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Wednesday, April 23, 2014

What Every Husband Should DO when your wife is sick

when your wife is sick, sickness, helping someone when they are sick, tips for sickness

It hit me hard yesterday.  A bug causing me to run to the bathroom every 15 minutes for the first half of the day.  I couldn't eat anything, head throbbing and I felt like my body just got ran over by a truck.  Good thing I didn't have any plans and my kids were at school for most of the day. It's one of those days where you wish your mom still lived with you, to nurse you back to health.  I got up to try to make myself some toast later in the afternoon and thought I was going to pass out. 
 
I WILL give my husband a little bit of credit...he came home from work a little early and helped me out a little and was able to be there when the kids got home from school.  So I didn't have to worry about that.  And even though he did everything I asked, I felt so bossy because I had to keep telling him what to do.  Asking him to make me some soup.  Asking him to make the kids dinner.  Asking him to help the kids with their homework, etc. And while he did all those things, for some reason I was SOOOO bugged that I had to ask him to do them.  Not once did he come check on me or ask if I needed anything on his own.
 
I know, I sound like a BIG brat, and maybe I am, but this is what was going on with me:
 
The day before was a Monday, I got the entire house clean.  Bathroom, bedrooms, kitchen, vacuumed floors, etc.  The house was looking beautiful.  Tuesday morning the bug hits.  I can't do a thing.  By 7:00pm and 10 Grey's Anatomy episodes later, I muster up enough energy to hobble out of my bedroom to see what everyone else is doing.  The kitchen IS. A. DISASTER.  We are out of dishes because they are strewn all over the counters, kitchen table, sink, etc.  Empty food boxes and other garbage all over the place.  Shoes, backpacks, homework, etc all over the family room and floors. I was so mad. And to top it all off, my husband is laying on the couch watching TV.
 
Still feeling quite crappy, I got more and more bugged as I started to walk around the kitchen to clean everything up.  I got the kitchen spotless, started the dishwasher and did the laundry all while crying and my husband didn't even so much as look my way.  He didn't even ask how I was doing or if I needed help.  Needless to say I was pretty pissed off.  My body was still feeling sick, so I finished up and went to lay back in my bed.  I thought MAYBE my husband might want to watch something with me and hang out when the kids go to bed at 8, since all I've been able to do is lay in bed all day.  But about 8, I still hear kids going strong and so I call out to them and say, "It's time for bed guys!" and my husband calls out, "Calm down! I'll take care of it".  Well, he didn't come and sit with me until an hour later.  All that time, I'm just seething with anger, crying about everything and feeling sorry for myself.  So the night ended with him going to bed early and I'm out on the couch watching a movie all by myself.
 
Ok, so maybe I'm a BIG brat.  Maybe I looked at all the negatives instead of the positives. But come on people, I was sick, ok? Sometimes you just can't help it.  I know we are adults, but when we are sick, it still sucks.
 
A thought came to me, that MAYBE there are men out there googling TIPS to help their wife when she is sick.  There are probably not many, but JUST IN CASE.  Or maybe some of you wives want to pass this on to your husband right now...just so he can be prepared for when the day comes:
 
WHAT EVERY HUSBAND SHOULD DO WHEN THEIR WIFE IS SICK:

1.  Even if the house wasn't clean to begin with, START CLEANING.  There is nothing worse for a housewife than the helplessness of not being able to keep her house under control.  I will guarantee you that when your wife finally is able to emerge from her dark pit of sickness and despair, it will MAKE. HER. DAY to know that she doesn't have to worry about household duties while trying to recover from her horrendous sickness.  Not to mention, it can make a person feel even more nautious when you see and smell unfinished food that has been left out everywhere.

2.  Make sure you know what CLEAN THE KITCHEN means.  There have been times in the past when I have asked my husband if he could clean the kitchen.  I come home and it doesn't look like anything was done.  Well, apparently, to him, a clean kitchen means that the dishes are done.  No, that's not what that means.  You don't have to get out the hardcore cleaning supplies and scrub brushes (but by all means, feel free), but you should do the following: Clear all countertops and table tops COMPLETELY (nothing should be on them any more) and then wipe them down, dishes done, sink rinsed out of any leftover food, and floors swept of any crumbs left behind, and put any leftover food in the fridge or pantry.

