Planning ahead for your plastic surgery procedure is always a good idea. You may already be gathering important items like magazines, protein bars and ice packs for yourself, but don’t forget to get your family ready too! Here are some ideas to help your surgery and your recovery go smoothly:
Your Spouse – Most likely it is going to be your spouse, or significant other, taking care of you after surgery. You will need someone to wait for you during surgery, drive you home post-op, and take you to your follow-up appointments. Most spouses are up for this minor challenge, but they don’t fully understand the extent of the help you will need during your recovery. We know that men often are on the receiving end of plastic surgery (and will need help too!), but for the context of this blog post, we are focusing on women and how they can make sure their homes run smoothly while they are recovering.
- Meal Prep: If you have kids, this may be the hardest accomplishment for your husband. The possibility for disaster depends on your husband’s ability in the kitchen. If he can’t boil water, you may want to make some easy dinners ahead of time and freeze them. If he can make simple meals, stock the shelves with simple dishes like spaghetti, grilled cheese, etc. For the best-case scenario, which is your husband is a master chef but doesn’t like going to the grocery store, try meal prep sites such as Blue Apron or Hello Fresh.
- Daily Schedules: Busy families can often come undone with one minor snag in their super-scheduled day. Don’t let this be the case with your surgery. Hang a large dry erase calendar on your refrigerator and plan ahead as much as possible. Try color-coding your kids so that your husband can easily see which child needs to go to soccer and which child needs to go to dance class. You may want to add a time for teeth brushing and baths too!
- Daily Chores: You may run your household like a well-oiled machine, but during your recovery, things will most likely be a little chaotic. You have to relax, let things slide and be thankful for the little things. Before your surgery, you may want to give your husband a crash course in sorting laundry, show him for the 100th time where you keep the cleaning supplies and order an abundance of disposable dishes.
Your Older Kids – If you have older kids, the same suggestions that apply to your spouse should apply to your kids. If your child is able to cook, clean or drive, they should be able to help out Dad during these weeks of recovery. If you have been waiting for the perfect time to give cooking lessons to your teenager, a few weeks before your surgery is the perfect time! Explain your surgery and your recovery, ask them to take on a few added responsibilities and ensure them that you will be back to yourself in a few short weeks!
Your Younger Kids- If you have a baby, toddler or small child, it is time to invest in some childcare. You may want to enroll your child in a daycare, hire a daily babysitter or enlist the help of friends and family, but one thing is for certain, you are not going to want to spend the day changing dirty diapers while you are recovering!
- Make Sure Your Baby/Toddler Stays in a Routine: A cranky baby or toddler is the last thing you want during your recovery. So, just like for big brother or sister, write out a daily schedule for the caregiver that includes nap times, playtimes, when to eat, when to bath, basically everything your child is used to on a daily basis. Create a space just for your baby that includes favorite things like blankets, toys, pacifiers, music, etc. This will help whoever is caring for your baby to find things easily.
- Create Mommy Time: Babies and toddlers have a strong attachment to their mothers, so it is important to make sure that you spend some time holding and interacting with your child. Make sure you are not lifting, carrying, or tugging, but instead you are in bed or in a chair relaxing while spending quality time with your baby.
Your extended family – This includes your mom, mother-in-law, dad, father-in-law, brothers, sisters, cousins, etc… Anyone who is willing to help out will be much appreciated, not only by you but by your husband as well. Mom’s make great nurses and dad’s love to take care of the lawn. Use their abilities and remember you are their little girl and they want to take care of you!
Do not be ashamed to ask for help! Let people take care of you during this time. You will recover faster and feel much better if you rest and allow others to do the hard stuff. You can always return the favor when you are back to your normal self.