Before kids, when you were ill or injured, you might have phoned in sick, took a day or two off work and got some good old bedrest. You would have rested up, relaxed, gone to the doctors, enjoyed some chocolate and TV and got plenty of sleep. You’d have put yourself and your health first and your body would have been grateful.
Then, you had kids and lost the ability to phone in sick. Yes, you can still take a day off work if you are a working mum, and if you are lucky, your kids might be at school or in childcare. But, maybe not, and even if they are, they’ll be home soon, and your work never stops for long, if at all.
As a mom, even when you are ill, or struggling with an injury, you’ll still be tackling the washing and cleaning. You’ll be cooking dinners, packing lunches, braving school runs. You’ll be playing, singing and dancing, crafting and answering endless questions. Even in the deepest depths of illness, you’ll never be able to go to the toilet in peace or take 5 minutes to yourself.
This is one of the worst parts of parenthood. When all you need is rest, and there is absolutely no chance of getting it. You’ll be tired, annoyed and in pain, but you will have to power through because your family needs you. Here are some tops tips for parenting with an injury.
Make it a Game
If you want your injury to heel, you need to rest it. Older children might understand this, but young kids aren’t very good at not jumping all over mommy. They do however love to play doctors. If you are at home with young children, try to explain your injury to them and then ask them to be your doctor. You could even spend time creating a pretend surgery, reading books and watching TV shows about trips to the doctor.
Older children will be a little safer, but they might be worried about you. Let them ask questions and be as honest with them as you can. Let them do their own reading and involve them in what is going on. If you’ve had to have an x-ray, let them see it if you can.
Ask for Help
You’ll probably find that there is plenty of help available and that you only need to ask. So, don’t be proud or feel as though you need to do everything on your own. You might need help from a law firm with years of expertise in personal injury law. Or, you might just need to ask your friend to pick the kids up from school or your partner to take over bedtimes.
Get an Early Night
Most of us get about two hours every evening, once the kids are settled in bed, to be adults. Time to have a glass of wine, speak to our partners without constant interruptions and watch whatever we want on TV. These few hours are precious to many of us, and the reward for a hard day of parenting, as well as a chance to stay in touch with who we are outside of mom and dad.
But, sometimes sleep is more important. Parenting while you are injured or ill is absolutely exhausting, and to recover you need to get as much rest as you can. You might not be able to rest during the day, so go to bed when the kids do if you need to. There’ll be plenty of time for a Netflix binge when you are feeling better.
Take Care of Yourself
It’s essential that you take the time to look after yourself. Make sure you are eating a healthy, energy-boosting diet and drinking plenty of water. Avoid alcohol while you are recovering, and try to get some exercise without overdoing it. See the doctor if you need to.
Let Your Standards Slide
Most moms have pretty high standards around the home. We try to keep things clean and tidy to protect our families and keep everyone healthy. But, if you are hurting, it’s ok to let your standards slide for a while. Nothing terrible will happen if you don’t mop your floor for a week.
Relax the Rules
You might also have quite strict rules for your children. Perhaps they’re not allowed their tablets or devices on school days, or they have screen time rules. They might only be allowed to watch a certain amount of TV. If it makes your life easier and speeds your recovery, let the rules slide. Again, nothing terrible will happen if they have a few days filled with TV and games consoles and you don’t do anything together.
CANDY TAI is a wife to David and mom of 5 with a degree in Communications. She's a native Texan (Hook 'Em Horns!) who's been making her home in the Kansas City metro area for nearly 15 years. She loves being able to shuffle her kids from their various sports activities, piano lessons, and school activities. She enjoys fashion, beauty, reality TV, and moviegoing.