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Lauren59

Going to need some help - advice/ideas needed!

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Lauren59

My husband has just found out that he has to have shoulder surgery in 4 weeks. This means he can't do anything (only shower, eat & toilet he's been told) for 3 WEEKS after surgery!! NO driving for 6-8 weeks, very limited use until 12 weeks post surgery...

 

We have 5 kiddos aged 1-11 and I'm 24 weeks with number 6. We have soccer training x4 per week, dance classes x3, swimming lessons x2 and 3 soccer games on Saturdays.

 

My husband usually does all the dinner cooking (I'm the baker ;) ) but since his injury 3 weeks ago and since all the extra soccer started this term I've had to pick up a bit of the cooking but I'm not very confident cooking dinners, the kids generally don't like slow cooker/casserole type stuff (though they ALL like Thai curries!) so I'm already struggling a bit in the dinner department not sure how I'm going to manage when he's completely useless?! Hoping to get a few lasagnes, curries and I don't know what else in the freezer before the surgery but not sure what else to do?

 

Any advice for managing especially during evenings would be greatly appreciated! Sorry for the long post...just feeling a bit anxious already about trying to do it all by myself. Can get limited help from family (my mum works full time and lives 30 mins away & mil had shoulder surgery a few months ago too) and hate asking for help.

Edited by Lauren59

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rosieann

Sounds like you will have your hands full. How about a meal plan with some meals the older kids can assemble themselves like pulled pork (slow cooker) in rlls with salad, tacos etc. Maybe your 11 could make a smpple pasta dish with some training beforehand?

Are there aother parents you can ask to help out with soccer training?

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itsallnew

This might be a time you just have to ask for help! Carpooling for the soccer / dance / swimming might work? Lower standards for a bit. Roast chicken from the supermarket (my local woollies now also has hot roast lamb and beef) with salad or microwave veggies. Agree that meal planning is a good idea. Soup? BBQ and salad with corn on the cob. Mexican chilli for tacos or burritos or baked potatoes.

Have a chat to the older ones - they will probably surprise you with how much they can help.

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archyandmehitabel

Is there a chicken shop near you - like a Lenard's or similar? Buying and freezing heat 'n eat things like chicken sausage rolls, or chicken kebabs makes and easy meal that can be cooked in the oven and served with some veg or salad is a quick meal. same with fish fillets. Or if they'll eat frittata or quiche these can be bought and frozen too from Woolies or Aldi.

 

Not as cheap as making this stuff at home, but having some simple meals interspersed with others can take the load off.

 

I usually make spag bol sauce in quantity and freeze it in single batches (my boys are in their 20s and with work/social etc never eat at the same time as us).

 

A cheaper chicken one is to cut chicken into tender sizes, marinate it, crumb with bread crumbs or cornflake crumbs and freeze that too.

 

Thai curries will freeze well.

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Feral-as-Meggs

If it's a compensable injury (workers comp, motor accident) the insurance company should provide paid assistance while he recovers.

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MarchyMama

Meal. Prep. There's HEAPS of youtube channels about it.

 

Make up lasagna, chicken casseroles, pasta bakes, chili, whatever your family loves. Make double + triple batches put into containers and freeze.

 

Carpooling too if and where you can.

 

Also it will be ONE arm that he cannot use. Not both. Even if it's his dominant hand, he can read recipes and as long as you do the 'hard' parts, he can direct in the kitchen.

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BECZ

If they like green curry, my kids like be the green curry I make using KanTong Thai green curry paste and it's so quick and simple.

 

One jar does 8 good sized serves and you just add two cans of coconut milk, fish sauce and sugar. I usually bulk it out with veg like onion, cauliflower, broccoli, carrot, diced potatoes(my youngest's favourite part) and a few spinach leaves. Lots of these veg would be easy for your older kids to peel and chop, but it doesn't take me long or you could even add frozen veg too. I overcook it so that the veg are quite soggy for my younger ones and if you're happy to have soggy veg, it tastes great the next day too. I've never tried to freeze it as my kids always gobble up the leftovers the next day.

