I am always impressed by the commitment shown by the mothers who come to see me wanting to resolve their kids health challenges. Just last week I had a mum (who was initially sceptical of what nutritional and herbal medicine had to offer) say to me that she would have done and paid whatever it took to help her daughter be well again. Very commendable and powerful stuff. Of course our children’s health is a priority.
What I also often see are mothers that are physically and emotionally exhausted. For these women there is an unwell child to help, often there are other siblings to look after, a career to juggle and a very busy family schedule to oversee and manage. The mental and physical load is huge. These mums feel overstretched on a daily basis. Some I can see are at breaking point.
When I talk to them about how they are coping they tell me they know they have let themselves go. They know they have stopped looking after themselves. That becoming a parent has shifted the focus away from their needs being met and instead the kids needs being met have become the priority. And what I see are women that put their own health on the back burner for years and end up having a number of health issues going on.
That’s when I want to say “How about we get your health right first? Then we can help your child.” Its not unlike hearing the safety instructions from the flight attendants on an aeroplane. In the case of an emergency you are instructed to put your own oxygen mask on first and then you can help others around you. Quite often mums are getting around with no oxygen mask on.
Getting anybody well takes energy and time. Setting mothers the task of going off to do the necessary tests to work out what is going on for their child may feel like one too many things to do. Implementing the dietary changes that are sometimes necessary for a child to get well just feels overwhelming when there is already so much to do. Getting medicines into kids daily when life is already busy may as well be me asking them to climb Everest base camp.
By making mum’s health a priority and working with mothers first we can address the fatigue that began with new motherhood and never left them. We can fix the annoying bloating, wind and odd toileting habits they have acquired over time and we can level out those hormonal roller coaster rides they take throughout the month that leave them feeling irritable, snappy and even weepy.
By making the same commitment to their own health that they do for their children these mothers can reset their health and reclaim their energy, mental clarity and transform their internal dialogue into a positive one. Then they can confidently tackle their child’s health challenges.