“What can we do to help?”
I hear it, over and over.
And 3 months in, I still don’t know what to say.
People near & far are willing, and wanting to help. It’s understandable. We are all just wired to help those we love.
But it’s so hard to articulate what we need help with, Because it’s hard to itemize tasks & things that can be delegated.
Yes, send a meal or a gift card. That saves us My Better Half or 10 year old from cooking. That’s helpful, but it ends up being a pile-up in my fridge & freezer. And it’s often pasta, because that’s always kid friendly & easy to reheat & serve. But for the first month, my family had a never ending supply of mac’n’cheese, ziti, & pasta salad. People always make & bring enough to assure leftovers, to further reduce the meal making burden. Then you get backed into carb loading endlessly to clear the overstuffed fridge/freezer to make room for other cuisines to avoid all-you-can-eat 24/7 pasta.
So then what other things are left?
Cleaning of course! But for that, first I gotta declutter – every surface is covered in mail & papers & receipts, many of which I have to collect & save. So sure, come over & clean my counters, sinks, table, & bathrooms but only we can deal with the growing piles.
Helping me pee or bathe? Hubs & hired health aides do that.
The yard? It is minimal mowing (by design) so that takes no time & My Better Half enjoys watering the plants.
Babysitting or transporting the kids? Always welcomed.
Sitting with me in case I need anything so My Better Half can go work out? 10 & 7 year old handle that.
Go grocery shopping? By the time I specify which brands of things….I’ll just make an online order for pickup.
I know people want to help but it’s too hard for me to figure out how I can break the help down into concrete asks & how frequently we need it.