A 2018 survey of 2,000 mothers with children between the age of five and 12 found that most moms will start their workday at 6:23 a.m. and clock-out at about 8:30 p.m. Further studies also found that mothers’ combined average time carrying out their parental duties adds up to an approximate 98-hour workweek. The implications of this being that most moms work an estimated 14-hour shift, which is way beyond the working hours of a regular job.
Add to this the daily running around required to maintain schedules and keep appointments with young children in tow. There are always pediatrician and dentist appointments to honor. The annual otolaryngologist and audiologist check-up, braces, and early hearing detection appointments…it rarely ends, especially for moms who have kids with special needs. Understanding just how hectic all this can be, we’ve compiled a list of four things every mom can do to stay ahead of her doctors’ appointments to life run much more smoothly, so keep reading.
1. Considering the Location
Where possible, try to book appointments with specialists on the same side of town as you are. This is important because it allows you to book a pediatric hearing screening, for instance, on the same day and not have as much travel time. The National Institutes of Health advises that language development in young children begins during your child’s first three years of life. Their hearing health greatly influences their language skills, and early intervention by having your child‚Äôs hearing evaluated can be the first step in managing your baby’s hearing.
‚ÄãThe American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) requires that all newborns undergo hearing screenings before being discharged from the hospital. Once your newborn passes their newborn hearing screening, your audiologist will consider your child’s medical family history and recommend a follow-up appointment. If your child does not pass this newborn hearing screening, further testing is usually recommended. Often, newborns do not pass hearing tests due to a build-up in ear wax, or hearing loss, to mention a few.
According to the Joint Committee on Infant Hearing Screening (JCIH), all children should have undergone a hearing screening when they are at least one month of age. If further testing establishes that your infant has a diagnosis of hearing loss, interventions such as hearing aids, for instance, may be recommended. Knowing this, if your child’s hearing will require regular trips to the audiologist, having an audiologist situated in your part of town is a great way to make sure your child’s appointments are close by and that you can also conveniently get to.
2. Befriending the Receptionists
Developing a rapport with the receptionist at your child’s dentist’s office is a great way to ensure that you get the best appointment slots. This may seem like a stretch, but befriending your receptionist is the best way to make sure that you’re top of mind when there’s a cancellation. Additionally, being kind to your dentist’s receptionist is a great way to make sure that you get the best appointment slots, early morning, for instance, depending on what works for you.
Invisalign is a discreet orthodontic treatment that uses removable align technology to straighten misaligned teeth. These clear aligners can help straighten your child’s teeth without the restrictions that come with traditional braces. Without the wires and brackets found in traditional braces, these clear aligners can help correct your child’s smile without the taunting attached to wearing braces.
Most dentists will recommend Invisalign treatment if your child participates in activities such as sports or band practice as these will not affect their daily routine. Invisalign aligners also free up time for you and your kids because they require fewer trips to the dentist. Unlike traditional braces that need to be frequently adjusted and changed, Invisalign aligners only require you to go in to make sure that the Invisalign treatment is working. Additionally, Invisalign aligners are easier to clean than traditional braces because your child can take them out while brushing their teeth and eating.
Being kind to your dentists’ receptionist doesn’t have to look like much; simply taking the time to be courteous to them by asking how they or their family is doing or even grabbing them some breakfast is a great place to start. It’s a great way to build an ongoing relationship and help both of you get comfortable.
3. Building Community
It takes a village to raise a child, and for this reason, every mom needs to have a sense of community and connection with other moms. Joining a community of moms, whether virtual or in-person, is a great way to learn parenting hacks, share experiences, and, most of all, feel seen and understood. If you’re looking for a community of moms, trulymama.com is a great place to start.
Truly Mama is an online community that centers on motherhood in its entirety. Regardless of where you are in your motherhood journey (expecting mom, first-time mom, or new mom), they have a host of articles and hacks that will help you feel seen and validated.
They feature personal stories, honest baby product reviews, financial advice, fashion tips, wellness advice, health and safety tips, meal hacks, to mention a few. If you or a loved one’s journey to and through motherhood did not go as expected, they also offer a ton of resources carefully curated to give you a safe place to land.
4. Appointment Confirmation
Once you have booked your appointment, ask the doctor’s office if they can send you an appointment confirmation via email or text. This is important because it helps you avoid the time and frustrations of being accidentally overbooked. By having your doctor’s office send you a digital appointment confirmation, you can save yourself some time by ensuring that you’re not stuck in a back and forth with your doctor’s office confirming appointments.
There are many tips and tricks that you can use to streamline your child’s next doctor’s appointment, but with any luck, these offer a place from which to start.