 

ETA... yeah, I forgot the chicken it probably takes me the longest to chop, but you could do vego too!

Edited by BECZ

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Mrs Weasley

Not a large family (theres only 5 of us) but on the nights we both work I try to have a stash of pre prepared meals ready To heat and eat. At the moment in the freezer I have:

 

tuna pasta bake

Lasagna

Vegetable soup (bulked out with pasta)

Chicken soup (again bulked out with pasta)

Chicken casserole

Sausage casserole

Beef casserole (although I'm with your kids and casserole is gross)

Spaghetti

Fried rice with chicken

Pre prepared Prepared chicken schnitzels

Pre prepared Mexican chicken

Chicken stir fry

 

I either make double / triple batches when I'm making dinner or spend a full day once every couple of months and do a huge cook up

Edited by Mrs Weasley

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harmonic_wizz_fizz

Pasta is your friend with big families.

I dont have a huge family but I agree, fresh pasta, add some chopped veggies and a stir-through sauce or pesto. Yum

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Soontobegran

You've got lots of good practical advice but just want to say if he has one good arm you'll be surprised what he can do to help with meal prep and general no stressful household stuff.

Shoulder surgery does not stop you helping somewhat...no way will he be only allowed to eat, shower and toilet for 3 months.

He should be up and as active as he can be without using his arm. Pain will be a factor for a couple of weeks so I'd not expect a lot from him initially when he is home but by week 3 he should have the sling and non movement of his arm all sorted.

I know this as I have had more surgeries on my shoulder and arm than I've had hot meals and my arm was immobilised for over a year. I taught myself to hang washing out and could definitely help out in the kitchen.

 

As pp has said....if this is a TAC /W/C or other insurance claim they do make allowances for home help and provide aids to help.

Good luck and hope it all goes well.

 

 

ETA....The driving was an issue for us. We also had 5 kids so I understand it seems daunting.

Edited by Soontobegran
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born.a.girl

How tight is your budget?

 

Not comparable, but we had ten weeks of the year which were work from daybreak to bedtime, with rarely any time to even stop and eat properly.

 

Prior to that, we'd so a supermarket shop of everything that came in cans or was long life, like pasta, toilet rolls, toothpaste etc.

 

Combining that with pre-prepared meals, meant that shopping was a one bag at a time in-and-out affair. Mind that was with one kid, not five. :)

 

Nevertheless, it still dramatically reduces the 'lugging' aspect for a few months.

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Grrrumbles

Look into what child care assistance you may be eligible for. You may be eligible for in home care or special child care benefit. Especially for the day of surgery and immediate recovery period.

 

On the cooking side, could you use a Thermocooker. I have a Bellini, which is a cheaper version of a Thermomix. Great for soups, risottos, curries etc.

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luke's mummu

With the cooking, it is possible for people to cook 1 handed , especially with extra equipment like a vege stabiliser and special knives. An occupational therapist (OT) would be the best one to advise on this area - could you ask the surgeon for a recommendation for an OT?

 

I work in a rehab hospital, and we send lots of people home to cook with 1 hand. Mainly elderly, so probably not cooking for a large family. But they all manage.

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Lauren59

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Liahonna

Sometimes things just go belly up for a bit, call in help people are happy too generally. We were luck as we have good family help, but during the last pregnancy and the height of hypermesis, DH was taking over almost everything then he got Meningitis...... everything went to crap lol Kids diets went out the window and we were in survival mode for at least a month. It is a blur but you can do it :) simple meals from the supermarket and frozen ones are doable short term.

 

If you have the money I know they are junk but we bought up and gos for breakfast as all the kids could drink them and no dishes lol

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Feral Grey Mare

It wouldn't be the end of the world if the kids miss a training session or two either.

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jewel2

Coles sell pack of 3 large pizza bases (in the bakery section) for $6

 

So we see whats already in the fridge & cupboard and buy a few cheap toppings if needed. The kids like to make them. They really enjoy this as they can choose whats on them. Its always a fun night for the family, as mum and dad get a break from cooking. As all we need to do is put them in the oven.

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Babetty

See if you can hire a chest freezer for a short period?

