Uh..oh! Mom is SICK!
It’s that time….we anticipate it every year….. yes, it’s flu season! This year seems to be more aggressive and widespread than in recent years. The young, the elderly and those with medical issues are much more susceptible to contracting the flu and falling gravely ill.
Military spouses are often far from family, running a home alone and packing way more than 24-hours of to-do’s every day. They are the experts at organizing, planning, keeping order and multi-tasking because so much and so many people depend on them every day.
Mom takes care of EVERYTHING
Moms with special needs children are always very aware of flu season, the symptoms, the treatments and prevention and strive to be pro-active……for their children.
Special needs moms are careful to track every symptom even tiny ones in their children and to make sure all medical treatment is followed…for their children. Yes, special needs moms (especially military spouses) take care of everything, everyone, every last item on their to-do list….usually alone and on top of it all! Now…..what about themselves? That is another matter entirely! Taking care of mom? Rest, relax, go to the doctor, and pick up the medicine…..what?….when? They always put themselves last in order of priorities. Their wants, their needs, their health, EVERYTHING gets put on the backburner.
Do you have a plan for when this happens?
What happens when the caregiver gets sick?
Usually panic, mom doing it all through the illness/injury/recovery, lost order and routine and all-round organized (as much as possible) chaos!
How to prevent the panic on “Mom’s Sick Days”
You don’t know when, where or for how long but it will happen. The day mom is so sick, or injured or recovering from surgery, etc. WILL come and the need to prepare is of the utmost importance in a military special needs family.
Creating “Mom’s Sick” plan to lessen the burden and stress that mom places on herself even when fighting illness or injury.
Mom’s Sick Plan- Create these documents and include important them in a 3 ring binder for easy access. Laminate documents or place in clear page protectors to re-use with a dry erase marker.
- Weekly Schedule – create a schedule with all regular appointments and activities
- A Usual Day –morning/bedtime routines, wake-up/bed times and all the “must knows” that go in your home daily.
- House Rules – what is allowed and what is not, all in one place
- Babysitter/Caregiver Notes – one form containing “quick notes”
- Meal Plan and Frozen Meals – plan a week or month of meals and freeze them.
- Family Emergency Planning Kit – have an emergency plan in place and prepare emergency kits for each family member
- Medical Records – create a binder for each family member including records, contacts, insurance cards, etc.
- Medical Release Form- create a release for a caregiver to seek treatment for your child(ren) in an emergency situation
- Living Will/Healthcare POA/Will –in the event of a serious illness or death prepare these with YOUR wishes and plans
- Home Management Binder- all of your accounts, contacts, schedules and more to manage your household
- Find a qualified substitute caregiver NOW- get to know available caregiver services and “audition” a few caregivers before you need them.
Now, relax and breathe. You got it covered (of course)! Don’t forget to take care of yourself every day (I know you don’t WANT to get sick) When mom gets sick, the household will function normally (almost).
Raven W. Green is an Army wife of 10 years, mother of 2 little miracle girls, freelance writer, special needs advocate, and aspiring author. Raven has an A.A. from Gaston College and a B.A. from Belmont Abbey College. Among the many roles she plays, she is a Founder/Group Leader of MOSNAB: Moms of Special Needs Army Brats, Founder/Director of Operation United Hearts. She was named to Circle of Moms “Top 25 Military Mom Blogs of 2012” and was named Fort Lee Military Spouse of the Year 2013 by Military Spouse Magazine.
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