Moms do it all. They are book readers, knee scrape menders, head bump kissers, school lunch makers, friends, disciplinarians, and so much more. The job often goes without thanks, especially when the kids are too young to voice their appreciation. Once in a while they need to do something for themselves; something that will help them feel like the beautiful women that they are. Cosmetic surgery is one way for a woman to gain back some self-esteem and love of her appearance.
Mommy makeovers have become a popular procedure for women who are uncomfortable with the changes that the body goes through during pregnancy. Tummy tucks and/or breast surgery can help to regain the pre-baby contours. However, not all women seek body contouring. Several refresh their appearance with facial plastic surgery. They may have a nose that they have hated all their life and have recently gained the confidence to have re-shaped. Women who have had children later in life may be seeing signs of aging that do not match the vibrancy they feel, so they get eyelid surgery or a forehead lift to rejuvenate the face. Other popular facial surgeries for moms might include cheek augmentation or cheek lifts, chin augmentation, face lift and more.
No matter what kind of surgery, there are some special challenges that can arise when dealing with kids while trying to recover. The following are some tips to take into consideration before the big day.
Getting Through the First Day
A melt down can happen at a moment’s notice with young children. Often they seem to come out of nowhere! When you arrive home the last thing you need when you walk in the door after surgery is to diffuse a screaming child. Arrange for the person caring for your children while you are undergoing surgery to make sure your little tyke has been fed and napped. This will keep the risk of a tantrum to a minimum.
You will likely be feeling a little tired and in need of extra rest that first day or two. This is something that rambunctious 2- and 3-year-olds don’t seem to understand. Prior to surgery, arrange for activities that will keep the kids occupied during this time. A surprise movie day or a brand new toy might do the trick. The person staying with you during the first 24 hours should be able to help, or ask another trusted friend or relative to lend a hand with entertaining the kids.
Remember that you will need extra help during the first week or so, depending on the type of plastic surgery you have undergone and the length of the recovery period. While it can be difficult for many super-moms to let go and allow others to help them out, now is not the time to push yourself too hard. Allow your body the time it needs to rest and heal. If you don’t, it could lead to complications that could impair your ability to be the caretaker for your family for an even longer period of time. In the grand scheme of things, a few days are nothing. Take this time for you.
There will likely be some minor tenderness or discomfort at the surgical site. If you are sensitive to the pain, keep up with your medication during the first couple of days. Maximizing your comfort will help you to better manage the chaos going on around you.
Seeing you with bandages and bruises, especially after facial plastic surgery where they can be particularly prominent, your children may feel worried about you or frightened of your appearance. This is a normal reaction but can make being around them and caring for them difficult.
If your children are old enough to understand, explain to them ahead of time that you will come out of the doctors not looking like yourself but that it is only temporary. For the youngest ones, this can be hard to understand. Stay positive to show them that you are not hurt. If possible, a special sleepover at Grandma’s house may be a good idea for a couple nights.
For patients with school-aged children or those that attend day care, try to schedule your cosmetic surgery at the beginning of the week to allow yourself the full week with minimal demand on your mothering responsibilities. By the weekend, when the kids are home all day, you should be feeling much better.
Dr. George T. Moynihan is a double-board certified facial plastic surgeon in Chicago. He is the Medical director and founding member of Gold Coast Plastic Surgery. Specialties of the fellowship-trained physician include cosmetic surgery for the face, eyes, nose, neck, and scalp. As a result, he regularly performs face lift, browlift, otoplasty, rhinoplasty, skin resurfacing, and more. A consultation can be scheduled by calling 312-988-9300. More information is also available at www.goldcoastplasticsurgery.com.