Everyone everywhere around me is sick.
I understand that, statistically, this is not true, but it feels like it. Having a 3 and 1 year-old and being in a circle of moms with young kids, I feel like every small-talk conversation for the last few weeks has started with “Are you guys staying healthy?”, with most responses being “No. We’ve had insert-terrible-illness-here”.
A few weeks ago, our family came down with a stomach virus. My daughter got it first, my son, the next day, me, two days later, and my husband, the day after me. It was rough. The first day that I was home with two puking children, I had texted a couple close friends for some advice. I’m terrible at mothering sick kids for a multitude of reasons, one of them being that I have no idea what ‘protocol’ is. These friends have elementary-age children and have done this a few more times than I have. So, they tell me what to do.
They also bless my socks off. One friend went to two stores to find Pedialyte Popsicles which I didn’t even know were a thing. She grabbed some other of what I now refer to as ‘Sick Kid Essentials’ – 7-Up, oyster crackers and coffee. The coffee was for me. And was necessary. Another friend left a care package at our door filled with Applesauce pouches, ginger ale, oyster crackers, bananas, chicken noodle soup, craft kits and M&M’s. My eyes filled with tears as I opened the door.
I was feeling like a terrible mom all day. I knew that it wasn’t my fault that my kids were puking, but emotion and exhaustion combined to cancel out all rational thought. I was not prepared at all. I had nothing in our house for if our kids got sick. And my amazing friends came to the rescue.
Two days later, I got it. Bad. I got it the worst and ended up going into the ER because of dehydration and muscle spasms. Upon hearing that I was now sick, two friends messaged me and offered to bring an egg casserole and soup. Both of which were lifesavers.
All of these gestures made some pretty terrible days a little better. And anything that can make those kinds of days better is a worthy cause. I decided that I want to be that kind of friend. To make that difference on those days. I wrote a little more about it here.
I would assume that I am like most people in that I have a lot of great intentions that don’t become reality. Bringing stuff to people when they’re sick is always one of those. When I hear that someone’s sick, I think, “Oh, I should bring them something.” Then I get caught up in what to bring them and when I can’t come up with what the perfect gift basket should contain and look like, I lose ambition. Add that to the reality of the fact that I’m selfish and don’t want to take the time to go get whatever items that I couldn’t come up, and the intention stays just that.
Being on the receiving end of people who made their intentions the best parts of a few of my hard days changed my perspective. I resolved that I will no longer be held captive to an expectation that I have put on myself to make these gestures Pinterest-worthy. Sure, one friend’s gift came in a cute little bin (she’s artsy, so that’s her thing), but another’s came in a Walmart bag. Guess what? I didn’t care. It was the gesture and the supplying of my needs that made the difference.
As I was laying on the couch recovering, I started a list of items that could go in ‘Get Well’ baskets. I decided that if I think through that now, I can work on stocking up on these items and then have them on hand for when someone needs them. This is, by no means, an extensive list, but below is a printable of the contents for ‘Get Well’ baskets.
What are some other items that you have received or that you wish you had when you were home sick?