Friday, March 18, 2011

Frantic Friday #14 - The Sickies

We have had yet another week of sickness in the house.  You would think I was used to it by now...but I'm not.  You would think I had a plan for it...but I don't.

I am not a fan of sick people in my house.  Don't get me wrong, I love them all dearly, but after a while I am ready for a change.  If you saw my house you would laugh.  It is piled with laundry, stacked with dishes and drowning in toys.

When someone in the family is sick it feels like everything changes priority.  While that seems natural, some things just can't fall by the wayside for too long. My suggestion is to pick a few important tasks and leave the rest for when health returns.  If I had to pick my important tasks, I would select:
  1. Keep the kitchen picked up.  I get so depressed when the kitchen is buried under a ton of dishes.  For some reason the dishes multiply faster when there are sick people around.  There is the practical reason to keep the kitchen clean, namely to eliminate the extra germs, but really, for me, it is the one place in the house that seems normal.
  2. Do minimal laundry.  I am in the "wait until you are almost naked" camp when it comes to laundry when we have sickies in the house.  Taking care of someone who is sick can be draining.  Then again, looking at piles of undone laundry can be draining. So if you decide to hold off, hide the laundry.  Yep hide it.  No use looking at an undone task.
  3. Go grocery shopping only when starving. I say this because surveys show the two places people have no qualms about going when ill are the doctor's office and grocery store/pharmacy.  That means there are even more germs there, and if you are already sick, the likelihood you will pick up something else is high. (Okay, here I am being honest again, please stay home so I don't have to collect more germs the next time I have to go to the store...) Really, shopping for food when ill is the pits.  If you have a healthy person to send, that's great!
  4. Enjoy the PJ's.  When we have sick people at home it is more likely that everyone will spend a day or two in their PJ's.  While doing this on a regular basis is not likely a good idea, a few days of down time can do everyone some good.  If you have younger kids, PJ's can also remind them we are having a quieter day. (I'm all for quiet days!)
  5. Keep track of deadlines.  I know this one sounds like a bummer, but when sick, it is easy to forget things you do all the time.  If you have a meeting, remember to reschedule it.  If you have a commitment, find someone else to fill it. If you have bills that are due, remember to pay them. You will be a lot happier once you are healthy if you don't drop your deadlines while sick.
  6. Know your limits.  This last tip is important.  If you have a sick family member, know when to call the doctor, know when to find outside activities for the kids, and know when to get out of the house yourself.  Getting a little alone time can be vital to being a good caretaker. Just know when it is time to cry uncle.
So here is my new "sickie in the house" plan. Do you have any additions?  I would love to hear them!


  1. Have a buddy system.

    I befriended a neighbor who has as many high velocity children as I do. We take turns babysitting and carpooling. Yes, it is hectic, loud and sometimes a bit crazy, but there is a huge payoff. We BOTH need additional help from time to time. When one of us is down for the count we simply make a phone call and say “Tag. You’re it.” We know that our children will get from point A to point B. We know that we have someone we trust to watch the kids when it comes time to go to the doctor’s office. We know that the kids will be fed and safe. We both volunteer, actually it’s more like commandeer, these seemingly simple tasks when one of us is ill. And we don’t keep track of who does what more. We both know that it evens out in the end. We have different strengths. My friend makes delicious meals, I open cans of spagettio’s . But I have more tolerance for making a bunch of kids actually finish their homework.

    Having this seemingly simple responsibility removed from the sick one is tremendously relieving.

    In fact, I wouldn’t trade it for anything!

  2. A,

    What a great addition to the list! Somehow I forgot my buddy when I was writing this. You are right, knowing you can pick up the phone and get back up is so important! I am very glad you have this friend, because not everyone does. Thanks for adding your buddy to our list.