Two days into our 10 day sentence in the hospital with little miss Reagan, I started thinking about doing a blog post. I did one about the whole stay, but I also wanted to do one about what to bring your friends when their kids are in the hospital.
I reached out to some Facebook friends and compiled some of these quotes an thoughts. There were a few things that stood out, and a few things that only one or 2 people said.
1. Please take care of my furry friend
One thing that I heard a lot – take care of my dog! At least 3 people (including myself) thought about our furry friends. I didn’t mind him being home by himself all day but I didn’t want him alone overnight. He sleeps in our bed every night so it was a worry for me.
2. FOOD. BRING THEM FOOD.
Hospitals are notorious for having terrible food. Even if you ask your friend if you can do anything and they say “no thank you,” drop off food for something. Something cold or that can be reheated in a microwave. I am serious when I tell you this. Just bring it. They will love you. If you’re far away, call and have something delivered. Because also you have to remember the hospital bills that are incurring, even with insurance. Buying a meal for $20 would be extremely helpful.
3. Taking out their trash.We were lucky and by the time Reagan was feeling better, Dan went back to work, so he was home on garbage day. He was able to take it out and then bring the trash cans back in. But it’s something we did not even think about until I ran home the day before trash day. And we had just had her Baptism, so we had tons of garbage.
4. Emotional support.This may sound simple, but it’s serious. If I’m being honest, sometimes the simple texts of asking how she was doing were just as important as bringing us food. It meant so much to us that people were thinking about us and rooting for her to get better. Also, let them be emotional. A few people said they liked the company because they could just cry and let it out. It felt good. Or just to listen to them talk about how they are scared or worried.
5. Sleep. We need sleep.
This is a tough one, because as parents, we do not want to leave our child’s side. But ask how they want sleep. Maybe just come over for a few hours and sit with their kid so they can sleep comfortably there, knowing that someone is awake and listening. If a nurse or doctor comes in to chat, you can wake them up. I slept so horribly while I was there because I felt like every time a nurse or doctor came in, I needed to talk to them.
6. Keeping things as normal as possible for the older sibling.
This was a very important thing for me, and I heard it from quite a few people. I didn’t want Dylan to feel “left out” with all of this with Reagan. He doesn’t have an issue with jealousy with her, but I didn’t want this to be what triggered it. It’s important for other kids to keep normalcy in their life when something like this is going on. Someone also said they would’ve appreciated family time with her other kids and husband “without feeling like they were being loud or being there at weird hours.”
Someone mentioned bringing toys for the children (obviously if they are old enough). These poor little kids are laying in a bed for DAYS, sometimes WEEKS – it’s boring! As adults, we can pass the time because we know that this is how it has to be. We deal with it. Kids can’t. They have to adapt.
I will have to say, bottom line, food, if they tell you they don’t need anything. They don’t even have to know you brought it. Just bring it in and let the nurses know that it’s for them.
…Ok, now I will stop talking about our hospital experience. Maybe 😉