Take Care of You

My random thoughts of the other day made me realize there was a whole category of things I like but miss terribly. And I don’t just mean going to a concert whenever I want, or all-day viewing sessions of NCIS.

Because of the utter lack of work/life balance (it’s myth, people), I struggle first and foremost with the ability to take care of myself.

As I mentioned, I don’t get exercise anymore — make no mistakes, my life at home could hardly be called sedentary, but I’m not doing the type of workouts that lead to abs of steel, either. And I talked about finally getting contact lenses. Do you know how long it took me to actually schedule that appointment for myself? I was too worried about  missing (more) work, and not for a sick kid, but for ME. For something for my own health and well-being.

As it was, I didn’t have to miss work; the eye place I chose has evening hours. I just had do the logistical heavy lifting of getting my kids looked after. (Thank goodness my ILs are back from Florida.)

The list of health care appointments for myself that I need to schedule include, at this time, the dentist, a routine physical exam (although I do not miss my annual girlie appointments; I am faithful about those), and the chiropractor. Oh, how I miss the chiro. I need to see one. I have two, one near my office and one near my home. I haven’t seen the former because I don’t have time to take for lunch anymore — I would have to burn a personal hour just to see her, and I am damn close to doing it, too — and I haven’t seen the latter because I don’t want to bring my children with me, and I don’t want to overload my ILs, AND I don’t want to pay a babysitter (as well as a co-pay).

If — when, I should say — my children need to see the doctor or the dentist, I take the time, I burn the personal or vacation hour(s). I don’t even hesitate. I agonize a little, I will admit that. I was close to taking a personal hour next week to see my chiro, but then yesterday, I had to get Michael to the doctor. He’s got another ear infection — that’s three in five months, people. I’ll have to take more time for his ear recheck/six month appointment/vaccinations. Kate goes back to the dentist in a couple of weeks, too, to follow up on her chipped tooth.

Two things I want to make clear here:

One: While my husband can and sometimes does help out with these things, it’s tricky. He doesn’t have vacation time or sick hours; as a psychologist who runs his own office, he only gets paid for the hours he works. Plus, sometimes, he just doesn’t know the answers to the questions they ask at the doctor or dentist. He doesn’t know how long Michael has been pulling at his ear; he doesn’t know how high his temperature got at daycare. He doesn’t know if Michael cleared his last ear infection, or what medications he has been on. He would have to call me anyway, so even if I were at my desk, I’d be otherwise occupied.

Two: I am not complaining. I know it *sounds* like I’m complaining, but I signed up for this gig, and I wouldn’t trade it in. I wish that I had another option — unpaid time, for example, or part-time work. It would make it easier to do what I need to do — for myself — if I didn’t have to worry about needing paid time later (for my kids or, as it so happens this year, to travel to North Carolina for my sister’s wedding). This “paid time” thing hangs over my head. Because what happens when it runs out, and I still have to go to the doctor for one of my kids?