Marjorie JamesMy mother always packed more than we needed and always had “back-ups” in her purse and suitcase “just in case.” Her philosophy was that prepared for everything was always better than not prepared. I suspect most, if not all, moms are that way. My mother, however, took the whole concept to new heights (or depths) when she packed a nice dress and her fur stole in the camper “just in case your dad and I decide to go out to a nice dinner.” They were camping! Needless to say, she didn’t use them, and we persuaded her that it was OK to go camping without dressy clothes again.

I was hit with a particularly violent form of stomach flu last week, and I was totally incapable of doing anything for myself. Fortunately, my husband and daughter were able to take care of my needs until two days later, when both of them came down with lighter versions of it.

That got me to thinking. What if John had been out of town or not part of my daily life? What if there had been children in our home who would need care? That drew me to the situation that many single moms (and dads) must deal with on a regular basis. My question is this: Do you have someone who could come in and basically take over your life until you were able to function again? Do you have all the necessary information easily available for that person to use?

Would this person know the phone number of the schools or the names of your children’s teachers? Would he or she know about the food allergies and medications your children need? Do you pack a lunch, or do your children buy lunch at school? What about transportation? If needed, is there a list of people you or someone else could call to come by and take your children to school?

If no children at in your home, what information would be needed for you? Is the name and phone number of your primary care physician posted? What about your prescription list and any medication allergies you might have? Is your health care card in your wallet? What pharmacy do you use? This is all information someone would need to have easy access to if you needed medical help.

If you have pets, what is their feeding schedule? Is there a place they need to be put if you leave the house for any length of time? Will they bite if approached by a stranger? Maybe the person most likely to come in and help should spend some time with your pets ahead of time. Who and where is the vet, and what is the phone number?

I am still recuperating, so I am sure there are many other questions that a person coming in to help would need. The key here is to take time, when we are healthy, to put this information into a readily available form so someone can “take over” without having to hunt for answers or keep us from our much-needed rest.

Copyright 2014. Marjorie E. James. All rights reserved.