How to Help a Sick Mom Friend
Trying to be there for another parent can feel awkward. Some ways to make your offer of assistance easy to accept, from Dr. Elvira Aletta:
Let her know how simple it is for you to help.
Say something like, "I'm going to the store. What can I get for you?" or "I made too much for dinner. I'm bringing over some lasagna."
Just stop by.
"I was in the area and felt like walking your dog" or "Can the kids join us for some ice cream?" have a spur-of-the-moment appeal.
On average, chronically ill people have four days a month when they can't function normally. So the more you ask, the more likely your offer will fall on a day when even a fiercely independent friend needs a hand.
Come up with a recurring plan.
Enlist three or four friends to make a hot entr?e, say, every Wednesday, or offer to incorporate caring for her kids into your schedule, like taking them on Saturday trips to the playground. That way, she knows she can count on some downtime.
Phrase your offer as a specific suggestion.
"My boys could use some company. How about I pick up your kids at noon for a playdate?"
Originally published in the September 2010 issue of Parents magazine.