So I recently wrote the blog post "How to help a family with a child in the hospital" and got pretty good feedback. But in writing that I knew that this one was going to have to come next.
Obviously this blog is written mostly from the perspective of a planned hospital stay but some of it can go both ways. Some of it will seem like it contradicts the other post, but really....in the world of special needs it kind of has to....its just our life.
1. Tell your friends what you need.
Its hard I know. Its awkward. But there are people out there that mean it. You have to take people at their word and just let them and tell them. When they ask answer them. Let them know a meal, a babysitter, something to cheer up your child is what you need. People feel loved and a part of things when you allow them to love you and your family. You cant spend your life second guessing motives or intentions...just go with it. tell them
Don't expect the world to do it all and take over it all. Get on pinterest. Make a plan and get it done. Freezer meals. They are out there. They are easy. IF you plan. Do it. You will thank yourself. Just don't do it right before surgery. You will be exhausted. (learned that the hard way) Oh and. Don't try to keep with your perfect whole food meals, making bread from scratch junk. By some easy mac and cheese, prepackaged snacks and swallow your pride and breathe. It will be okay. It will help you get through and well that's what this is about.
3. The Other kids
spend time with them beforehand. Take them out on a quick date. Yes you have 500 other things staring you in the face, phone calls to make, things to plan. Don't miss this. They need it. They need the security of your time no matter how much you don't have it to give.
4. The home
Don't worry about it. Clean it before and then let it go. really, just stop. let the clothes pile. get paper plates, let the dust bunnies snuggle in. They will still be there. it will be okay. no one is going to judge you and well if they did....theyd judge you anyways.
5. Our tummy
get yourself some snacks, instant coffee, fruit, pack a cooler, call the hospital beforehand and ask about a family fridge or microwave. it will save you those moments of missing the dr because you ran down to the cafeteria. or more than likely just sat there being hungry. don't take a second mortgage out on your house because you had to eat every time in the cafeteria.
let the kids visit. have the daddy take turns. let the grandparents take turns. its good for everyone. really.
7. The mommy
Think before you speak. NO really. You have so much on you. Things are going to get to you. That fruit snack wrapper left on the floor will make you feel like your kids are the worst slobs and will end up in juvenile detention at the age of 10. let it go. don't yell at them. Think about it first. Would this be a big deal on a different day in a different situation. Same goes for the daddy. Don't fight over petty stuff that wouldn't really matter. Breathe. Check yourself. Make sure its worth discussing and saying something at this time. Chances are its not. chances are you just need sleep and your child home. Oh and....a girls night out. go out. laugh till you cry. do it. you need it. everything else can wait. (completely laughed till i cried)
8. The daddy
Go out on a date before. Chances are it will be a while until you get to do that again. a long long long while. So do it now. Make it a long one. Make it two. but go. Do one with a movie and no talking, no discussing medical stuff and just chill. And do a coffee night where all you do is talk and get it all out there. oh and during the hospital stay. Be there. Be ready. Laugh with us , cry with us. Distract us, listen to us. I know you have to do it all, but really you do. We know we ask too much, but we don't know how to do it without you. We need you to follow our hurricane of emotions and meet us there.
Take note. Every hospital stay. Every ER visit. Learn from what you need and what you don't. Simplify. Don't weigh yourself down with too much. EVERY VISIT I forget Tylenol and I always get at least one headache. take note. learn. next time I will not leave without TYLENOL!!!
I hope this helps. It helped me putting it down.