My family and I went on an amazing vacation to the Outer Banks, North Carolina for a week. We spent time riding waves, spotting wild ponies, visiting a place that made us feel like we were in the middle of Egypt, climbing the tallest light-house in North America, standing in two states at one time, and taking a ferry ride to an island that used to have real pirates on it! It was an incredible week!
Instead of bringing home a normal souvenir, however, I brought home a not-so-lovely case of strep throat.
After we got home on Saturday evening, I slept for 18 out of 21 hours. I’ve also spent approximately 44 out of the last 48 hours in bed or on the couch. No books. Hardly any computer or TV. Barely any phone time. This illness has really knocked me down!
But, alas, the house will not get the best of me. I’ve been sick before and I’m sure I’ll be sick again. Here’s how to deal:
1) Accept every offer of help.
If you have a large family or your kids are too young to cook and a friend wants to bring over dinner, say yes! Even if you’re too sick to eat it, your family can enjoy the meal while you slurp soup.
Accepting help also goes for people living within your home. As the mom, I want to be the one to take care of the house. But I also recognize that my husband is awesome and when he genuinely wants to help by going grocery shopping and cleaning the kitchen, I need to accept his love offering!
And when Lily offers to make simple family meals and snacks to help out while I’m sick? Yes, please!
2) Compliment any helpful efforts.
No matter how large or small a task is that a family member completes, compliment it, even if it’s not done the way you usually want! When Grace got ready for bed and tucked herself in without me close-by, I told her how nice it was that I was able to rest while she took care of herself.
Those genuine and appreciative compliments often go a long way in helping family members want to offer even more help.
3) Forget about perfection.
When your well-meaning crew loses focus or you run out of energy after a job is only half finished, remind yourself that a sink full of rinsed or soaking dishes is much better than a sink full of stinky dishes!
4) Don’t do more than is good for you.
If I had forced myself to do all of my normal housekeeping this week, I would have made myself sicker for even longer. So I believe these two solid days of rest have been necessary.
Now that I’m feeling a tad better, I’m catching up on a little blog work. Maybe tomorrow I’ll be able to fold some of the laundry my family has been washing for me. In other words, do what you can but won’t worry about what you can’t do.
5) Drop everything unessential from your plate.
Feeling better by Wednesday doesn’t mean that you’re obligated to stick to everything you had planned for Wednesday. Cancel in advance and give yourself a day or two to catch up at home before resuming your normal activities.
6) When all else fails…
Maybe your family hasn’t done very well on pitching in around the house – now you know what to work on after you’re feeling better. Or maybe you’ve been sick for two weeks and in spite of everyone’s best efforts, your house has become a gigantic mess anyways.
Regardless of the reason, choose not to worry about the house. Just give yourself grace, let your family eat really easy meals, and know that you’ll be able to work towards an orderly home once you’re feeling better.
What tips do you have for keeping a semi-tidy house even when you’re under the weather?