Guest Author - Lisa Polovin Pinkus
When mom is down and out, the family takes a hit. There is something about momís presence and ability to function that really has an impact on the stability of the family unit.
When mom is sick or recovering from surgery, it is also difficult for her. It is difficult to let go of routines that keep the family running smoothly. It is challenging to to relinquish control and let someone else make decisions.
For many moms, the recovery time after surgery brings more anxiety than the surgery itself. Other family members pitch in as much as they can, but the responsibilities still pile up. It is important - and helpful - to make some considerations prior to the surgery so that you are prepared to allow others to step up allowing you to take ample time for your recovery.
Hire someone to clean. Depending on your financial abilities - hire someone to clean before and after the surgery. If you donít have the extra finances to get the house cleaned, ask a group of friends to pitch in and help you out. I canít imagine friends who would not be eager to help you out. Walking in to a clean house after surgery will bring you peace of mind as you begin to heal.
Set up your recovery space. Will you be in bed for a few days after surgery? Anticipate your needs and wants and make sure they are in the room prior to leaving for the surgery. Get books from the library, magazines you normally donít read, and movie rentals to help you while away the time. Buy a new journal, some peaceful music, and a new pillowcase to make you comfortable and at ease.
Prepare food ahead of time. You might have friends willing and wanting to step up and bring you meals. Sometimes, with familyís special dietary needs - accepting food can be more stressful for a recovering mom. Pre-prepare soups, lasagnas, quiches, and other foods that your family can enjoy easily while you are recovering.
Stock up. I donít know about you, but I donít want to have to worry about running out for toothpaste, a carton of milk, or another roll of toilet paper. Iím sure a friend would be happy to run a quick errand, but projecting your familyís needs will help you limit the amount of calls youíll need to make.
Provide activities for your children. This is a great time to get your children engaged in that 2000 piece puzzle youíve had in the closet. Finding in-home activities and family-friendly movies that your children can participate in independently will be helpful in the moments your children come to you asking what they can do. Arrange for play dates and grandparent visits too.
Rest. You have to - this is a sign from your body that your body needs a rest. Donít hesitate to put yourSelf first. This is not the time to be a Mommy Martyr. Youíll be eager to get back into your routine, but make sure youíve allowed yourself proper time to heal. Drink a lot of water - both before and after your surgery.
Look ahead at the calendar. Are there any appointments you need to change? Are there any carpool arrangements you need to make? Any commitments you need to cancel?
Practice. Begin telling your children the things you wonít be able to do right after your surgery. Practice how the family will handle it. Teach your child how to put the soap in the dishwasher. Ask him to carry the laundry basket to the laundry room for you. Let your children take on the chore of emptying the garbage.
Keep information handy. If you are the primary caretaker, it might be helpful to gather pertinent information and have it handy. This might include - pediatrician information, directions to places your children need to go, or the daily schedule.
Children might be frightened by the thought of momís surgery. It is important to keep their routines as normal as possible and minimize disruptions. Moms are great at thinking ahead and preparing for surgery is no exception. Plan for before - during - and after. It will keep your mind occupied and give you something to do.