3.  Learn the phrase, WHAT CAN I DO FOR YOU? And say it to her every 30 minutes.  Yes, that seems like a lot and of course if she is sleeping, there is no need to wake her up for this.  But it's the hardest thing to be stuck in bed.  Even if she just might need a drink of water, it's nice to not have to call out for help whenever it's needed.   I hate feeling like I'm being an inconvenience and if I have to call out every 30 minutes for something, chances are, I'm probably not going to do it.  I'd probably live without water for 3 hours than feel like I'm bossing people around. 

4.  GET THE KIDS TO BED ON TIME.  Yes, the bed time routine might be a little bit messed up without both parents to handle the kids, but the kids still need to go to bed on time.  Mom needs it, Dad will need it and even more so, the kids will need it.  They most likely have school the next day and no one wants to deal with cranky kids.

5.  Make a GROCERY STORE trip if needed.  If it's a stomach bug, check to make sure you have some Sprite, some saltine crackers, bread for toast and some kind of brothy Chicken Noodle Soup.  If  it's more of a cold kind of flu, you'll still want the Chicken Noodle Soup, plenty of tissues and maybe make sure you have enough Day-Quil, cough drops, or whatever kind of medication you prefer.  And make sure she is drinking lots of fluids!  All of these things will help her get back to herself again sooner.

6.  Help her have a CHANGE OF SCENERY.  If she's stuck in bed all day long, ask her if she might want you to help her to another room.  Maybe watch a movie together when the kids go to bed.  It was a pretty crappy day, and so this can be a boost for her spirits.  Maybe you can run a nice hot bath for her!  It can be hard to sit in one place all day.  We do it because it takes to much work to do anything else! So some help would be nice. 

7.  DO NOT COMPLAIN about any of the above.  Your attitude makes all the difference here.  Even if you are doing everything above, if you are sighing heavily or grunting about it, the effort is not going to mean anything.  In fact, like I mentioned above, if I feel like I'm being an inconvenience in any way, I'll just stop asking for help. Remember that your wife did not choose to be sick.  It is not her fault.  And it definitely is NOT "a day off" by any means. 

8.  TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF.  I didn't want to leave this out because it's the worst if you're next to get what she had!! Wash your hands a LOT!  Make sure you are also drinking lots of fluids as well. 

Good luck to you men!! And wives, if you see your husband making an effort with ANY of these things, the best thing to do is to say thank you.  A lot.  For a lot of men, this is all out of their comfort zone and it's always nice to know your efforts were noticed.  Yes, maybe I need to take some of my own advice. 

16 comments:

Anonymous said...

Yeah, now I can see the other side of the story!

My wife is sick at the moment and I have heaps of work to do on the computer on my business so I don't have time for spring cleaning. I'll do the basics but I need to focus on my work.

She asks me to do the dishes so I do them. She whinges that its not done properly so I wipe the benches and try to get back to my work. She asks me to take the rubbish out and I'm beginning to lose my patience because I really need to get some work done, and then she asks me to do another thing and I tell her I'm really sorry but I don't have time to do it.

So for the next hour or two she's yelling at me saying I don't love her, that she'll move back to China without me (she's Chinese) to be with her mum because her mum takes care of her properly and I don't, that I never care for her and never do the dishes bla bla bla. She shouldn't say never, I just did them right now. She says I don't love her but I do, but she's being so whiny and annoying and compaining all the time that she makes it difficult to love her.

When she acts like that (not just when shes sick, but especially so) I don't want to do what she says just out of principle because then I'd be 'whipped'. My friends already tease me for being bossed around by my wife.

So at first I'm thinking thats she's crazy and unreasonable, but after reading your blogpost here I kind of understand a little what shes going through.

Thanks
Random Guy

Anonymous said...

