how to deal with your toddler after getting major surgery?

Monica - posted on 04/10/2011 ( 2 moms have responded )




Hi, I'm 23 years old. and I have had chronic back problems since I was 16 and had a bad horseback riding accident. I had my son Oct. 31st 2008 which makes him 2yrs and 5mo. old. Sept. '09 ago I needed to get my lower spine fused at 3 levels. Mason was just starting to walk after that surgery and things were extremely difficult because he was not in childcare and I did not have a whole lot of help. Luckily for the most part he was really almost understanding of the situation and he took it easy on me. But recently I've felt pretty disabled and I feel like I'm missing out on so much, as far as getting down to his level and playing, or getting out and going places. After years of problems, I'm finally getting all the rods, screws and other hardware taken out of my back at the end of the month and I'm way more nervous about keeping up with my little terror.

Has anyone else had issues like this? I mean I won't be able to lift him or his bigger toys, and over all things will be very limited. Luckily he's in childcare now from 9am-430pm so that will take some weight off my shoulders. But He seems to get really sad and mad when I try to explain that I'm really not feeling good enough to run around or pick him up. I work fulltime so I hardly get time with him in thr first place because I work tues-sat 9-530 so when I pick him up he's tired and hungry and Im leaving as he's waking up in the morning.
Luckily I'll be taking about a month off of work for this procedure.

I guess I'm just looking for a little insight as far as how I can explain all this to my son in a way that he'll understand? He's incredibly intelligent, and knows that I have a big "owie" because he gets all worried when he sees the scar on my back. but would anyone recommend I get a nanny? or to rely on family? My parents still both work full time, and his dads family all live far away. I guess I just feel pretty alone in this whole journey and this upcoming surgery is just another setback for myself but I don't want it to affect Mason negatively. Thanks for any advice.


[deleted account]

If you have family that is willing to help, then let them! My MIL has been in town the last three weeks to help me take care of my almost three year old after giving birth to my second. She leaves Tuesday, but it's been great having her so that I can take a little time to rest and adjust to a new baby.

If you don't have family or can't afford a nanny, find activities that you can do while sitting. How about bubbles? You can sit and blow bubbles as he chases them. The Internet is full of great websites that have activities for young children (my favorite is Before the surgery, prepare a bunch of activities that you can do while sitting and will help him burn off energy. And don't feel guilty if you need to have a movie day with him every now and then.

As far as explaining the surgery to him, just be honest. Kids are so much smarter than we give them credit for.


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[deleted account]

Sara has a lot of great advice! :) Bubbles are always fun and easy on Mommy, as well as sidewalk chalk, playdough, coloring books and stuff like that.

Some day I am going to have to have major back surgery (to correct my scoliosis), but I am trying really hard to wait until my youngest (now 2) is in Kindergarten so I can have it a bit easier, but the pain is progressively worse and I don't know if I cna mike it another 3 years. If I have to get the surgery then you can be sure I'll be sending you a PM on here to see how you coped with it! :)

Good luck and try not to stress about it too much :)

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