Making a House a Home When You Are Chronically Ill (and Chronically Fatigued!)
Posted Aug 17 2010 7:00am
By: Heather Laurie
When I was a young wife with no children I had some limitations to preparing my home and feathering my nest. I would take all day to accomplish what most could do in a hour or less. I would have to work, stop and sit for an half an hour. Then repeat again and again.
I wasn’t very organized about my home making and I was brand new to the idea of having my own home. I loved to cook complicated meals and impress my new hubby. He in turn would come home and pamper me. He would finish up any last chores. He also had plenty of energy to help me with any big projects. Life was different but pretty easy.
Then I had my first child. . . My tiredness went from moderate to extreme and my medical problems made life a bit more difficult. Then for several years the Lord raised his hand and protected us from much of the medical problems I had been having. My health took a turn for the best!
That time has passed and I am dealing with chronic health problems yet again. The difference is now I have 5 children and a much larger house to manage. Those lovely children also have special needs that I need to tend.
Now I am the happy home maker with 5 children to help (or hinder depending on their mood [smile]) I still greatly enjoy impressing my wonderful hubby with a new recipe. I still want a feathered nest, clean home, and good food on the table. I realize now that in order to accomplish this I have to have a plan. I cannot just hope to get a vague amount of work done and believe the kids will naturally tidy up their area. So I have a plan!
1) ALL people in the home must help with home cleanliness.
2) I MUST cut down on the amount of stuff we have.
3) A menu is a MUST for my chronically tired mind. At the end of the day I am often so tired, I am just doing what I need to do to get through the day. If I have menu then I don’t have to try to remember what all we have, what recipe to use, and then make it all. On particularly bad days the crockpot is a great helper!
4) Everything MUST have a place of it will be on the floor.I don’t have the energy to constantly go through a pile of misc. stuff on tables, stairs, around the door. If it doesn’t have an owner and no clear purpose in the home it heads right back out the door.
5) You and your husband MUST come to a MUTUAL understanding of what you can do and what you can’t. This can also be adjusted as to whether you are actively sick, such as an MS flare or experiencing the less exhausting long low chronic nature of your illness. This mutual understanding will help on bad days when you have used up all your strength keeping the home together and didn’t have any left to clean.
Your visions of a clean, well tended, comfortable home do not need to leave because you are dealing chronic fatigue. They may need adjusting. You definitely need to talk this subject over with your husband so there are not unrealistic expectations between the two of you.
Have you found a printable menu, or chore chart? Please share any tips and ideas how to keep a home while dealing with fatigue!
Heather Laurie is a christian wife, and mother to 5 children and 2 angels. She suffered with an unknown illness most of her life recently finding out she had lupus and a genetic disorder. Her children also have that genetic disorder. The Lord has led Heather and her husband Chris through these experiences to create a ministry dedicated to serving those with special needs. You can find them at Laurie Family Ministries or Special Needs Homeschooling.
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