An open letter to all mums.

Dear Mums,

I’ve been seeing you with your little one pretty consistently since they were born, making sure they’re well and you’re coping. But I must say, we do seem to be spending a lot more time together at this time of year.

My appointment book each day is filled with names of mums and babies of different ages.  You’ve all got different jobs, have different family situations, and come from different cultures; but ultimately, you are all the same.

You desperately want what’s best for your child and you can’t stand to see them sick.

And each time your name pops up on my booking sheet, even if it only seems like yesterday (literally) – I want you to know – it’s ok.

It’s ok, that you just want to “be sure”.   It’s ok that you want to check “just in case”.  Plus lets face it, those damned daycare rules really don’t make life easy for us do they!

It’s ok that when I say most colds are gone in five to seven days, that you only hear the five and are back in a heartbeat.

It’s ok that now you’ve finally managed to get your little one out of the house and made it to the doctor’s surgery, that they are running around like nothing is wrong.  Even though this morning, they wouldn’t stop crying, coughing, or tantruming.

It’s ok, I believe you.

It’s ok that you just want to hear it from me. Doctor Google, facebook posts,  and anecdotes from mother’s groups can be frightening and confusing.

You aren’t a doctor. You’re a mum, and a damn good one.

It’s ok when you ask me questions like “but how do you know for sure?” Because I know you don’t want to take any risks with this beautiful little human who means the world to you.

Do I get frustrated? Sometimes.  Sometimes when you don’t ask, but never when you do.

Sometimes, when you bring the whole family in, but only book  one patient to see me.  That’s because I want to give you the time and advice each and every one of you need.  But at the same time, I’m grateful you still asked for help.

Sometimes, that you haven’t come in sooner, or trusted your gut; but never when you do. I hate hearing you’ve been festering at home, worried sick, when all you needed was fifteen minutes with me to alleviate your fears.

I will never judge: because not only am I a doctor, but I’m a Dad. And every now and again with my own children, I get a reminder of how scary or worrying it all can be.

The same questions you think you’re “bugging” me with, are the same questions I field at night from my fiancé. I hear the worry in her voice as she tries to convince me and herself, that our little boy is ok, but she just wants me to make sure. And I see this tough as nails, sleep-deprived woman I admire, cry when she can’t do anything more for our bubba with a cold in the dark of night.

So stop baulking – pick up the phone and come to see me. Don’t be embarrassed, or worried that I will judge.

I live it, I get it – it’s ok.

Kindest, Dr Sam

PS Get the flu shot or else.

(Originaly posted on Kidspot)