The kitchen is a pretty dangerous place. According to an article on foodbeast.com, "Your Kitchen is Trying to Kill You," over a million people visit the emergency room for cutting themselves at home every year. Kitchen fires burned down over 150,000 homes last year. 100,000 people a year go to the hospital because they burned themselves in the kitchen. Well, I've got a new one for you.
Last Friday night started off like every other game night with the normal dinner conversation to discuss what we wanted to do together as a family. We decided to play the X-box game, Dance Central, for some family dance-off fun and to follow-up with the card game War because everyone, including my six year-old, can play it. It started off innocently enough. My children were amazed at how well I could dance with the guidance of an animated character and dance-scheme pictures advising me of the next moves. We were having a blast and we decided to move the card game upstairs to the dining room.
Disaster struck when I went into the kitchen to grab pita chips and guacamole and promptly dropped my 30-plus pound KitchenAid mixer onto my toes. Ouch! Scream! At that point, I just wanted my mother to tell me that it would be okay the same way that I comfort the children after each injury. No such luck and after a visit to the doctor, I learned that I had crushed the bones at the tips of two of my toes and that healing will take a minimum of six weeks if I'm good.
So, I immediately came up of with a list of how to help the family manage when mom is down with an injury.
1. Be Honest -- Tell your children and husband exactly how you are feeling so that they can help you appropriately. Moms have a tendency to make light of their own physical trauma to minimize the burden on the family. While this approach is altruistic, it doesn't allow you to get the support that you need to recover.
2. Get Organized -- Draft out a list of what you will need to operate your home headquarters. Consider lists for carpool, laundry, groceries, extra-curricular activities, play-dates, school events, home cleaning and so on. Then enroll a person who can help you get these things done. In my case, while I am off my feet, my husband and I rearranged the carpool schedule, will outsource our laundry and have a cleaning service coming to help. I've also made arrangements to conference call my scheduled meetings this week instead of missing them altogether.
3. Tell people what you need -- I have friends calling and emailing me wanting to know how they can help. Don't be shy when people want to help you. Let your friends bring you dinner, pick up the kiddos or come over for a girlfriend visit. Don't refuse help out of pride.
4. Rest -- While it might be tempting to push yourself to get some things done around the house, resist the urge and realize that if you rest properly, you will heal quickly. If you want to make the biggest positive impact on your family during a difficult time, follow the doctor's instructions and rest up for a speedy recovery.
5. Surround yourself with things that make you happy -- Instead of focusing on what you are missing, shift your focus and consider what you now have time to do that you did not have time to do before -- like reading a book.
As for me, I'm going to spend some time learning how to use my Samsung Galaxy tablet I've gotten for Christmas. It's not all bad.