Raise your hand if 99% of the doctors appointment you’ve been to since having kids have been for them.
I’m totally guilty of this. I spend at least a portion of each week running to this appointment or that therapy session for Vista. And I would never, ever, ever forget her nightly meds.
But when it comes to doctors appointments for myself, or even remember to take my daily dose of happy, it sort of falls into the ‘I’ll get to that eventually pile’.
I’ve had a doctors visit on my to-do list for the past two-and-a-half years. It just hasn’t been that big a priority. It’s not like I was dying or anything. I simply am getting headaches and migraines more often. It’s been like that since I first got pregnant with Vista. But, in the grand scheme of things, it just wasn’t life altering enough to actually bother with the hassle of organizing a visit to the doctor for myself.
The past few month have been worse, so I finally got my act together and made an appointment.
Sitting in the office today, I felt sort of silly whining about headaches. I mean, really? But he nodded, raised an eyebrow when I mentioned how persistent they were and the occasional dizzy spell. He whipped out the handy-dandy blood pressure cuff and took a reading, and then a second one…. and a third one to confirm the first two. 150 over 90. That? Is not good. And that would probably explain the headaches.
I used to have perfect 120/80 pressure. But once I got pregnant with Vista, my blood pressure started creeping up. The day I finally went into labor it hit 160/115.
But after I had her, I got busy with new baby stuff. And there just didn’t seem to be time for anything else.
I’m realizing now I should have made the time. And I know most parents are guilty of that. We neglect ourselves in favor of our children.
So, I walked out of the doctors today with a prescription for blood pressure meds, two prescriptions for migraine meds, and a lab requisition form with almost every other box checked off. Evidently my doctor thinks draining every last drop of blood from my body will somehow help things.
But I will give him points for being thorough. He wants to make sure there’s nothing else I’ve neglected. So I’m getting the full panel – Electrolytes, glucose, cholesterol, vitamin B12, vitamin D, thyroid, protein, and a bunch of others I have no idea what they are for. Oh, and a bonus ECG, just for the fun of it.
I think we need to remind ourselves every once in a while that our own health is just as important as our kids. It doesn’t help them if we leave things too long and end up sick ourselves. So the next time you think ‘Oh…I’ll get to it…eventually…”, just go do it. That’s the voice of personal experience speaking.
People who know me in passing seem to have this image of me as a bit of a wild child. And while I can be when the occasion calls for it, I’m much more likely to be found curled up with a book or crafting when I’m not catering to Vista’s every whim.
But this weekend, I’m taking off for a girls scrapbooking weekend.
I know a lot of people are cringing at the thought of spending 3 days laying out pages, cropping pictures, and adding embellishments, but for me it sounds like heaven.
It appeals to my inner Martha Stewart.
I did offer to Bil this morning to cancel my trip, since Vista is sick right now, and it can be a lot to deal with a coughing, puking child on your own. But he’s told me to go, so I’m going to take him at his word and enjoy myself.
Enjoy not having to wake up at 4:30 am with my early bird 2yr old.
Enjoy being able to relax and put my feet up.
Enjoy having someone else cook the meals all weekend.
This will also be a good test run for my NYC trip this summer, as this will be the first time I’m away from V for more than one night (trying very hard not to hyperventilate just from writing that).
I know she’ll be fine with Daddy, and he’s hands on enough that I don’t feel I have to leave a list of ‘to-dos’ for him. He knows her medication schedule and how to give her the inhalers. And really, other than that, she’s a pretty easy kid.
So I’m going to go, enjoy some adult conversation, maybe have a drink or three, and scrapbook my little heart out.
I was going to post a really hysterically funny video of Vista today. At least Bil and I found it hysterically funny. But then again, it’s well known to the world that we have a sick and twisted sense of humor.
I know, you’re sitting there going ‘OK, well, if this video is so damn funny, where is it??’
Well, here’s the thing.
I’ve decided not to post it.
The video was something along the lines of this, with a little less Will Ferrell, less scripting, and a lot more of me doubled over laughing in the background.
But after having CPS called on us last November, we’re quite frankly a little gun shy about putting anything out there that might smack of anything less than perfect parenting.
And then I think about that and it REALLY. PISSES. ME. OFF.
