And the loss of my parents brought it to the forefront. Living in the moment isn’t a term that I take lightly, in fact it is my mantra. But living in the moment requires work. It also requires doing things I don’t really want to do.

Case in point, yesterday’s appointment. I could have cancelled. I really, really wanted to cancel. I wanted to find any other reason to NOT take care of myself. You know those inspirational quotes about facing your fears? Well, sometimes it’s not about your work or your goals. Sometimes it’s about getting in your car and driving to an appointment and seeing another doctor and getting in that damn patient gown for a minor surgery.

So, was I scared? Heck, ya! As I lay on the surgery bed in my gown and was prepped with an IV, I thanked my nurse, Sheryl, for being so kind.

And then I cried in quiet.

It only took me explaining why I was there to the doctor to start crying again. She held my hand (what a blessing!). She understood. Probably, because they see other cases such as mine, where patients come as a “just in case” because of family history.

I wasn’t really scared of the surgery, I was scared of the outcome. Did I want to know? What if this minor appointment caused a bigger problem?  What would I do with my answers and how would I handle them? We’re all going to have at least one appointment that is completely and utterly scary. Whether it will be big or small, it will make you stay awake at night and question everything until the follow up.

My point here is do it anyway. Do it for you, for your children and for your own empowerment. Be the best advocate in your own health.

This year, my husband and I decided to take care of ourselves more. One way is with a complete annual checkup with a private healthcare facility. In our minds, this is not wasted money, because it gives us knowledge and peace of mind.

How are you going to take care of your health, mama?

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