Saturday, April 09, 2011

So, who will take care of us?

Last week both Tom and I got very sick and went down for the count. But this time, two years after I wrote this first post, a lot has changed. Not only do we have family in town, but we also have a much more solid support system in place. I know who I can call to get groceries, who can bring the kids home from the bus, who can watch Lucy on short notice, and what our kids will do if end up in bed for two days. Seems that things do change, and life moves on, and I reach out. That's the biggest lesson I learned from a few years of being sick here and there and needing help but not asking for it. I really do need to ask for help. I'm sick so infrequently that sometimes it just doesn't occur to me to lean on others for help. But this time I did. I not only cut out any extra activity for the few days we were really sick, but I also called a friend or tow, had them grab my kids, asked them to bring me stuff, etc. It works, and it's a much different place to be than where I was a year and a half ago.

December 06, 2009
So, who will take care of us?

I'm the mommy. When any of my four my kids get sick, I take care of them. When I get sick, my husband takes care of me (He's the daddy.). When my husband gets sick, I take care of him. You see how this goes. It's all pretty straightforward and generally works out really well. But what on earth are you supposed to do when BOTH the mommy and the daddy are sick? Who is supposed to take care of us?
Are the kids supposed to step in and run the house? Well, for several days over the past week the kids did just that. They basically took care of themselves, and also entertained their one year old sister as much as three 6 and 9 year oldscan, But, we discovered that we do not have a support system in place at all. I thought that my list of folks to call in case of an emergency would suffice, but now I see that that's not the case. Those folks are really for emergencies - not much else. They can step in short term but not for any length of time. Who am I supposed to call if we really do go down for the count again? We have no family in town, no friends close enough to pop in each day to see if we are still alive and kicking, and no classmates near enough to drive the kids to school. This time it was hacking and coughing and low grade fevers for a week, so we could actually drive them around. But what happens to the kids if we both get really sick again and can't get in a car (or shouldn't)? How are they supposed to get to and from school, gymnastics, soccer, etc. Clearly those things would fall aside, as some did this week, but school? What if we run out of groceries? Everywhere I went this week I was aware of the fact that I was spreading the nasty bug that was residing in my chest. And this one was a minor bug I'm sure - no pandemic in me. But what if I do get the swine flu, and my hubby gets it, and what if we have to get a kid to the doctor, or school, or anywhere? Who can step in and take care of us? At this point I'm at an absolute loss.
What I did find out is that there are some folks close enough to run the kids to and from the bus. Whether they can fit them all in the car together is a different story (three school aged kids throws a kink into many good plans). But they offered, and I'll take them up on it if we both head south again. And I also found out that people don't appreciate you hacking and coughing at them, even if it isn't the plague, in the midst of a highly contagious flu season. Guess I need to buy some masks to take care of that. But this leaves us with my original question - who will take care of us? Clearly we barely took care of ourselves this time, but next time, what if it's worse?
This is an original DC Metro Moms post. In between coughing and running kids to the bus, Suzie also blogs over at Confessions of a Not So Well Behaved Woman.

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