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  • FIRST POST
    Gingham Ribbon
    Keeping on top of housework when you're ill or in other times of crisis?
    • #1
    • 4th Sep 09, 11:38 AM
    Keeping on top of housework when you're ill or in other times of crisis? 4th Sep 09 at 11:38 AM
    There are a few things I'm falling behind on while I'm waiting for surgery and I wondered if you good people could give me some tips, please!

    Here are the things I'm finding difficult:

    Picking things up (it hurts.)
    Moving furniture to sweep (I've got no energy.)
    Cooking (the energy thing and also it makes me feel sick.)
    Hoovering, changing bedding and laundry (DH trying his best to keep on top of all that.)

    Here's what I've been doing so far:

    I bought some decentish frozen food (like veggie sausages, fish fingers, nice burgers)
    I've been buying ready to cook chopped veg/stirfries and lots of prepacked salads so I don't have to stand and chop.
    I'm using the slow cooker (beef casserole in it at the moment.)
    Getting the kids involved more in tidying their toys up.

    Any other tips? It very quickly turns to chaos when I'm not bobbing around 'doing', especially because I'm not going out with the kids as much as usual.

    Quick cooking ideas, easy housekeeping ideas and maybe some easy games to play with the kids that involve me sitting down!

    Thanks. x (It's gall bladder surgery, nothing terrible!)

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    Last edited by Former MSE Rose; 08-03-2011 at 5:31 PM.
    May all your dots fall silently to the ground.
Page 1
    • carriebradshaw
    • By carriebradshaw 4th Sep 09, 11:55 AM
    • 1,327 Posts
    • 3,525 Thanks
    carriebradshaw
    • #2
    • 4th Sep 09, 11:55 AM
    • #2
    • 4th Sep 09, 11:55 AM
    There are a few things I'm falling behind on while I'm waiting for surgery and I wondered if you good people could give me some tips, please!

    Here are the things I'm finding difficult:

    Picking things up (it hurts.)
    Moving furniture to sweep (I've got no energy.)
    Cooking (the energy thing and also it makes me feel sick.)
    Hoovering, changing bedding and laundry (DH trying his best to keep on top of all that.)

    Here's what I've been doing so far:

    I bought some decentish frozen food (like veggie sausages, fish fingers, nice burgers)
    I've been buying ready to cook chopped veg/stirfries and lots of prepacked salads so I don't have to stand and chop.
    I'm using the slow cooker (beef casserole in it at the moment.)
    Getting the kids involved more in tidying their toys up.

    Any other tips? It very quickly turns to chaos when I'm not bobbing around 'doing', especially because I'm not going out with the kids as much as usual.

    Quick cooking ideas, easy housekeeping ideas and maybe some easy games to play with the kids that involve me sitting down!

    Thanks. x (It's gall bladder surgery, nothing terrible!)
    Originally posted by Gingham Ribbon
    get the kids involved as much as you can, I don't know how old they are but little things like clearing/laying the table for meals filling or emptying the washing machine,dusting tidying up etc can help and give your hubby more time to do the heavy things for you.

    Also get hubby or the kids to set it all up so you can sit at the table to chop & prepare the veg etc

    Hope all goes well and you feel better soon
  • misskool
    • #3
    • 4th Sep 09, 12:02 PM
    • #3
    • 4th Sep 09, 12:02 PM
    It's probably not ideal but you could get a cleaner to help you out in the next few weeks? That would keep the cleaning bit done and get OH and children to help out doing small bits.

    You could sit down at the table to prepare and chop veg?
  • Gingham Ribbon
    • #4
    • 4th Sep 09, 12:04 PM
    • #4
    • 4th Sep 09, 12:04 PM
    We can't afford a cleaner. We're self employed and money is tight. The boys are 5 and 2. They do like to help lay the table etc. Thanks for that.
    May all your dots fall silently to the ground.
  • tandraig
    • #5
    • 4th Sep 09, 12:18 PM
    • #5
    • 4th Sep 09, 12:18 PM
    can you afford to get one of those stick aids that grab things that they sell in disability shops, or look on ebay - grrrr cant remember what the darn things are called!!!!!!!!!!!!! seen litter pickers with them too. would be a godsend if you cant persuade peeps not to leave stuff on floor!! a lot of housework can be achieved sitting down - ironing -preparing veg - stuff like that. as for hoovering or sweeping - cant OH do it? or older son - when my son was 5 he loved hoovering- job wasnt done to high standard but as its only temporary does that matter too much? kids usually love to think they are 'helping mummy when she is poorly' especially if you make real fuss of them - hand out stickers when they helpful etc.
    games to play sitting down - old fashioned board games like snakes and ladders - look in charity or pound shops. Cards - kids can play snap for hours. I-spy can be great fun with a two year old - remember oldest son at three starting with L we spent ages trying to guess gave in and answer was 'lectric'. lol
    hope this helps and hope everything goes well for you!
    • newlywed
    • By newlywed 4th Sep 09, 12:26 PM
    • 7,473 Posts
    • 24,341 Thanks
    newlywed
    • #6
    • 4th Sep 09, 12:26 PM
    • #6
    • 4th Sep 09, 12:26 PM
    Do you have days that you have a little more energy? Cook double if you can?

