The Best Mother's Day Gift is the One You Give Yourself

The Best Mother's Day Gift is the One You Give Yourself

The best Mother's Day gift is the one you give yourself. It's not sexy. It's not expensive. It won't make your friends and loved ones envious. Nope, the best Mother's Day gift is your health.

Happy Mother's Day: Spread your Legs.

If the last time you went to the doctor was to take your kid to his/her pediatrician while you ignored your lingering cough, this post is for you.

If the last time a doctor saw your lady bits was when you pushed out your youngest baby, who is now 5, you were in my head and heart as I wrote this.

If the last time anyone examined your naked body from head to toe and checked between your butt checks was during your child's conception 10 years ago, I want you to stop reading this right now, call your doctor, take the next available appointment for a physical and finish reading this after you end the call.

It is easy to ignore our bodies, even when they creak, snap, crack, wheeze and rattle. When you have a house filled with kids (some of them you claim and the rest just showed up during the great migration home from school), life is loud and distracting. It is difficult to find time to listen to our bodies and to schedule the time to take care of ourselves, especially when nothing really seems wrong with us. However, sometimes it is the silent shift which can affect us the most.

It is during these annual check-ups - Oh yes, I wrote annual! This is the gift which keeps on giving - that our doctors take the extra care to assess us. A good doctor takes the time to talk with you and ask you questions about your entire self, not only the physical but the emotional and psychological, too.*

Now, I understand that your time is limited. I really do understand that some days your only personal goal is to take a shower. I get that some weeks (months) you don't even know which day of the week it is. I've been deep in those mommy trenches with you. I walked around for years with my arms smeared with jelly, toddler tears and infant slime, while I perched a baby on my hip and had a toddler velcro-ed to my leg. But, Mommy, you are important! Your offspring need you.

I'm begging you to grab that phone, make yourself a priority and make an appointment. Ask a trusted neighbor, friend, relative or sweet old lady at church to babysit. If you don't have anyone you trust to babysit, strap those kids in a stroller, pack a bag filled with normally forbidden snacks, toys and books and bring those kids with you. Sure, it's not ideal, but you need this.

Use the experience (no matter how embarrassing) to teach your kids about their bodies and the importance of staying healthy. Sure, they might accidentally see your breasts or your vagina, but your body is beautiful. You are a Mama Warrior and your body, each stretch mark, scar and saggy, jiggly part is a testament to your daily battle and victories.

This Mother's Day, give the gift of health to yourself and your loved ones. Make an appointment for a pap-smear/ breast exam with your gynecologist, a full blood work-up with your internist or primary care doctor, a mole check with a dermatologist, etc. Pick out your nicest pair of sexy underwear, take a shower and shave. Put on some lotion if it will make you feel better.

Mom, it is time for you to hop up on that table, put your feet in the stirrups and spread your legs ... for your kids, for your loved ones, but especially for you.

*Note: If your doctor rushes through a physical and doesn't take this time to ask you an array of personal questions starting at the tip of your head to your toes, about your sleep patterns and nutrition, then please find another doctor. It took me years to find my amazing superhero in a sterile white lab coat. Ask your neighbors, co-workers or the cashier at your local CVS for a referral and find a doctor who will pay attention to you.

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