I’m not perfect. Show me a parent who is. And yet, here I am trying to live up to some impossible standard because somebody who knows nothing about me decided he should get some say on how I parent my child.
Now every time I’m out with Vista, I’m crossing my fingers that she doesn’t have a meltdown, and that someone won’t decide to stick there nose into something that is, quite frankly, none of their business.
I’m finding a lot of things don’t get done these days. If I drive somewhere and Vista falls asleep before we get there? Rather than wake her up, take her in the store, and chance an outburst, I turn around and go home. Because? It’s not worth the risk.
I walk around on egg shells hoping that no one will find fault that’s not there.
And I thought at first it was just in this small town we lived in. I even tossed the idea around of moving somewhere new.
But then I realized, it’s not the town. It’s me. This… thing… has pervaded to the very core of my parenting philosophy.
And now it’s invaded my blog.
It’s like I’m living in Fantasia and being hunted by the Nothing.
This need to censor is at direct odds with the person I am naturally.
I am irreverent. I am risque, at times. Ditto for controversial. That’s who I’ve always been.
I’m not someone to toe the line or follow the norm.
And yet I find myself doing exactly that, because I will do anything to protect my child from ignorant people who think they know more about her than I do.
I’m seeing this more and more.
The feeling of ‘I wanted to say something, but couldn’t come up with anything witty to say, so I didn’t say anything at all’.
I’m guilty of this.
I’ve typed many a tweet and blog comment and then just before hitting that post button, I’ve deleted it because I didn’t feel it added anything to the conversation.
And I find myself doing that more and more. This self-censoring.
But why do we put such pressure on ourselves? Why does everything we write have to be just perfect, better than the other persons comment, tweet, whatever ?
Honestly, I’m happy to have any blog comment. Even if it’s just one that says ‘hey I was here and I liked this post’.
I don’t ever read my comments or tweets and think ‘Wow…why did they even bother writing that?’.
To me it doesn’t matter if what someone has written is witty, smart, funny, profound.
What matters more is that they felt it was worth taking the time to comment or reply at all. And that means a lot.
How we identify ourselves (and our self worth) can be a funny thing. I’ve found, for myself, it’s so often wrapped up in what I’m doing, rather than who I really am.
Before I became a mom, I spent 10 years working for the same company. My life was completely wrapped up in it. It was, in essence, my life. And for various reasons it had to be. It’s hard to maintain relationships when you’re traveling a lot. And it’s hard to plan an outside life when you’re told on a Friday to book a flight for the next day and, oh, by the way, you’ll be gone for two weeks. But that was the job. And I enjoyed it. It was interesting. It was dynamic. And it was me.
Most people knew me as ‘Jenn, who works for ***’. It was a huge part of my identity. And it didn’t help that I was a workaholic. Even on vacations I was expected to be available by email and phone. But it came with the territory (and the money) and so I felt it was all worth it.
Eventually, I got noticed by some of the right people, and started on the fast track for upper management. This is what I had worked those 10 years for. Yay me! Until that one morning when I woke up and realized that maybe this dream of being a VP at a major multinational wasn’t really what I wanted anymore. I looked at my boss, and his boss. They had no family lives. They were so stressed it was affecting their health. It was expected that they would be available all hours of the day and night. And I knew that on my road to the big leagues there was going to be a lot of moving around the country and shift work involved. If I ever wanted to have children, this was not going to work.
By this time Bil and I had been trying to start our family for a while (with little success). He was convinced I needed to slow down, relax, and de-stress. So after many weeks of soul searching I handed in my resignation. The plan was to take the summer off and then look for a new job in the fall.
I didn’t realize I’d spend the entire summer trying to figure out who I was. What was my identity now that I wasn’t working? How would people relate to me if I wasn’t that girl who worked at that company? It was really hard. And I struggled with it. I still do.
At the end of the summer, I found out I was finally pregnant (which came with a big dose of ‘I told you so’ courtesy of my darling husband). So, rather than go back to work, I took the time to start my own business. Then that became my new identity; Business Owner and Virtual Assistant. Until, of course, I had my baby. Then everything else was once again stripped away. Oh, I still have my business, but now I introduce myself as ‘Jenn… Vista’s mom’. And I like that title. I really do. In fact it’s one of my favorite identities so far.
But some days I’m still left wondering who I really am and whether I’m really only defined by what I do in life.