Before the procedure, it was essential for me to have a heart-to-heart conversation with my children and my husband regarding what they should expect to do while I recover. It helps to make lists and go through the motions with them before.
Here are some tips to make this easier and more organized for any mother who is or will be going through this.
1. Set up child and pet care.
While you get your procedure and the days and weeks to follow, ensure you have trusted family and friends to lessen the burden of school drop-offs, pick-ups, and activities. Don’t forget about your pet either. They still need to be walked and fed. Consider a doggy daycare or service.
2. Get help with shopping, cooking, and cleaning.
Fortunately, my family, especially my mom, helped me shop and cook. I even had friends offer to send over meals. This was such a welcome help. If you can, consider a cleaning crew to help around the house a couple of times. The more organized you are, the easier it is to stick to a loose plan.
3. Prepare for your absence.
One difficult thing for my children was limiting their activities during the time that I knew I wouldn’t be able to participate. I looked at my schedule for the month or so following surgery and made it as simple as possible. Some things needed to wait. Understand that your children will eventually move on from this, and it will be a drop in the bucket as time goes on.
4. Surrender to control.
You will have to loosen your grip on how you run your household. Because you will be unable to do everything you used to do, things will get done differently, and you must accept that. The kitchen won’t be as spotless as you keep it. The laundry won’t be as organized as you’re used to. If the important tasks get done and everyone is happy and healthy, let the minor things go.
5. Listen to your doctor.
As much as you want to jump back into normal life, it’s so important to follow the instructions from your doctor and rest your body. I keep telling myself that I’ve come so far and to ruin my progress in any way would take me back to square one.
Remember that this, too, shall pass. You can pick up from where you left off in no time. One positive thing that came out of this for me was showing my children and my husband how capable they are without me. They learned new things and even felt pride in their accomplishments.