Life Lesson #10: 10 Tips For Being On Crutches and Having a Toddler

posted in: Life Lessons | 0

I warned you this one was coming, maybe it’ll give you a laugh, maybe it’ll help someone out.

So when you have kids you hope nothing ever happens to them, then you hope nothing serious ever happens to you as you’ve got to take care of them.

But, no one is perfect and stuff happens…

If you follow the blog you know I had surgery in December.  As I write this I have 9 more days in a cast (YAY)!  I’ve been on crutches and on a scooter for 10.5 weeks.  As you can imagine, having a toddler along with that has been difficult to say the least.

Here’s my list of 10 survival tips if you ever find yourself on crutches- walking with your arms, while also living with a tiny human:

  1. Have an awesome husband.  He’s going to be the key to your survival.  I don’t know what I would have done through all of this without his help.  EVERYTHING from getting me fed, to Harper bathed, to laundry.  I could do none of that plus some.
  2. If your child is not mobile enough to get themselves in and out of the house/to the car- this is where not only your husband but the rest of your support group come into play.  Without this support you’re homebound with the kid(s).  Darrin often gets Harper to the car and when we get wherever we are going, someone there gets her out and into the house/establishment, then we have to make sure Darrin is home in order to get back in the house.  This could literally be anyone (or no one- sorry).  Special thanks to my parents, Darrin’s parents, my grandparents, my favorite Spanish teacher, and some of my cousins- without all of you I would have gone absolutely insane by now.  
  3. Learn the best ways to crawl and scoot around your house.  Sometimes it’s just easier to be on their level than to mess with crutches to cross the room.
  4. Your child(ren) doesn’t(don’t) know what’s going on, but they know something is out of the norm.  For instance Harper now knows mommy can’t go into the next room without her crutches and will sometimes try to hand them to me.  Figuring out little hacks has helped, being patient is hard for both of you, but it goes a long way.
  5. Make the game “follow mommy” sound like fun because remember, you can’t just pick them up and carry them where you want them to go.  Animal crackers also help.  Harper caught onto my game and would only get close enough to the crib that she was just out of reach and I couldn’t put her in it for nap time.  Smart mommy decided for many reasons it was time to give up the pacifier.  Now we have no problem going to her room for nap time because she knows that’s the only place she’s allowed to have it.
  6. Learn to like eating things that fit in your pockets.  I carried a peanut butter sandwich in the pocket of my gym shorts one day for lunch from the kitchen to the living room.
  7. Make sure you have plenty of tupperwear (who are we kidding, plastic containers that are cheaper than tupperwear but are just as great), and an around the house book bag.  Anything you can’t carry in your pocket, can go into a plastic container with a lid and put into a book bag.  All of your drinks will need to be in a cup with a lid or sealed until you’re ready to drink it.  The book bag can carry many things- it will become one of your best friends and resources.  Go ahead and make your purse a book bag too.  You’ll find it comes in handy out and about as well.
  8. Get a knee scooter and make sure it at least has a basket- spring for the cup holder too.  You’ll thank me for this.  Buying on Amazon was the easiest way to go in my opinion.  I don’t use the scooter in the house because it doesn’t take corners sharp enough and we have steps to get into the house.  It’s great at work, shopping, and almost anywhere besides someone’s house.  Otherwise you’ll be using crutches, which are really only good for short distances.  
  9. This one I tried one time, but wish I would have started it sooner so it would have eventually been the go to… Harper has a small plastic grocery cart.  I wish I would have taught her to push it to the kitchen and back to prepare meals.  I got her to do it once and we loaded up the tupperwear into that and pushed it back to the high chair.  She thought that was the coolest thing ever.  But, like I said, I underutilized this technique.  Get on board with that so they can help with snack and meal times, ultimately making it easier on everyone.
  10. Put a small chair in your bathroom.  We are currently using a small rolling office chair.  Not only does this help me get in and out of the shower- it’s great for bath time!  Sitting up in a chair and leaning over the tub is 100 times easier than kneeling.  The chair may be staying for a while!

This isn’t a parenting tip, but a tip for anyone on crutches.  I often hear students, patients, and  people who try to offer unsolicited advice to me as I move about right now talk about how awful and painful crutches are.  Yes they are inconvenient, but unless you’re using them shirtless- they really shouldn’t be painful.  Crutches should not hurt your back or shoulders, and again unless you’re shirtless shouldn’t hurt under your arms either.  Fitted properly, they really should only hurt the heel of your hands.  I’ve got calluses at this point so I don’t even have that any more.  Keep that in mind and all should go well in your time on them.

Leave a Reply