    Waitrose have a good roasted ratatouille recipe on their website that is even better reheated the following day - it's a bit of chopping but not too much. We had it with chicken breasts wrapped in bacon one day and then reheated with kippers/mackerel the following day.

    Get the kids to make some twinks hobnobs? That'll occupy them - though the mess might not be such a good idea :rolleyes: What about making dried pasta pictures like we did at school? Or cards? Or that game dead fishes where they lie down and don't move, or musical statues where they dance till the music stops then have to freeze - you could be music master and judge

    If it's the bending down to pick things up that hurts then use kitchen tongs or something so you don't have to bend so far?

    Other than that, buy food that you just bung in the oven with as little effort as possible - mine are:-

    Gammon steaks (with instant mash and frozen veg)
    chicken breasts with pesto wrapped in bacon
    fish of any sort
    sausages
    packs of prepped veg that can be bunged on a tray and roasted

    and oven chips too

    Or bean cassulet - chop and fry onion (or use frozen chopped ones), add garlic puree, herbs, three various tins of beans, one smoked pork sausage (or bacon) chopped up and a tin of tomatoes. Heat through - serve with garlic bread. Serves 4 adults or 3 if really hungry.
    Last edited by newlywed; 04-09-2009 at 12:47 PM.
    Grocery Challenge August = 300 hopefully!
    DMP support thread (member #32)

  • Gingham Ribbon
    • #7
    • 4th Sep 09, 12:34 PM
    • #7
    • 4th Sep 09, 12:34 PM
    can you afford to get one of those stick aids that grab things that they sell in disability shops, or look on ebay - grrrr cant remember what the darn things are called!!!!!!!!!!!!! seen litter pickers with them too.
    Originally posted by tandraig
    I forgot about that. There's one in the cellar from when I was pregnant!
    May all your dots fall silently to the ground.
  • rachbc
    • #8
    • 4th Sep 09, 12:46 PM
    • #8
    • 4th Sep 09, 12:46 PM
    well I'd say let it go to pot to be honest. If you try and do to much now your recovery will take longer. Get hubby to do what he can, call in a couple of friends or relations to do anything they can (I'd happily make dinner and bung on a load of washing if a freind asked, or evne if they didn't) and remember nothing dreadful will happen if you don't pick up toys/ change the beds/ sweep the floor and eat froozen food for a couple of weeks

    Lots of games of sleeping tigers for the kids and you concentrate on getting well
    • donny-gal
    • By donny-gal 4th Sep 09, 12:50 PM
    • 4,595 Posts
    • 38,147 Thanks
    donny-gal
    • #9
    • 4th Sep 09, 12:50 PM
    • #9
    • 4th Sep 09, 12:50 PM
    Hi GR sorry to hear you have to have an op.

    Being a totally lazy housewife, I always cook two days worth of mash and veg soo that the second day is a freebie. DH will have to mash the spuds, DH or DS when he is here always do ours.

    Do the big clean at the weekend and get DH to do it with you, when he can do the moving and shifting, and you can just nicely guide him, until he learns how to do it anyway.
    Forget the baking it always makes the kitchen covered in flour dust and messy.

    The only other suggestion is one from after my hysterectomy many moons ago, was to keep doing the preparation in 10 minute bursts, with a good rest inbetween put the pan on the ring before you put the veg and water in, and then add the water via a jug, then there is no weight, and DH will be able to drain them for you and put them back for you to spoon out afterwards.

    Good Luck - DG
    Member #8 of the SKI-ers Club
    Why is it I have less time now I am retired then when I worked?
  • Brighterfuture
    How about asking family or friends to help out, in exchange fo a night of babysitting when you are fully recovered.

    I say if that isnt possible do a littl at a time and dont over exert yourself and lower you standers for a while, your health is more important that the house work
    • candygirl
    • By candygirl 4th Sep 09, 1:01 PM
    • 26,335 Posts
    • 107,642 Thanks
    candygirl
    Hi hun, sorry to hear you're ill I got one of the pick up things from Home Bargains after my recent op, it was only about 2
    No idea about the housework and cooking though, as I tend to avoid both at the mo
    "You can't stop the waves, but you can learn to surf"

    (Kabat-Zinn 2004)
    • lostinrates
    • By lostinrates 4th Sep 09, 1:05 PM
    • 53,931 Posts
    • 342,642 Thanks
    lostinrates
    For cooking, one pot dishes that need little, or nothing, more than throwing in the pot or quick things like pasta.

    for cleaning, I have most stamina/least pain in the morning. I get up and do the bulk of what I have to do then. If everyone is careful about leaving shoes etc at the door that cuts doen hoovering/floors significntly.

