I was unprepared for how hard it was going to be for me to take care of myself once I became a mother. And I don’t just mean stealing moments, like having a night out with no kids, or taking a bubble bath, I mean basic self-care like stopping to listen to my body when I had a pain somewhere, or making sure I was getting enough nutrients when I ate.
Once I had a child, everything I had easily done pre-baby seemed to have new additional steps, and then I had another child and those additional steps were even more complicated. In addition, I was tired. Really worn out, and trying to figure out new ways to fulfil my basic needs seemed too exhausting. I had two children whose needs took precedence over mine because they couldn’t do those things for themselves. However, I knew I needed to take care of myself, because these little people needed me in the long term and putting myself last wasn’t going to keep me healthy. That’s when I started slowly building my Fantastic Four, the super powered women who were going to keep me healthy and on track. I wanted to feel healthy in my body, and I want my kids to understand that bodies are machines that we must service regularly to stay healthy. Also, why should I be last on the list because I’m the mom? A healthy family is one where all members are nurtured.
Everyone needs their own set of Fantastic Four, the health care team that keeps them healthy. For me, it is an acupuncturist, a massage therapist, a family MD, and a chiropractor, and honestly, at this stage in the game, I have added a personal trainer to my list, but in the early mamahood years, there was no way I could swing that. Each one of my Fantastic Four has a very specific role they fill. I do not see them all every week or even every month, but they are always there when I need them, and because I have known each of them for years, they know my personality, they know my body, and they know the demands of my life outside their office.
Finding your Fantastic Four takes time, especially when you’re juggling little ones. I tried different services to see what would fit best for me, my body, and my budget. And even when it was an act of rebellion and revolution, I took time for myself. The important thing was that while I was sampling the menu of healthcare options available, I was learning about my body, and building a solid team to be at the ready when I was sick, or in pain, or needed some health advice for my ever changing feminine form. Some of the services (like massage and acupuncture) I go to consistently, and I only use my chiropractor when I need her. My physician is a once-in-a-while check-in. This is what works for me, but your Fantastic Four should be comprised of the healthcare providers that work for you, and the schedule that works for you. In the end, it will save you so much time, energy, and stress. Preventative healthcare will keep you healthy, and make you the super parent you want to be. It’s easy to start your search, ask your mama friends what they do. Ask your physician what he/she does. Then make the call, or even better find places that allow you to book online, so when you’re up in the middle of the night with that sweet babe, you can book your next appointment with your acupuncturist.