When Being a Parent Can’t Pause for Injury

If you get sick, it’s on you to take care of yourself until you get better while simultaneously keeping the family afloat.

Being a good parent is a 24/7 job. Regardless of whether you’re a stay at home parent, have a full-time job outside the house, or somewhere in between, it’s up to you to help your kids heal when they get hurt or sick. But what happens when the roles are reversed?

If you get sick, it’s on you to take care of yourself until you get better while simultaneously keeping the family afloat. Say you break a leg or suffer a shoulder injury. The responsibilities of parenthood and being there for your children don’t change despite your circumstances. Unfortunately, you can’t call in sick to your family. Here are a few helpful tips to keep you on track to recovery without pushing yourself too far at home.

Get an expert opinion

This one seems obvious, but it’s important. If you’re hurt or sick, check with a doctor to make sure it’s not something serious. A simple cold could actually be a highly contagious sinus infection, or what feels like a pinched nerve could be a serious back injury. According to New Orleans personal injury lawyers, it’s critical to be able to focus on your emotional and physical healing after an injury. Educating yourself on exactly what’s wrong will allow you to move forward in the right direction, without any added stress or uncertainty.

Seek advice from peers with a similar injury

If you’ve done something like sprain your ankle or tear a muscle that requires surgery, you could face significant recovery time. Ask friends who have suffered similar injuries about what they did to heal, how long it took to recover, and ask them for any tips. They may have figured out how to make modifications to household chores while recovering, and could teach you how to save time or effort. But don’t necessarily copy their recovery plan. Friends may have good practical advice, but you should come up with your own specific recovery plan with your doctor.

Outsource help

When you’re hurt or sick, you need to rest in order to feel better. Keeping up with your full-time parenting responsibilities can lengthen your recovery time. Of course, you know how to run your household best, but when you’re ailing, it’s a good idea to call in the troops. If Grandma and Grandpa live nearby, ask them to entertain the kids so you can get some rest. Ring in other parent friends to help with school pick up and drop off. The people around you are there for support and will be happy to help when you need it. You don’t need to handle every detail all by yourself, especially when you’re not feeling well.

Conserve your energy 

Laundry, household projects, and the new recipe you wanted to try can wait. Let go of your expectations for being the perfect parent and be comfortable with only doing what you need in order to get by. Order dinner over the phone and let the kids entertain themselves, if that means a few extra episodes of Peppa Pig or building a fort somewhere in the house. Hold off on chores and organized games until you feel better.

Commit to physical therapy 

If you’re dealing with an injury, it’s critical that you follow the physical therapy regimen your doctor sets out for you. Depending on the injury, many doctors will recommend starting a yoga practice or at-home exercises to help you recover faster. It can seem tedious to commit to doing such basic exercises every day, but avoiding physical therapy will limit the scope of your recovery. If you don’t strengthen the muscles around your injury properly, you could end up getting hurt again.

Make it a lesson in empathy

Part of being a parent is staying strong for your kids. But when you’re sick or hurt, it’s ok to show them a little vulnerability. You’re human, and humans aren’t always performing at their best. Use your downtime to teach your kids about empathy, and show them that even grown-ups get sick. You may be surprised by how much initiative they take around the house or how they step into a caretaker role when they see their parents hurting.

It’s more than likely that at some point in your parenting journey, you’ll end up bedridden with an illness or injury. Taking the time you need to rest and recover is critical, so don’t be afraid to call in some outside help and let things go with the flow for a while. Even if you let things slide for a couple of days, you’ll still be a great parent.

This content is sponsored by Ashlyn Lipori-Russie.

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