So, you’re thinking about a Mommy Makeover. Now, how do you explain all this to your kids?
How do you tell them that Mommy won’t be able to pick them up or cuddle them for a while? Depending on their ages, there may be other challenges to discuss; things like how to maintain a healthy body image for themselves (more on this in the next installment). This can all be a little tricky, because you want to be honest with your kids but not scare or worry them. We have found that what you say depends mostly on their age.
(Talking to children ages five to nine – Part One of my series for the month of May)
Many of my patients have kids in the five to nine-year-old range. For kids at that age, you can tell them the basic limited truth. Say something like “Mommy is having a special mommy operation and she won’t be feeling well for a couple of weeks.” That’s usually about all young kids want or need to know. One of my patients told her eight-year-old daughter, “Mommy is going to have tummy surgery.” When the girl asked why, she replied, “Because the doctor said so.” The response at that point was simply “OK.” A mother of all boys told them she was having “female surgery.” As they ran out of the room to resume their sword fighting with a resounding “GROSS!!!” she knew that was all she needed to tell them.
Sometimes, however, limited information may not be enough. One patient recently told her daughter about her breast augmentation. The daughter expressed happiness for her mother, but also concern. She wanted to know where they “put her other breasts?” Obviously, you’ll need to tailor the conversation to your child(ren) and your specific situation.
The concern about having the “Mommy Makeover conversation” with kids is one reason why some may decide to have the procedure sooner, and not wait until later in life. One of my patients, Jennifer, a mom to a five-year-old boy and a seven-year-old girl, told me tongue-in-cheek, “I want to get this done before my daughter starts asking questions.” Sometimes, it’s less stressful and just easier to avoid the conversation.
Moms are pretty intuitive as to what their kids need. Some will be more accepting of limited information and some will need more in depth explanations.
In the coming weeks, we’ll delve deeper into how to discuss your Mommy Makeover with older children, and the grade school boy population, how to ensure a positive body image is maintained when discussing a Mommy Makeover with all your children, but especially with teenage girls, and examine reactions of children to moms who have a Mommy Makeover surgery. If you are unaware, you might be surprised by your children’s atypical behavior that might just be a natural outlet of anxiety to your surgery.
Stay tuned as we further the discussion on Mommy Makeover and Children.