...and get a physical.
Today, I had my first physical in 5 years. It's hard to believe it has been that long. Given that I have had three children in that time period, it's not like I haven't been to the doctor, had lab tests done or the such, but it has been the first one I've had that has not been related to my pregnancy. I also went because I wanted to rule out anything besides sleep deprivation that could be making me tired.
I don't get out much without my kids. I wouldn't say it is for a lack of opportunity, rather I think it is because I'm trying to figure out what would make it time well spent. Definitely, any time spent alone with my husband is well spent, but I'm talking about the "me" time people talk of. A lot of people advocate some "me" time to moms for refreshment and renewal. I realize the place for that. Here are some things that I see people do or suggest:
- Shop: I don't really like shopping because I already have a ton of stuff that I am trying to figure out what to do with. I don't need more, and I don't want to put myself in a position to want more either. I also hate the disappointment and frustration of not finding what I'm looking for (another waste of time).
- Exercise: This is a good one but what happens when the weather isn't good? Some gyms have child care, but I can't bring myself to put my kids in there for fear they will get sick from another child. This is not paranoia here. I have a friend who used to work at one, and she and her kids were getting sick all the time (and they didn't before). People don't pay money to a gym not to use it, so if their kids have a goopy nose, they'll take them anyway. Also, I don't know who I'm leaving my kids with. Thanks, but no thanks.
- Eat out, which is self defeating because I still have to make food arrangements for the rest of the family, so I'd rather have my friends come over instead. I consider cooking a hobby, so this is probably a better way of having "me" time.
- Do a craft/hobby: I already have a bunch of unfinished projects here at home. I don't need to start a new one. I also don't know which one I should try to finish first. Besides, every time I get to one, I get carried away and end up starting a new (and ultimately unfinished) project, ha ha.
- Sleep: I have gotten to the point where this can be self defeating too. I finally get a great nap in, only to stay up ridiculously late.
- Blog: That takes up too much time, ha ha!
I'm sure I'll find something that will be a good fit, but in the meantime, I can't forget the other things that are needed, such as getting a health or dental checkup (I'm too embarrassed about how long that has been, but I have an appointment on Monday). The benefit is not only for myself, but also for my husband, children and friends. I think we often attribute small things, such as being tired to just being a mom. Often it could be that, but what if it were something else? If it is, I'd like to know so that I am not making things worse by getting stressed and overwhelmed. Incidentally, Tanya at the Motherwear Breastfeeding Blog wrote today about her weariness actually being caused by anemia.
Well, back to the doctor's visit. The reason I thought of writing this post is that I noticed there was one lifestyle habit that has changed since having kids: taking the stairs instead of the elevator. With kids, I only take the stairs if I have no other option. But today I had the option, so I gladly did it. But overall, I felt good about myself for not putting this physical off. It is easy for mothers (and fathers for that matter) to get caught up with meeting the demands of caring for their families, that they neglect their own care. So moms (and dads), do yourself a favor. Break away from your daily routine and get a physical. You need nurturing too.
So, when was the last time you had a physical?