    Little children love to help, picking things up for you is something that is within their ability I guess. Pick up ten things and get a kiss from Mummy might be a good game? (and good for counting) They can also sort things by colour for laundry along simialr lines. My neices used to like putting things in things, so the ashing mahine (obviously undersupervision) was a great gme for them, especially if they were allowed to press the on button.

    I'd leave moving furniture for a while, the world won't end. That mainly leaves beds for dh. I don't suppose the kids have sleeping bags? They wash and dry very quickly and would cut down on work there too.

    ETA: most importantly, break done what you absolutely have to do in to small chunks.
    Last edited by lostinrates; 04-09-2009 at 1:12 PM.
  • Gingham Ribbon
    Some great ideas. Thanks everyone.

    DH is fantastic. He does a decent amount of housework and he's looking after the kids as much as he can so I can rest and they have company and lots of running around. However, he is having to work really hard to keep the business going so I want to keep the pressure on him to a minimum, especially as I will be in hospital, then bed for a few days at least. Not to mention the minor op on my foot shortly after, so I'll be on crutches too!

    The kids have really been great today. I've got the blackboard next to the couch so we're drawing silly pictures and playing daft games on that.
    May all your dots fall silently to the ground.
    • taplady
    • By taplady 4th Sep 09, 1:16 PM
    • 7,155 Posts
    • 73,597 Thanks
    taplady
    Hi GR - I hope you're soon feeling back to normal! when I was recovering from pneumonia heres a few tips I used
    • I used to wizz around on one of the computer chairs on wheels to tidy up,
    • ironing can be done sitting down, short bursts as recommended already,
    • a basket at the bottom of the stairs to save on trips up there with things,
    • one of those long handled dustpans and brushes for odd crumbs on the floor
    • call in reinforcements(friends wont mind helping out)
    thats all I can remember for now but its interesting reading the tips as I may be in your position soon after a possible op.
    Every penny saved is a penny saved
  • ubamother
    choose what's really important - moving furniture to sweep I would mark down as less important than keeping floor vaguely clear, but that less important than having clean kitchen tops for example. Do what will keep you and yours out of casualty for falls or food poisoning first, the rest will either get done or it won't.

    As bending is painful cook more on the hob than in the oven.

    • nearlyrich
    • By nearlyrich 4th Sep 09, 1:25 PM
    • 13,335 Posts
    • 16,542 Thanks
    nearlyrich
    Hope everything goes well GR, I am sure letting your usually high standards slip for a few weeks won't do too much damage but it can be hard looking at a mess when you are too ill to do anything about it if you are the kind of person who likes things neat.

    I would concentrate on keeping loo(s) clean, washing dishes and wiping down counter tops and cooking, even small children can help pick things up, fold washing etc so get them involved.

    Take care and don't stress about the house just get well.
    Free impartial debt advice from: National Debtline or Stepchange[/CENTER]
  • Gingham Ribbon
    Thanks everyone. I dont' want to pretend I have high standards when it comes to housekeeping, though I do like to cook fresh food. I'm a messy so and so at the best of times. But there's a limit and it's amazing how messy the house is getting when we aren't out every day!
    May all your dots fall silently to the ground.
    • Caterina
    • By Caterina 4th Sep 09, 3:16 PM
    • 5,756 Posts
    • 39,795 Thanks
    Caterina
    Hi Gingham Ribbon,

    Sorry to hear you are not well and needing surgery.

    In terms of ideas, I saw that you said you cannot afford a cleaner, but if you have any "alternative currency" project near you, such as LETS or TimeBanks, you might find it possible to obtain some help without having to fork out cash, it would mean that in the future you can repay with your own actions (cooking or shopping for someone, babysitting etc. or whatever other talent you have, sewing, knitting, reconfiguring a computer...)

    The link for LETS is: http://www.letslinkuk.net/

    For TimeBanks it is: http://www.timebanking.org/

    I hope it works for you, all the best wishes for a fast recovery.

    Love,

    Caterina x
    Finally I'm an OAP and can travel free (in London at least!).
    • zoelikesjam
    • By zoelikesjam 4th Sep 09, 9:34 PM
    • 405 Posts
    • 5,523 Thanks
    zoelikesjam
    Try the flylady thread GR. I'm not well, i have a condition in my knees and hips and have good and bad days, when i cant walk let alone bend! I also have a 5,3 and one year old so its kind of difficult to keep ontop of everything! The flyladies have really helped me.
    Good luck x
    May the force of the flyladies be with you
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    • Dustykitten
    • By Dustykitten 4th Sep 09, 9:43 PM
    • 16,409 Posts
    • 281,332 Thanks
    Dustykitten
    Gingham - we'll keep you company on the flylady thread if nothing else!

    Sitting down games with the kids:
    threading pasta onto string,
    if you have bean bags, soft balls throwing them into a bucket
    put things on a tray let them look, cover with a teatowel, take one away get them to work out which one
    Draw around each others hands and then colour them in and the older one cut them out

    Good luck and I hope you feel better soon.

    The birds of sadness may fly overhead but don't let them nest in your hair
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