If you had known someday you would be googling answers for ‘how to deal with tantrums when your child is on bed rest with a fractured bone’ would you have planned babies in the first place? Honestly, sometimes I do envy my single girlfriends. No couple agitations to deal with and no mommy responsibilities. But when I see a few of them struggle to keep their sanity from one relationship to another, I find myself in a happy place. Though not always a satisfying experience yet content within my own small world in this big wide world.
Yes, mommyhood is a struggle, day in and day out. And I am yet to meet a woman who would describe pregnancy and motherhood as all happy and effortless experiences. Your shift as a mother, that’s anyways 24*7, needs you to double up your energy levels when you have a sick or an injured child to care for.
My younger one (9 years old) is a hyperactive child, especially when it's about playing outdoors it is a battle to get her back home from the playground. She has learnt to bargain on time for coming back home after playtime. So imagine my plight! In the past six months, my daughter has broken the record of our family kids not breaking their bones to breaking hers twice. She had a fractured wrist in March this year, and now she is on bed rest because of a fractured knee.
Getting bruised or hurt is part of growing up. I am ok with my kids doing stunts and managing to escape with minor injuries. That is still the easy bit and I am sure most of us mommies are trained to handle these situations - visiting the doctor, getting the plaster in place, giving medicines from time to time. But in between comes the scariest part that is not so easy to deal with - the emotional meltdowns ‘why me?’, the ‘mom, I am getting bored’ dialogue, and ‘only if I could walk I would do’ talk.
You already have a mind that's awake round the clock, working hard to stay calm and sane. And now you have an injured child who wants you to answer the one thousand and one questions you had been trying to escape all this time. So, while your little munchkin is, by now, nicely cuddled and nestled in her bed, let’s read on what you can plan through the days or weeks to come to keep her busy each day.
DIY Craft Activities - Involve your child to pick up some simple and easy DIY craft activities that she can do while sitting comfortably on the bed. The toy companies have sorted our lives by creating DIY kits. I have bought some 5-6 boxes of DIY crafts according to my daughter's liking and I give it to her every time her ‘mom I am getting bored’ record goes on. These activity boxes are great if you want to teach your child to play independently. So next time your sweetheart is aching with an injured bone or is bruised get them happily busy in creative pursuits.
Letter Writing - Teach your child the art of letter writing and make her write letters to family members, parents, grandparents, siblings. They can even write letters to their friends and/or teachers and later you can click a picture of their hand-written letter and share it with the concerned person. The reaction of the receiver of the letter will definitely want your child to write more letters. They might surprise you by writing letters to the entire list of family and friends in the days to come. So be ready with some nice paper and colourful pens.
Learning Math Tables - Children are always finding reasons not to learn math tables. ‘I will do it later, ‘my teacher said I still have a week to learn for the test’, ‘I can't remember tables so what’s the use of learning, these are a few statements my daughter gives me when I would ask her to learn the tables. But now, she can’t run away or hide from me at all. So, I am using this time to help her learn her math tables.
Game Time - I have no option these days but to allow her to play games on the phone so that I can also get some breather. Setting anywhere between 25 to 40 minutes each day I let her play games on my spare phone. She cribs a little less. And I get some ‘me time’ while she is kept busy. Allowing your child to play on the phone is a personal choice. But I feel, an injured/sick child also needs a little time away from books, extra activities and us, the parent. So it is okay to let them play games on the phone for a pre-decided time limit under your supervision.
Draw and Paint - Kids are curious by nature. They have a lot of energy to get through the day. But when your child is stuck in bed for a few days, it is a good idea to give them some colours and drawing sheets. This could be the start of finding another hidden talent in your child. At least mine started loving her art classes now. She is fond of making cards for me, her dad and bhaiya, occasion or no occasion. So I give her drawing sheets and watercolours and let her experiment. I have received a few cards painted by her over the past few weeks. It makes her happy and me, a proud mommy.
Read a Storybook - Now that you are exclusively available for her, read storybooks with your child. Our kids look up to spending quality one-on-one time with us. Seize the moment. Try reading your baby her favourite storybook whenever you can. Keep some storybooks handy on her bedside table.
Enrol Your Child In An Online Activity Class - My daughter is fond of singing. So, taking this time as an opportunity I have enrolled her in an online singing class. This way she is not only engaged but happily involved in learning a new skill. Find something that your child has been wanting to learn but couldn’t because of a hectic school schedule. Now is the time to get her started.
Afternoon Nap Is Important - When your child is enjoying herself she will argue about having no sleep time in the afternoon. But remember, your child is weak at the moment. She needs rest as much as she needs to be kept occupied. Your body is also tired. It is best to call nap times a mommy-baby sleep routine. A cuddle never fails to work. Turn the AC on, get her inside the quilt, distract her with some no-sense talk and just close your eyes and fall asleep. Kids usually fall for this trick. Use it to gain your energy levels back.
All said and done, it is still not going to be easy to see your child laying on the bed the whole day when you are used to seeing her running around the house shouting and playing. Her tantrums and nagging you to sit with her all the time will be exhausting. So, a word of caution here, do not let yourself walk on the road to a guilt trip. It won’t help. Stay brave, stay strong and above all, in between all the madness, stay calm.
Make more washroom trips when your mind needs a break. It is a safe haven for you to cry your heart out, to shout when you feel you are losing it, to relax, and your run-away place from the household chaos.
So dear mommy, tighten up your seat belt, we all signed up for this. Be happy, be mad, be sad, be calm, be tired, be inspired, but above all Just Be You!