After putting off your doctor’s recommendation for surgery for weeks (or even months), you realize it’s the best course of action to safeguard your health. The surgery will put you out of commission for a few weeks, so you select a date and schedule time off from work. The next task on your to-do list is ensuring your children’s needs are covered during surgery and recovery. Unfortunately, it’s not as simple as it sounds, especially when you have small kids at home.
Who will make sure they have clean clothes, eat, go to school, participate in extracurricular activities, complete their homework, and get to bed on time? While you’ll be present in the home, getting around after surgery will be challenging. Not to mention, any time and energy you have will be used to prioritize your needs as you heal. Fortunately, there are things you can do to make this time easier for everyone.
Ask Family And Friends
There’s no denying you’ll need help caring for your kids as you recover from surgery. Therefore, you should reach out to people you know and trust to assist. Make a list of the tasks you’ll need help with and assign duties to friends and relatives. Your spouse can handle transportation to and from school and bedtime routines. Your mom might volunteer to help with meal prep and household chores. As for after-school activities and homework, you can ask a best friend or school parent to help out.
Hire Outside Help
If your friends and family can’t help (or you live far away), you can always hire outside help. Although it’s an added expense, having the additional hands on deck ensures your kids are okay and gives you the time to recover. You can hire a cleaning service to keep up with household chores, a maid to prepare meals, and a babysitter or tutor to help with after-school activities and homework.
Review Recovery Guidelines
Before your surgery, the surgeon should provide you with information on what to expect before, during, and after the procedure. Read the guidelines carefully so you can plan for your recovery. You want to know things like how long it generally takes to heal, common effects on your physical and emotional well-being, and potential side effects. Ask the surgeon about prescriptions you’ll need and any additional treatment such as physical therapy.
Pain Management Strategies
One of the most common effects after surgery is chronic pain. While most doctors prescribe some form of painkiller, taking them too long can lead to dependency and addiction. Therefore, you want to research others to help manage the pain you may experience. Some people have found success with massage therapy, light exercise, or hot and cold therapy. If you’re having surgery on your shoulder, knee, or hip, you might consider using a Polar Care Wave machine which encompasses cold therapy and compressions to enhance recovery.
Prepare A Comfy Space For Yourself
Now it’s time to prioritize your needs during recovery. You’ll want to have a comfortable space as this is where you’ll be spending the majority of your time. Opt for a room that’s near a restroom for easy access. Get a warm comforter, sheets, and pillows for adequate sleep and relaxation. Place a side table near you to place medications, food trays, books, and mobile devices. If your kitchen is on a different floor, you may want to get a minifridge or cooler to keep cold drinks and snacks.
Recovering from surgery while caring for small children is challenging. Your mobility is limited, energy is depleted, and you cannot carry out your everyday responsibilities. Rather than continuing to put your surgery off or stress over the care of your kids, develop a plan before your scheduled procedure. By including these suggestions in your plan, you’ll find that it’s a lot easier to get through the healing process to get back to being the “super mom” your kids know and love.