It was like a horror show. I was home alone on an ordinary Sunday with two kiddos; bubbly, happy, and full of life. I thought I’d splurge and let them have a juice box, everything was picture perfect. And then… just like that, everything turned south.
I fell on the floor, with AGONIZING back pain. It was that type of pain that provides temporary paralysis, shock, and scares you to your core.
I had bent down to pick up the yellow crayon that was sitting in the middle of the living room. It was a task so simple and routine, you don’t even think twice about it, but two seconds after, I found myself temporarily paralyzed from severe back pain, lying on the floor, and I knew I needed to figure out a back-up plan for the day. I wished I’d already had a contingency plan in place.
Yes folks, this was the day that I learned the necessity of a contingency plan. My husband was on a plane 35,000 feet in the air, he obviously wasn’t going to be able to provide any help in the next few hours (or days for that matter). We didn’t have family options, as no one was in town, and I didn’t want to burden friends who have children, plans, and were enjoying their weekend.
Below are some steps I believe every parent should take now, to prevent what happened to me.
- Make a list of contacts – A few friends/neighbors/family, ideally close (as in less than a 10-minute drive close!) in proximity that you need to call on a whim. This isn’t a list of your best friends and family, it’s about who can help you when desperate times lay ahead. Tape it in a place that is easily accessible.
- Talk to the people on this list – When I told some friends what happened, they all graciously said “why didn’t you text me?” Well, I didn’t want to impose on friends, plus I wasn’t sure that was a viable option, I now know who I can call in the case of an emergency. And (part 2a here), offer yourself up. I know that to any of my neighbors and close friends, I would help them in 5-seconds if they needed something urgently.
- Take care of yourself – This happened during a time that I let everything in my life get away from me. I wasn’t practicing yoga, I wasn’t stretching, walking, anything. Now, I’m not implying that yoga cures all back pain (although I am a believer that it has many benefits), but I will say that when I stopped focusing on health, my health failed. Moms, seriously, make time for you! Stop making excuses and then wonder why you found yourself lying on the floor in the first place (thank goodness Paw Patrol doesn’t drive me crazy!)
- Teach your kids to dial 911 in cases of extreme emergency – Seriously, what if I had lost consciousness? What if I couldn’t move? It was a Sunday after all, they weren’t at daycare, and few people knew I was at home alone with the kiddos. It’s never too early to teach you kids about how to use the phone, and that it’s for more than entertainment.
- This one may sounds obvious, but make sure that you have emergency items on hand to help you immediately – I know that you most likely go to Target each week, so make a list, scan into Cartwheel for deals, and keep emergency items tucked away in a drawer. For example, I now make sure I keep things like ibuprofen, ice, and a heat pack on hand at all times. Having at least something for temporary relief is essential in desperate times to get you up off the floor and composed.
You can never be overly prepared for these types of situations. I’m just happy that after a few trips to the chiropractor, a few sips of wine, and a few days of relaxation, I was able to fully heal up. I now know the importance of taking care of yourself and that you should always be prepared when you are alone with the kids.