I'm a stay at home mom via my husbands request and career needs (he could deploy any day any time). Goodness I wish he'd learn to google. Right now he'd throwing a tantrum because I asked him to stay home and help out instead of going to his friends house.
Seriously. I'm so sick it hurts to move. I'm literally puking into the bucket beside me. AND I've been left alone with a 4&2 year old all day, the youngest of which learned today how to climb onto counters.
All I'm saying is if men pull that crap, and then wonder why their spouse feels unloved they must be dumb as rocks

Elizabeth T said...

Thanks Random Guy! I am so impressed that you found this post and that you took the time to comment about it. I really appreciate it!! I'm glad it helped you understand a little and I hope things have gotten better for you both!

Elizabeth T said...

Anonymous,
I am so sorry for what you are going through!! (or were going through, by this time) I made the post and knew I'd probably be getting more wives finding it than husbands, which doesn't really help us, does it? lol My only advice would be to have a calm conversation about it, after the heat of the emotions have passed and hope that he can understand a little better.

Hailstone said...

I'm only 18 so I got a little while left before I have to worry about getting a wife but I already know what to do in that situation. I am going to make an emotional story here so this might be long. If there ever is such a bad situation where my wife falls sick for the rest of our lives I still wouldn't leave her. I would instead spend everyday taking care of her. I would clean the house everyday, tend to her needs, on days she is feeling at her worst I would try to take the day off of work to take care of her, if she got scared I would leave her I would hold her and and tell her I will always be here for her no matter what happens. Even if I lost my job for taking to much time off to take care of her I still would stick with here. Nothing would ever stop me for always being there for her forever. So yeah I can handel taking care if her when she has a cold or the flu for sure.

lekhotla@lekhotla.com said...

Hi, My wife had been sick for more than a week for extracting a tooth. It got to where it felt like her illness is taking too long, but I thank God I still took the extra effort to still care for her and even did more of what she would do if she was up.
But then I felt I needed an article like this one to help give me more insight into what the women might be wishing from their husbands during this time of their lives.

I like it that you said that your (I mean you women) sickness is not an excuse for a day off. I accept that stern reproof!

I also like Hailstone's affectionate ambition! Those were typically my feelings before marrying, and now that I am in it, I re-commit myself that I will do so! "Enough of the dreaming, now it's time to actually do it"!!!

Ntate
Thank you

Arista said...

I don't think you're being a brat at all! I think you had every right to feel as upset as you did. Although I am not a wife (which I hope to be one someday) I understand where you're coming from. I think it's unfair that your husband did not take any initiative in tending to your needs & making a mess of the house.
I'm wondering though, did you talk to him about any of this? Sometimes people can be oblivious when something is bothering someone else. Unless you tell him that there was a problem with his actions when you were sick, he is very likely to do the same thing all over again.
You said "He didn't even ask how I was doing or if I needed help" -- He might have been thinking to himself "If she were still feeling ill, then she wouldn't be cleaning up. And if she's feeling better then she doesn't need my help".
I don't mean to give advice as if I am an expert, or to make assumptions about you or your husband. I'm just commenting based on what you said & I think it helps to communicate. I'm sorry if I'm giving unwanted advice/suggestions.

Unknown said...

Wow you're clueless.

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Meko Crawford said...

I really appreciate this post. My wife is laying next to me knocked out. Lol I'm about to start on #1and #2 right now

Meko Crawford said...

She's been sick for a few days now

Alberto Reuben said...

My wife is sick now. I googled for advice in what to do when I get home from work and I found this. This is very helpful. Thank you for sharing.

N said...

A husband here. I found this by googling. and congrats! you're the top link for the search string "what to do when my wife is sick"

Your post was a big help.So thanks!!!!!!!! :)

Needless to say, you're not a brat, and it's admirable that you're willing to give him the benefit of the doubt (we really. don't. realize. how lame we are) BUT, you could have left out the part "my husband didn't even so much as look my way." It seemed like that part was between the two of you, not something to tell any of us. I almost stopped reading at that point... but I'm glad I kept reading to the actual list. Again, very helpful. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Would have been nice if my husband have found this article instead of going out for lunch with his friend. :(

Olivia said...

This made me so happy the world needs more men like you

Anonymous said...

Found this page googling to see how I could help my wife who is sick in bed with the stomach flu. Thank you! :)