The title is probably very, VERY self-explanatory. I broke my leg and then went through six weeks of parenting with a broken leg and three kids.
Is it possible to parent with a broken leg?
This is my report from deep in the trenches.
How I broke my leg:
Sooooo, I went on a girls’ downhill mountain biking weekend in Fernie.
My husband was worried about me coming home hungover and not useful.
He was definitely correct on the latter.
Which brings me to ask a question.
How did I break my leg:
a.) Downhill mountain biking on technical runs at Fernie Alpine Resort
b.) Technical trail running over a rooty trail on a mountain side
c.) Walking through a wildflower meadow
Correct. C. Because it makes THE MOST SENSE. I hope you are picking up on the British sarcasm here.
So anyways, I came back to one day of wallowing in self pity and pressing the clutch in my car in a heck of a lot of pain. It felt like a labour contraction every time I changed gears, no joke. So, the next day turned into doctors appointments, a visit to radiology, and then crutch sourcing.
… and then 4 days of my husband being back at his job.
I survived, and so the story turns into:
How to survive parenting with a broken leg and three kids.
Remember the good ol days when you got sick or injured and people actually gave a fuck? Remember when you could rest when you were injured? or sleep when you were sick?
But then…it dawns on you.
You’re a parent now.
The first mistake was deciding to be a hero and not take time off of work, because I was horribly busy with projects. I hobbled around my exceedingly large campus work place on crutches, only made easier by the 5 m closer I was able to park (thanks, disabled placard!)
I realized very quickly that a broken leg complicates a lot of things.
Inserting / removing a sleeping baby from a crib
Inserting / removing a tantruming toddler from a crib
Picking up an uncooperative child from his/her knees
Doing ANY activity with your kids
Maintaining sanity through exercise
Leaving the house (and said children)
Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation Defending bad leg with couch pillows and snatching back ice pack from curious toddler
Getting clothes on naked humans running around
Chasing breakaway toddlers
Putting children in car seats
Getting down stairs with a baby
Any form of housework WHO ARE WE KIDDING THIS IS AMAZING
Yes. It complicates a few things.
BUT IT IS NOT IMPOSSIBLE.
You can survive a broken leg and parenting with the right attitude.
If there are two things I recommend having in your arsenal, it is
1.) A dark sense of humour
2.) The knowledge that you can figure a way to cope with ANY situation. As a parent you are officially part of a group of people that is 100% amazing at coming up with solutions to anything on the fly.
To humour you, I’ll take you into my journal one week into a broken leg with three children.
Feels like: Day 223.
Husband gone on day shift. Inadvertently wake kids up with ca-clunking of crutches way before I am finished my coffee and generally functioning.
Get them dressed on our bed, mostly involving holding one down with elbow while other falls off the bed.
Don’t even bother with breakfast, hair brushing, teeth brushing. NOPE.
Slide down the stairs on my butt with baby in my right hand / smushed into right hip, because I can’t walk down the stairs yet. Have toddler (quite happily) throw crutches down (at) me. Only fleeting moment of cooperation from that one.
Manage to evade flying metal sticks of death.
Get out front door with one crutch (I have mastered this skill) – cat runs out – swat at cat with crutch to get him back in the house. Wonder if my neighbour is watching this gong show. Feel de ja vu. Is this a preview of my 70s?
Suddenly feel much older than 34.
Get uncooperative toddler into her car seat.
Baby crawls down front door steps and off down the driveway. Made it FAR in less than 10 seconds. Leave toddler unstrapped to chase Baby who thinks this is h-i-l-a-r-i-o-u-s. Chase him down the drive – he’s giggling and speeding up because he thinks it’s a game.
Catch babykins by his diaper, put 200 lb on my bad leg, drop bad words, and lift all 30 pounds of him up with one arm, hobble back to car with one crutch, struggle with car seat straps for a bit and angrily jam crutch between car seats. Remember other is six feet away on the driveway and hop over.
Meanwhile toddler perfectly enunciating “fuck!” repeatedly, because that’s what mum said!
Safely clip my children into their car seats, so that they won’t be hurt in an accident (not that they’ll know because the crutches will probably behead them. AAAAh. Why didn’t I think about that?!) – Lie crutches down in trunk, open ski bag, put crutches in ski bag. Don’t fit.
Shimmy crutches across front seat.
Curse aggressive sports clutch and bad leg as I clutch and start the car.
Then gleefully clap because I DID IT!
I DID IT!
Mom injuries. Like regular injuries. Except you can’t “be injured.”
This day repeated over and over, for approximately six weeks when my firefighter husband was on tour. I did not listen to my doctor’s advice on those day shifts because… my children don’t care about the doctor’s advice. But you know what? My leg healed, I was fine and all was right with the world two months later, when I was happily on a plane to mexico, mojiitos and a fabulous little holiday with my eldest.
Remember, the key to surviving parenting with a broken leg and three children (or any for that matter) is humour, humour, humour and the knowledge that time will past quickly.
Google helps too.
“how to carry a baby with crutches”
“i have a broken leg and a baby”
“do children care if you have a broken leg”
“i have a broken leg and toddlers”
“i am upset at my husband”
“can i mix alcohol with tylenol 3”
and whatever else you need, ha ha ha.
Hang in there!