No one likes to be in the hospital or visit the doctor's office, but I'd argue that no one hates it more than moms. When you're a parent, you're used to being in control and having all the answers; You fix all the problems. After all, moms are supposed to have magical powers that make "owies" go away, and moms are supposed to have all the information about anything, from the number of rings around Saturn (random) to the list of flu symptoms (necessary).
But, as we all logically know (even if we practically ignore it), parents don't have all the answers — and nothing makes that more obvious than when you're sick, in pain, or in need of medical attention. Then, all of a sudden, individuals with actual medical authority rush into the room, using their training and multisyllabic words to tell you what you need to hear, and give you what you need to get better. It's humbling, it's necessary, but it's the worst. Not only are you not feeling well and/or are in pain, you're also, in that moment, acutely aware that you're not the demi-god you spend the rest of your mom life pretending to be. It's like, hey, guess what you have the flu, so it turns out, you're not endowed with super powers that make you impervious to pain or doubt (which, to be fair, is a delusion every parent must buy into if they're going to make it out alive, or at least make it through being sick while parenting).
Parents can be amazing friends and wonderful coworkers and honestly, being a parent can make you better at any number of things, but being a patient isn't one of them. So, with that in mind, here are 9 reasons why parents make the worst patients (hey, we can't be good at everything, OK?!)
Because We Have Google
Oh, the Internet: creating would-be doctors with the simple click of the mouse. I can't tell you how many times I have looked up symptoms, diagnosed myself, and then let my doctor know that I'm there for their prescription, not because I don't already know what is wrong with me. I know, doc. I know all the things.
Of course, I rarely ever actually know, and the doctor is always kind enough to not rub my haphazard misdiagnosis in my face (most of the time, anyway).
Because We're Used Caring For Other People
It's hard to allow someone to take care of you when you're so used to taking care of other people. Even if you welcome a break (because, who doesn't) that feeling of relief quickly fades when you think of all the things you need to do or want to do, but can't. Is it nice to have someone take care of you? Sure, but for a little bit. Like, a half a second. Then it just feels slightly uncomfortable and a little backwards.
Because We're Used To Having All The Answers
Even if we don't know everything (because, you know, we actually don't), we're still used to being looked to for the answers, instead of looking at someone else to provide us with the correct information. When you're a parent, you're the one who has the answers (or at least, has a way to find the answer) so it's humbling to admit that, no, you don't know everything and, yes, you need the help of a professional who is more capable and knowledgable than you are.
We Don't Like It When We're Questioned
People lie to doctors. I know, because I've watched plenty of episodes of Grey's Anatomy, and Shonda Rhimes says so. Whether it's out of fear or embarrassment or some compulsion that's difficult to control, patients lie and doctors are tasked with sifting through a slew of untruths, in order to find the truth. That means sometimes having to ask the same question multiple times, or ask a question that would seem obvious, but is really necessary. Parents are used to being questioned by tiny toddlers and defiant children, but not by adults. That can feel like too much.
We Want A Quick Fix, Because We Can't Afford To Be Sick
When you're a parent, you don't have time to get sick because there is no time off for being sick. You can't tell your baby that you'll be "out of the office" for a few days and you can't explain to your toddler that your head feels like it's cracking every tie they scream, so could they just...not. You have too much to do, and too many people who rely on you; You have no time to get sick, so you're most interested in what will make you feel better faster, instead of what is best for you in the long run.
So We Don't Always Follow A Doctor's Orders
And because we're interested in fast results, we don't always follow the doctor's orders. We have busy schedules and multiple responsibilities, so taking all those prescriptions or "taking it easy" or "resting" just don't seem feasible. We'll cut corners in an attempt to get better quicker, but it usually just ensures that we'll continue to feel miserable for far too long.
We Wait Too Long To Even See A Doctor
And, of course, we put off going to the doctor as long as possible, so by the time we're seen, we're at our worst. Many of our symptoms could have been avoided if we had received medical care earlier, but we've been conditioned not to care about ourselves or our needs first (if we're going to be "good" parents).
We Don't Like Losing Control
When you become a parent, you're put in a certain position of control. You're in charge of another human being, and you're the one calling the shots on things like what they wear (for a little while, anyway), when and what they eat (again, for a little while) and so on. Parents are used to being in control, so relinquishing that control to someone else, even if it's in our best interest, is...difficult.
We Don't Take Care Of Ourselves Well Enough
And this is, easily, the #1 reason why parents are the worst patients: We don't take care of ourselves well enough. We don't stop and put ourselves first, partially because we've bought into the idea that martyrdom and motherhood are synonymous. Our culture tells us that if we're killing ourselves for our children, we're good parents — but that's just not true. Our kids benefit the most from healthy, happy parents, which means parents need to put themselves first sometimes. Take care of you, practice self-love, and you'll not only be a better patient, you'll be a better parent.