Some of the Best Advice Our Pediatrician Gave Us Was for Me – Not My Kids

If I could go back in time and talk to myself on the day we got Zoey’s diagnosis… what would I have told myself?

Everything has just happened so fast!

She had her 18 month check up in May, her early intervention evaluation in June, and she was diagnosed in August. So much, so fast!

I’m not trained; I have no idea what I’m doing and many times I’ve said, “I’m just winging it!” I’m a wife and a mom. I try to have nightly dinners ready or almost ready as soon as my husband walks in the door. My house is always clean because my other daughter has allergies that have given her severe eczema and asthma. I try to balance it all… daily therapies with Zooey, quality time with both of my children, cleaning, cooking. So where do I fit in?

Good question.

My husband and I were approved for respite care, and we’ve been out twice without the kids — each time I felt guilty for leaving them. I know, I know, I’m working on that.

But that’s still not just me time. I admit, I don’t have it. I never scheduled that into all of this. I’ve been working so hard to make sure my husband and my children are OK and happy, that I lost myself along the way.

So, I’m going to tell you what the girls’ pediatrician told me just a few nights ago. (How appropriate to be told something like this on New Years Eve!)

We were talking about my one daughter’s eczema flare up and my other daughter’s eating and sleeping habits, and the doctor stopped me and said, “You need to take care of you, too, you know. You are doing everything for these girls and you won’t be able to keep doing everything if you don’t take care of yourself first.”

I explained that I just wanted to be doing everything I possibly could for my children and that I was scared that I’m not doing it right.

She then said “You are doing it right and you are doing everything you can for them… but you need to do something for you too.”

As always, we finished our conversation with her telling me, “We will get through this!”

And then she finished by giving me a much needed pep talk.

“Look how early you got Zoey diagnosed; most kids don’t get diagnosed that early. And we will get A’s eczema flare up under control, and we will just keep on working the therapies with Zoey.”

We said “Happy New Year” to each other, and we hung up.

After I got off the phone, I let out the biggest sigh of relief; I felt as if I was finally given permission to do something for myself.

So, what would I say to myself on the day we got Zoey’s diagnosis?

“It’s OK; everything is going to be OK — not perfect like your brain thinks everything needs to be — so tell yourself to calm down and take a break. Don’t push yourself so hard and too fast that you lose yourself and who you are. Yes, you are still a wife and a mother, but you’re still you, too; don’t leave yourself out. And by the way, you got this!”

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