When Sickness Strikes

Sickness can come without a moment’s notice.  For anyone, this is a time of inconvenience, doctor visits and unforeseen expenses.  While I do not downgrade the impact is has on every individual, unfortunately for most single parents this is also a very frightening time.   You are suddenly struck with the inability to face the day-to-day tasks that involve every element in caring for your children.  You still have to find a way to do everything you normally do when you are feeling well only now you have a roadblock at every effort.  It is amazing when you have help from the grandparents, neighbors, or friends but for most single parents you are completely alone and left to battle through this illness without any help at all.
Two weeks ago, I came down with an extremely horrible illness.  Without going into the details, I was down for the count.  Luckily, I did have a friend who helped me a lot with getting my son to and from school and was available for the emotional support, which can be very draining when your health is at a low.  For this I am very thankful!  I did become very frustrated and felt guilty for not caring for my son the way I normally would and at times he was left to fend for himself while I physically was unable to tend to him or was concentrating on the issues I was dealing with.  Dinners weren’t very healthy, laundry piled up, the house cluttered, and he played more Wii than he ever has.  Luckily he is almost 8 years old and so he can handle these times pretty well, but what if he were 2 or an infant? There are so many single parents with more than one child, small children, and even possibly their children are enduring a sickness just the same.   Who is helping them?
This topic has always been heavy on my heart because I know first-hand how difficult this can be.  Sometimes it is near impossible to fulfill your parental tasks and responsibilities and the children in turn suffer.  BUT, as I send out a plea to those who have the ability to help out when a single parent is ill, I also send out a message to the single parents.  We need to help others too! 
Sometimes when life circumstances put you in a position to be raising your children without help, it is easy to feel victimized.  We wish that we just had the spouse who would help us in raising our kids, especially when we are physically unable to.  Remember that even in the two-parent homes not everyone has a “helper” in their spouse unfortunately and even if they do it is our responsibility to be the hands and feet of Jesus helping everyone in their time of need. 
Ask for help.  Sometimes it is a matter of others simply not knowing how to help you when you are in need.  I am very guilty of this as I usually let my pride get in the way of asking for help.  In fact, the reaction I got from another friend when I spoke about this topic was, “You should have said something!”
So, to anyone going through struggles…say something! And to those who see someone struggling…do something!
“Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.”- Galatians 6:2

I've put together some tips for the next time you are sick.  Prepare now so that you don't have to really "think" when you fall ill.

1) If you feel something coming on, head to the grocery store and pick up healthy snacks for the older kids to munch on if you can't bring yourself to make lunch or dinner.
2) Find a friend or relative who is willing to come to your aid if you become ill.  Have a plan set up with them of how they will help and how you will alert them of your need when that time comes. 

3) Put together an "emergency pack" for each child listing their information, blood type, insurance information, doctor, dentist, preferred hospital etc. 
4) Talk to your children (if old enough) about who will be caring for them if you become ill and how they can help make that time easy for everyone.  
5) Have a little stash of extra cash tucked away in case you need money and are not feeling up to heading to the bank.

What other tips do you have?

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