Tuesday, May 27, 2014

mothering the mother

We have lived in our current city for four years and I did not have a primary care physician. I definitely got sick during this time, and I even had a baby (and a fractured toe!) My kids are already on our second pediatrician, but I did not have primary care physician.

A friend moved back and asked whom I would recommend. I had no answer for her.

How can it be? How can it be that my family, my kids, my husband come first and I do not have anyone to take care of me? How can it be that when I get sick, I do not even have a doctor to call?

I got a few bad sunburns as a kid. I burn easily every spring. I have some birthmarks that should be checked and observed. I had never been to a dermatologist. My 1 yo is getting regular physical therapy, I'm in talks of getting an OT evaluation for 8 yo, my kids have been seeing their pediatrician regularly, but I have never made that one appointment for myself.

It is hard to arrange, these appointments. I need to get a babysitter (or drag my whole entourage with me). I have to find a doctor who takes my health insurance. I have to find someone whom I "click" with. But still, there is no excuse why it had been four years and I have not been taking care of myself.

I got on ZocDocs and within a few minutes I had appointments both with the primary care and with the dermatologist within my insurance plan. I even made both appointments without having to make a phonecall. And I filled out forms which, hopefully, will allow the appointments to proceed faster.

How come as mothers we always give and give and give, but we forget that we need to give to ourselves, too? We are human beings, and we are in need of care and mothering. It is so easy to put everyone else first, and think that you will get to your needs later. It is easy to say that we do not care whether the kids are sleeping in our bed the whole night long, or barge on us in the bathroom, or disrupt every adult conversation, or sip from every drink we make for ourselves. But one day, we wake up, look at our crumpled clothes, at these little people to whom we give and give, and realize that we have nothing left to give because we gave it all away. Then we feel drained. Then we get resentful. Then we need to start taking just as good care of oursevles as we reserve for the others.

So here it goes: make your annual physical, put those kids in their own bed, reclaim bathroom as a private space, and make mommy's drink sacred. Your kids will thank you one day.

1 comment:

  1. Same, I have no primary care doctor and have not had a checkup in like 12 years. I once went to a doctor we have at work when I had pinkeye, and I think I went to an emergency care center for antibiotics once when I had strep. I do go the dentist fairly regularly. Meanwhile, my kids have close to a dozen care providers between them.