On the Side: February 2021
Taking Care of Yourself
by Sharon Chatwell
As I have said in the past, “As wives of doctors, we are the people, who take care of the people, who take care of everyone else.” Since 2020 has now mercifully drawn to a close, I think it’s okay for us to take a moment to look back and take stock of how we are doing and think about what we need to do going forward to help take care of ourselves.
There seem to be plans for everyone else right now. There are regulations and guidelines outlining every single thing that is to happen regarding pandemic relief and protocols, right down to who gets what vaccine and when. But, as far as I am aware, there are no guidelines or protocols that have gone out to check on how doctors’ wives and families are doing, or what they should plan on doing next.
Basically, we are in a category of forgotten persons.
Let me ask you this: “Do you consider yourself to be essential?” I hope your answer is “yes,” because you are. Let’s be honest. You and I both know that, if we really wanted to, we could make things so difficult at home it would be absolutely impossible for our spouses to go out and practice medicine. No question.
For that reason, as well as countless others, our behavior, our mental health, our spiritual health and, yes, even our physical health is important. Otherwise, our spouses, who are so essential to the health and well-being of others, might not be able to go out and do their jobs, especially in a worldwide pandemic.
So, who is paying attention to the spouses of doctors and to their families? That is an excellent question. Clearly the doctors are. I would imagine that at least 80 percent of the people reading this article have been told by their physician husband to stay home, wash your hands, don’t come to the office/hospital/clinic and wear your face mask when you do have to go out.
They have done other things as well to try and keep from bringing this disease home from their practices. We’ve all read about some of the more heroic things. You may have been the recipients of these acts of sacrifice, but it has also meant increased stress and levels of sacrifice on your part. God bless you for it. You have helped your husbands and you have helped the countless others they serve.
So, if that’s the past, what lies ahead in our future? Hopefully, things will begin to look up soon, whether it be through the availability of vaccines or new treatments. But, as always, no matter what happens, our husbands are going to need us. So, we need to be there. We need to keep ourselves strong and healthy; mentally, spiritually and physically. But how are we to do that?
This is where I think Side By Side is uniquely qualified to help doctors’ wives. SBS chapters across the nation and worldwide are able to encourage us in ways that other organizations may not be able to do. The people there understand what we are going through and they are able to offer us good advice and counsel.
Companions who encourage us in the Lord Jesus are necessary to our mental and spiritual well-being. Side By Side offers a large, diverse group of women with two very important things in common: the members are seeking God and are married to doctors.
Hebrews 10:23-25 says, “Let’s hold firmly to the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful; and let’s consider how to encourage one another in love and good deeds, not abandoning our own meeting together, as is the habit of some people, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near” (NASB).
We may not be able to meet together in person right now, but let’s make every effort to get together via technology or to be creative and set up events where we may attend with appropriate social distancing techniques.
Let’s encourage each other in love and good deeds.
As an example, I love the annual 30-day Side By Side Love Challenge that is taking place right now. If you haven’t heard about it, check out the SBS Facebook group for more information. You and your spouse will love it!
And, when we are thinking about good deeds, let’s remember that charity begins at home. Taking care of our husbands and our children during this difficult time may be the most important thing we can do to help hasten the end of this pandemic.
Go on and be strong, faithful warriors! I can call you that, because I know you are. Hang in there. Don’t let frustrations and aggravations cause you to stumble and fall. Get help. Ask your sisters-in-faith for assistance, or for a listening ear. Give each other encouragement and godly advice. Be patient with each other, with your husband, with your family members and most of all with yourself.
And remember to fall on God to supply all of your needs, whatever they may be. Because “…God is able to make all grace overflow to you, so that, always having all sufficiency in everything, you may have an abundance for every good deed” (2 Corinthians 9:8, NASB).
Sharon is a physician’s spouse, living in beautiful Lincoln, Nebraska. She asks for your prayers for herself and for others, who are dealing with the pandemic by encouraging their doctor hubbies at home. She offers you her prayers as well. God bless you.