It’s a pretty automatic thing for a dad to look after the health of his child. As a father, something primal and hard to explain happened when I held my baby for the first time. I wanted to protect her, and I can’t imagine the urge stopping anytime soon.
Quite different though is the management of my own health. Parenting often feels like one big sacrifice of the body and mind in order to help your child. No sleep, no exercise, more stress, and cramming in whatever food is lying around in between work. It’s easy to forget about yourself.
However, for the longer term health of your child, you have to look after yourself as much as possible. I once heard a (slightly corporate) metaphor describing fathers as the “CEO of their own health”. This is a bit cheesy and annoying, but it is also true. Nobody else will look after your health for you (unlike your child) – and longer term, if your health suffers so does your child. We have to make the time and manage it.
So we take tests, we go for checkups, we exercise and try to eat properly. Perhaps most impactful and difficult – we sacrifice the joys of long night TV sessions in the name of better sleep!
I have had a vaccine and a big set of health check ups in the last week. I’m feeling like the boss of my own health (for now).
Happy, healthy Tuesday, chimps.