 

And have a list ready for when people say "i wish I could do something to help"! They could:

Prepare a meal

Take child to activity

Pop over and help you churn through washing

Etc

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paddington_

Meal prep.

Don't be afraid to ask friends /family for help.

Kids may need to forfeit 'some' activities.

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itsallnew

Where do you love OP? I'd be happy to help with a dinner if you're in Brisbane.

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mumto4boys

Grab yourself some of those big aluminium trays. They might not be the most environmentally friendly thing, but it will cut down on the clean up time for large dishes.

 

We make pasta bakes, lasagnas and roasts in them.

 

On the topic of roasts, they are the easiest thing to make, they just need cooking time. Toss the meat into the larges aluminium pan, pop it into the over on low heat. 2 hours later, throw in the veggies. 2 hours later, pop on some peas and gravy and you're done. It's a simple clean up with no real roasting pan to wash. I also like to have the meat in for about 4 hours on a really low heat so that it's tender, makes the house smell great and warms up the kitchen/family room. The main thing is, it's a set and forget dish, rarely needs checking on and no stirring.

 

If you want something similar but faster, Woolies have the boneless roasts in vacuum packed bags with different marinades. Cooking time is much faster.

 

Roast always seems impressive but I love to throw one in the oven on a Sunday, have a nap and then, wow, dinner looks like you've put in effort.

 

I'm not a lasagna fan but the kids like them. We get a big one from Woolies, their own ones from the butcher's section. They go a long way with a few oven fries and salad for a really easy meal. It's really more reheating rather than cooking.

 

If the 11 year old doesn't already know how, teach them how to throw on a load of washing. Even if they can just get simple loads like towels, undies and jammies done, that will help.

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Lauren59

Where do you love OP? I'd be happy to help with a dinner if you're in Brisbane.

 

Thank you, that's so kind of you though we're in NSW x

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Lauren59

Grab yourself some of those big aluminium trays. They might not be the most environmentally friendly thing, but it will cut down on the clean up time for large dishes.

 

We make pasta bakes, lasagnas and roasts in them.

 

On the topic of roasts, they are the easiest thing to make, they just need cooking time. Toss the meat into the larges aluminium pan, pop it into the over on low heat. 2 hours later, throw in the veggies. 2 hours later, pop on some peas and gravy and you're done. It's a simple clean up with no real roasting pan to wash. I also like to have the meat in for about 4 hours on a really low heat so that it's tender, makes the house smell great and warms up the kitchen/family room. The main thing is, it's a set and forget dish, rarely needs checking on and no stirring.

 

 

Great, thanks for the ideas! Will definitely be using the foil trays, at least that reduces washing up for a bit. Didn't think of doing roasts etc either, popping them in the oven and putting on veg will be easy and something all the kids will eat too (unless its lamb!!).

 

I think we'll manage just fine with a few shortcuts, missing the odd training and somethings being left a bit longer etc I just get a bit overwhelmed at times!

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gemgirl

you can do things like lasanga, bolognaise sauce, curried sausages, pasta bake, risotto in slow cookers - not just stews/ curries/ roasts.

 

Also home made pizza night (buy bases) or whatever.

 

Tacos are great.

 

Quiche - easy to make- even the pastry or you can use puff pastry, or buy

 

Sausages and salad

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BECZ

Not the healthiest, but my other go to quick meal is chicken Kiev with veg or you could do it with salad too. We usually do veg as the kids eat more of that.

 

We usually buy the Steggles ones when they're on special. Coles or Woolies usually have them on at half price (just under $4 for a twin pack) every month or so. I just stick them in the oven while I cook some veg. I'm not sure of the ages or all your kids, but my 5 yr old rarely finishes his, even if he doesn't eat any veg, so you could probably get away with 3 x twin packs.

 

They're something all my kids will eat. The garlic is there, but not overly strong so I'm not sure if it would be suitable for your DD. My kids have eaten it from quite a young age.

 

Just another thing I like to have freezer for nights when I'm running late or feeling extra lazy (probably more the latter).

Edited by BECZ

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