If you are a parent, you know your job never stops. It's a 24 hour a day, seven days a week commitment and your kids don't care if you’re sick, tired, or injured. They still want you to get the juice, cook them dinner, and help them with their homework.
If you’ve been seriously injured, the thought of taking care of kids while you are recovering may seem daunting. But, we are here to help you sort out the how-tos. Here are some tips on parenting when you are recovering from an injury.
Stick to Your Routine
Kids feel more secure when there is a routine in place. And, if you have one established, it's wise to make sure you try to adhere to it. The reason is that your kids will feel more secure. The less you change, the more likely your kids will feel a sense of normalcy.
Yes, you are recovering from an injury, but too much change will make your kids feel like something is seriously wrong. This could end up being damaging. So, you need to do your best to keep things as healthy as possible.
Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help
If you need to reach out for some help to keep things as close to normal as possible, don't hesitate. Family is always a good source of support. And, odds are you've gotten calls from your loved ones telling you if you need anything.
And, don’t overlook your friends either. They are the people you can trust to keep things going. Ask them to stop at the store on their way home and pick up a prescription or a few groceries. Reach out to a neighbor to get the kids on and off the bus.
If you are the type of person who refuses to let your loved ones know you are struggling, find a third party service. Many companies will come into your home and give you a hand. Hire someone to clean your house and do the laundry.
The more you get the little things handled, the less full your plate will feel. It will make it easier to focus on the kids.
Speak Honestly About Your Limitations
Don't leave your kids in the dark. It will scare them. Tell them what is wrong with you. Let them know, and they can speak freely about their feelings as well.
Ask them if they are scared. And, then reassure them that you are OK.
Moms get injured all the time. They are tough, they recover, and life goes back to normal. Reassure your kids of this, and they will be fine.
Realize Your Child Wants to Help
Kids love to help—especially when it comes to their parents. They will be the first ones in line to try and help you get to the fridge, or to get you a blanket. Since they are eager, you might as well come up with a few things they can do that will genuinely help you in your recovery.
For example, gathering up the laundry and getting it to the laundry room can take a lot of stress off of you. Or, you could put them in charge of setting the table for dinner or emptying the dishwasher. Gather up trash from the cans in the house is always something they can easily do.
What you ask of your kids will all depend on their age. But, it’s smart to remember that they want to help because they love you, so you need to let them. After all, it’s good practice for when they become adults themselves.
Limit Your Complaining
Your injury is hard on you. No one is questioning that. But, if you are genuinely concerned about how it's affecting your child, then you need to remember not to complain. When you verbalize the pain you are in, your kids worry. That is counterproductive.
If you allow your kids to know that you are struggling mentally because of your injury, it will invite worry into their life. It's already challenging enough for them to see you in physical pain, there is no need to share your mental frustrations with them as well.
If you do need someone to counsel you through your healing, reach out to a friend to share your frustrations with. Or, you can find a support group online or a counselor to help you. But, don’t complain to your kids. It won’t bring about any good.
If you were injured at work, hurt in an accident, or were just plain clumsy, you still have to take care of your kids. Parenting is a full-time job—it doesn’t stop for the tired, the busy, or the injured.
But, if you follow the tips we provided, it can be a lot easier. Just try to stick to your routine, get help when you need it, and keep the complaining to a minimum in front of the kids. This way, when you do heal, you won't have a giant mess to clean up because your kids took control of the house.