This article originally appeared on AdoreThem.com
As moms, we are used to rolling with the punches. We learn fairly quickly that our lives are at the mercy of our children – their activities, their moods, their health. We take them to the doctor when they catch the latest illness, but when we catch the same thing we keep functioning.
We love caring for our families, but in order to do so, we also need to care for ourselves!
Many women suffer from chronic conditions that are going untreated. We often have this mentality of, "well... this is my new normal... I just need to cope with it." However, this mentality is harmful to ourselves & our families. As mothers, we need to begin taking our health seriously; & we need to encourage fellow moms to do the same.
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Acknowledge that you need to find a solution.
Most medical issues don’t magically resolve on their own. In fact, most of them gradually get worse & worse when not taken care of & treated properly. Even if you are still functioning, you probably have no idea how much this chronic issue is dragging you down. It is affecting your moods, your overall health, & your relationships. Wondering if you are going to have a good day or a bad day is no way to live your life. You need to work towards finding a solution & be your own advocate.
Find a medical professional that will help you find that solution.
After dealing with my own ongoing issues for a while, I finally found a doctor who responded to my long list of symptoms by saying, “That is not normal. You should not have to live like that. We are going to get you feeling better.” I cried on the spot because I was so relieved to have someone in my corner who was ready to partner with me to get me feeling better. But the key there is that they were partnering with me… I still needed to be a big part of the equation.
Follow through & communicate clearly with your medical professionals.
Whether you see your family doctor or a specialist, they can’t read your mind. It is your responsibility to report back about what is working & what isn’t – they are not typically making those kind of follow up calls if you do not initiate them. Seeing the same professional each time is very helpful because they get to know you & your case, but I learned the hard way that I needed to stay in close contact. I gave one particular treatment six months to work… it didn’t. My doctor asked why I waited so long to get back in touch with her & encouraged me to always just follow up & give them updates about my health. This was a further wake up call that I am in charge of my health – no one else.
Allow yourself the time to seek help & heal.
Getting or staying healthy takes time. It takes trial & error. It means a lot of phone calls & appointments. It might mean that you feel worse before you feel better. It will be frustrating. So give yourself some extra grace during this time. Cut back on extra projects or activities. Reduce as many stressors as you can, & put your attention on your health – just like you would do if it was your child who was struggling. Accept help from those who are kind enough to offer it.
Addressing these health concerns head-on can be difficult, but it can also be hugely rewarding. Keep searching for those solutions. Keep working towards a healthier you because your family needs you at your best, & you deserve nothing less!
For more on this topic, check out the full New Year New Goals collection