Parenting can be a real pain

I’m sitting here writing this to you with a heating pad on my neck.

Yes, my neck hurts. Yes, I blame the snow.

Actually, it wasn’t technically the snow but a combination of overexerted muscles due to shoveling that darn snow and lifting my daughter’s ridiculously heavy and awkward carrier car seat. Can anyone relate? Ugh! My arms were so sore after shoveling last week’s snow that I used other muscles (I’m not sure how my neck got involved but it really hurts) to put my daughter’s car seat into the car. It is really physically exhausting to be a parent to young children. Not only are you exhausted from taking care of them, but there are many ways you can further injure yourself.

back painThe most common parent injuries are back, neck & spine injuries, eyes (yes, your baby might try to poke your eye out), feet and wrists.

The best way to deal with injuries is prevention. First, know the best method of lifting. Never lift with straight legs. Always bend at the knee and use your legs. This saves your back when lifting heavy objects or just stooping down constantly to pick up toys.

Next, clean up toys often. The last thing you need is to trip over a toy that’s been left out. Or step on something plastic: Barbie shoe, Lego, Iron Man rocket – OUCH. Teach your children at a young age to be helpful.

Also, be aware of hazardous places such as the stairs and sharp corners on tables and other furniture. I cannot tell you how many bruises I get just from running into things.

Make sure to get enough sleep and be in tune with what’s going on around you. Put your cell phone down and pay attention.

Finally, as I like to say “calm it down.” I believe I picked up this phrase from my friend, wekosh-quote-keep-calm-relax-and-take-it-easySamantha, and it generally means to just slow down and breath. I did not “calm it down” when putting my daughter in the car, hence, my neck problem. Don’t rush all around trying to get stuff done quickly. That part of your life is over for you now that you have young children. I’m sorry but someone had to say it. It will get better but not for awhile so just slow down.

If you’ve already hurt yourself then relax and give your muscles some time to heal. I did not do this after I hurt my neck and now it just hurts more. Don’t be like me.

I read this article  that stated you should use heat for cramps and cold for overextertion. I’m not going to put cold on my neck right now. I’m cold enough as it is, but I’ll probably give in if my neck continues to hurt. I made a heat pack using rice and an old receiving blanket. I just cut the blanket into two rectangular pieces, sewed three sides together, filled it with rice and then sewed the last edges together. It’s pretty ugly, but I warm it up in the microwave a few minutes and then put it on my sore muscles. It’s awesome and cheap.

You can also stretch or soak in a hot tub with Epsom salt.

Using an over the counter pain reliever is obvious, but many people are beginning to use essential oils instead. Simply mix the oils together then massage into sore, tired muscles. That’s just one example, to say the least!

Whether your muscles hurt from shoveling snow, dealing with littles ones, lugging heavy grocery bags out of your trunk or working out, be confident that you can help speed their recovery with these tips. Don’t forget that working out and being in good shape is truly the best way to avoid injury. As Helen Hayes  said,  “If you rest, you rust!”

About Meghan Zeile

Mom-in-the-know and local writer for Rochester Media. Always looking for tips with kids, family life, and fun local adventures. Contact at

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