Taking Care of Mom: Why Making Time for Your Health Is Good for Your Whole Family

Art via Toca Boca

Alrighty, mamas. I’ll bet your kids are all up to date on their wellness checks, but when was the last time YOU had a physical? You know, that thing where you go to the doctor when you are completely healthy just to make sure you stay that way? What about the dentist? Eye doc? My guess is that there are not a lot of moms who take care of themselves with the same dedication they have for their children. (And if there are, could y’all help me out?)


As we embark on the new-ish year (remember, you run on your own timeline), one of my goals is to give much more attention to my health — both mental and physical. It’s certainly not news that moms need to be healthy in order to best take care of everyone else, but too often, I think we default to taking care of our mental health and ignoring the physical. Feeling stressed? Have some coffee, get your nails done, read a book, and then come back with a clear, rested mind. Check, check, check. Recharging like that is super important (and I plan to write more about it), but I recently had an epiphany: Putting my physical health on the back burner is not doing anyone any favors. Taking care of ourselves is not necessarily the fun, glamorous stuff that we like to Instagram about, but it’s so darned important.

How long have you been “pushing through” a nagging cough or lingering injury because you just don’t have time to get it checked out? Has a neglected need for glasses prevented you from seeing that AmazonPrime now has Reading Rainbow? Are thoughts like, “Gosh, x, y, and z run in my family… I really need to get a check up” taking up space in your brain?

When I find that I’ve become more short-tempered and impatient than usual, it’s usually the long-term effect of neglecting my physical health. Not only does getting my regular check-ups out of the way give me an opportunity to ask health professionals any questions I have (they’re so much more comforting than those doomsday people who write for WebMD), but it gives me peace of mind, which clears brain space for things like which carpool route takes me closest to Starbucks.

So, before I go scheduling spa days (not really, but more on this later), I’m committing to getting the things below done this year. A few weeks ago, I spent 30 minutes scheduling most of these appointments and was able to get many of them scheduled for this month.

  • Annual physical with complete blood work: I did this last week!
  • Dentist: Today (please keep me and my poor flossing skills in your thoughts)
  • kSnY7-bXQ4GzgNi6MTiF7b35_lUHB8HPPoSY9FE7zMkEye doctor: I have had the same $10 Zenni Optical frames for three years. They were a great idea because my glasses get put through the wringer, but I’m so ready for something different. Turns out my prescription has changed so I ordered new frames from Warby Parker. They’re affordable (although slightly more expensive than my $10 frames) and the at-home try-on was awesome. I’m terrible at choosing frames, so I got to take ridiculous pictures and send them to friends for input.
  • Dermatologist: I need to make this appointment for late summer.
  • Sports rehab: I’ve had a really annoying and limiting Achilles injury for more than a year, and this year I’m committed to rehabbing it back to full health. I don’t know if I’ll have to have “formal” treatment, but for now, I’m working on diligent home rehab.
  • Exercise: I’m going to start scheduling exercise. It’s the first thing that gets knocked off my list when stuff comes up, but it’s so much more likely to stick around if I have it written in my planner. I don’t always love making time to fit in a workout, but I do always love how I feel after a workout, and I know I need it so I can be the kind of mom (and person) I want to be. So, on the schedule it goes.
After each run, I’m committing to adequate stretching - which, apparently, signals all nearby children to get as close to me as possible.  

After each run, I’m committing to adequate stretching – which, apparently, signals all nearby children to get as close to me as possible.

Scheduling these things is not very fun and can be rather challenging. Without fail, the moment I am connected to another human being via telephone, WWIII breaks out at my feet. It’s a special gift these children have. So, when everyone is out of the house, I call to make appointments. Keeping the appointments is another story. I’ve rescheduled my dentist appointment three times since June, and it’s not even because I have a phobia. Stuff just comes up and these appointments aren’t “urgent.” But, there will always be a lot to do. Always. And it will be much less of a stress if I just go ahead and go to the appointment rather than waiting until I can’t chew on the right side of my mouth.

 What are you doing this year to take care of your physical health?