Making Sure the Home Front is Covered
In a household operated by two parents, you can quickly tell the difference when one parent becomes suddenly injured or debilitated. Normal household functions we took for granted quickly grind to a halt, and the other spouse is left trying to remember details they normally don’t think about. To make matters worse, tending an injured spouse in the hospital takes up even more time and energy. Who will feed the kids? Who will take the children to/from school? Who will feed the pets? Who will pick up the mail? Who will water the plants?
In a crisis hospital situation, home care details may seem trivial at best, but if your spouse is in for an extended stay, the home front can fall apart quickly unless you figure out arrangements. Here are some tips for keeping your household functional while you help your spouse tend to their injuries.
Seriously. It seems so obvious to say, but you’d be surprised how many people don’t even think to ask for extra help in a time of crisis. You don’t just need help in the hospital; you also need help at home. If you have children, perhaps a grandparent, aunt, or family friend could stay over for a few days to manage things while you’re away. If you’re close with your neighbors, perhaps one or more of them could prepare a meal for your family. You can also call your local house of worship to see if someone there can help with food or chores.
Write a List of To-Dos, and Delegate
If you’ve got someone staying with the kids, or if some of the children are old enough to lend a hand, allow them to take some responsibility for the household. Find a quiet moment and make a to-do list of chores that regularly need to be done around the house to keep things running smoothly—from feeding the dog to doing the dishes to laundry. Post the list on the refrigerator and assign tasks for everyone to do—or have your adult “stand-in” do the assignments for you. A few minutes of coordination now will save a lot of headaches later on.
Be Home When You Can
Despite how you feel, you do not have to be with your spouse 24/7, especially after the immediate medical emergency has passed. If your husband or wife is going to be in the hospital for more than a couple of days, make sure you stop at home whenever possible. Your children could use the connection, and you could use the rest—and someone needs to make sure the bills get in the mail.
As with most details, you must think about in the aftermath of an accident, you can make sure the home front is covered simply by taking the time to get the help you need and coordinating that help. When your spouse is finally ready to come home, you’ll at least be assured they won’t be coming home to a disaster.