My daughter has been in and out of hospital in the last few weeks, so I thought it might be helpful to share some tips from my experiences to any parents who might have to go through this.
1. You will learn extreme bladder control. At the hospital we were in there is only 1 toilet/shower combination available for the parents. Now when you consider that the room we were in had 6 beds (so that’s 6 parents staying over), plus all the other 6 bed rooms, the odds of being able to go to the toilet when you need to are pretty slim. If your child is 20 months old like mine, obviously you cannot leave them alone, so either she had to come with me, or when she was hooked up to all the monitors I just had to cross my legs and grimace.
2. Hospitals like to have the wards really warm. This makes you drink more…
3. Does your child turn their nose up at the delicious food you’ve carefully prepared for them? Perhaps you should try serving them tasteless muck like hospitals provide instead, because whilst in hospital your child will devour it and show every sign of enjoyment whilst doing so.
4. Food is only provided for your child so make sure you bring lots of snacks with you, and a secret stash that you can eat when your child is sleeping, because your child will eat it all. But that’s okay because when your child is sick you don’t really feel like eating anyway. Plus there’s the added bonus of losing a few kilos if you’re on the slightly chunky side like me!
5. Alarms will always go off in the night on any monitoring equipment attached to your child just when you fall asleep.
6. There are lots of exciting buttons just begging to be pushed by little fingers. The emergency button situated below the toilet roll holder when mummy is sitting on the loo is always a fun one!
7. When starting a conversation with other parents, the Mums will chat to each other about general things, and only talk about what’s wrong with other people’s children if the parent volunteers the information themselves. The first thing a Dad will ask is what is wrong with your child.
8. Under no circumstances should you take your 3 year old with you to deal with on your own as well as your sick child. If a good friend or family member offers to look after them take them up on it. Otherwise find a well meaning stranger and palm him off on them ;0)
9. If you end up having an unexpected trip to hospital, make sure you write a very detailed list of the things you need your other half to bring in for you. Writing knickers and bra is not enough as you will end up with the little lacy numbers (two sizes too small) that you had stuffed right at the back of the drawer from your pre-children days. The same goes for clothing. It’s not much fun having your child puke all over you, only to find that the jeans your man packed for you are too small. Displaying your muffin top, a bit of camel toe and having your boobies spilling over the top of your too small push-up bra is going to get you labelled as ‘a certain type of mum’. It could be worse ‘though. I did hear of one poor mum who found her husband had packed her sequinned cocktail dress because he thought it might make her feel good while she was in hospital!!!
10. Take your own tea or coffee with you because I’m pretty sure the stuff they provide started life as floor sweepings.
Kids are amazing creatures and I have been awestruck by how brave my little girl has been. She’s won many hearts at the hospital with her smile that lights up the world and her instant forgiveness for all the tests and procedures done to her. I am so blessed.
I love getting your feedback so please feel free to comment below, and if you have any more tips to add I’d love to hear them.