Tuesday, August 19, 2008


Imagine you were an assistant/support type person for a small law firm.

Imagine your husband was off fighting in a war you were ideologically vehemently opposed to.

Imagine you have been home with a sick/sleepless baby for 5 days, by yourself, because, well, see above.

What would you appreciate most from the people you work for?

I'm thinking of making her some meals she can throw in her freezer and offering to watch the baby some night so she can go see a movie or something?

I feel frustrated for her right now and I want to do something to make something marginally better, when I know, realistically, there's nothing I can do to end a war...


Blogger Elowyn said...

I think those are both great ideas. I'd add that sometimes a really small something goes a long way, too (like getting her favorite whatever-it-is from the vending machine and just leaving it on her desk like the fairies brought it.)

Also, you might check to be sure she doesn't need help with any two-adult tasks at home. Some stuff just can't be done on one's own (too heavy/bulky/whatever) or may be really hard with her little one, etc. As a single person since forever, I've figured out how to manage that stuff (and have a go-to person when I need her) but an awful lot of marrieds find that really a challenge, so I hear.

Sounds like she's going through a hard spot, and I'm glad you're there to help her out.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008 12:12:00 PM  
Blogger Kate said...

I was about to suggest exact what you are planning to do: food and an offer to babysit.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008 12:20:00 PM  
Anonymous Christina said...

food and babysitting are both great ideas. Also I think elowyn is onto something too - there are so many "handyman" things that I ask Hubby to do that would just go undone if he were away for a long time. I also thought "spa day" but then she needs a sitter for the baby and all that. You might make her a little "escape" basket for home with like chocolates, a good fun movie (my current fave for light entertainment is Music and Lyrics), bubble bath and a classical music CD... something like that?

Tuesday, August 19, 2008 12:27:00 PM  
Anonymous stacy said...

I think you've got lots of great suggestions so far. As an overwhelmed single mom myself, without some of those extra factors stressing me out on top of it, I think the big thing is for people to just jump in and help without being asked. I've found it can be really hard to ask for help no matter how overwhelmed you are, even if people have offered in general, to ask for specifics can be tough to actually do. Food, babysitting, spa day, time to herself and help with home projects are all great ideas. Two of the most helpful, meaningful things my aunt has done for me so far is to surprise me by coming to clean the house and mow the yard since both had been so neglected. Any time I get some help on meals it is really appreciated too. My bet is any little bit of help will go a long way.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008 12:50:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I found your link thru another adoption blog I read. Speaking as a wife whose husband was gone when our daughter was very small, offer to clean her bathroon, do any of the outside work that hubby would do, or even offer to do all her grocery shopping. Things that she doesn't have time or energy to do for herself. Then babysit so she can nap!!!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008 11:40:00 PM  
Anonymous Elaine said...

I think all the suggestions have been great. The meals, the babysitting,and the help cleaning. Also, maybe get her a babysitter and then gather some other gals and take her for a girls' night out. Where we lived before, there were a lot of military families in our congregation, and a few of the husbands were deployed at various times. The wives seemed to stick together and were a great support system for each other. They did a lot of girls' nights out (with non-military friends as well).

Wednesday, August 20, 2008 9:09:00 AM  
Blogger justamom said...

I think the ideas are great, but here are some additional thoughts. I think the less she thinks she's intruding on you, the better. Like, just bring the meals and let her know they are there and she can take them home, rather than asking what she likes to eat. Like, if she doesn't live too far from you, call her when you are on your way to the grocery store or Target or whatever and ask, since you're going there anyway, if you can pick anything up for her and drop it off. Perhaps hire a responsible babysitter instead of yourself. If you're her boss, she might not want you to see the state her home has gotten into while she's been single and home with a sick baby. Like, try your best to not let her know how vehemently opposed you are to the war -- she likely knows this about you, but your greatest support for her current circumstances might be your silence and empathy for her current situation. If you can spare her, just quietly give her a few hours off or an early day so she can get some errands done without using up her leave time. Quietly compassionate kindness is the best thing.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008 8:59:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We are getting a Schwan's Gift Cert. for my sister (new baby) so she can choose her frozen meals (and ice cream of course). That might be an idea. I know when D travels, adult conversation is so appreciated and can make my whole day. Just don't call me at 9 pm, I'll talk your ear off.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008 9:23:00 PM  
Blogger Sarah said...

You are so sweet. I would say cleaning lady, babysitter, and a movie ticket.

Thursday, August 21, 2008 4:05:00 PM  
Blogger Tranny Head said...

Sounds rather familiar ... except the support person thing.

Anyway, I can relate. I HATE asking people for help and even though I had numerous friends offer to help me numerous times, I have yet to seek one of them out to take them up on their offer. Though I admit offers are always nice. But frozen meals you can heat up? I would be all over that.

Oh - one thing that is VERY helpful? Company on the weekend. I have found the weekends the hardest because most of my friends don't have kids. Thus, while they're out at the movies I'm at home by myself. They're trying to invite me to happy hour and I'm annoyed because there's no way in hell I can do it. What I need the most while hubby is in Iraq is somebody to invite me (and my kid) over for dinner or something like that on a weekend. I wouldn't have the expectations of a restaurant, but I'd have adult company and not have to stress too much about whether my kid misbehaves or not. You'd be amazed how starved for adult conversation you can be with a baby on the weekend. Anyway, pepole who offer that sort of thing are by far the most appreciated of my friends while my husband is gone.

Thursday, August 21, 2008 9:11:00 PM  
Blogger mam said...

Add a cleaning person to the mix, and I think that's wonderful. I do agree with the commentor, though, who suggested perhaps not doing it yourself...it can be awkward to accept personal help from a boss, even if we're not willing to say it out loud.

Saturday, August 23, 2008 6:54:00 PM  
Blogger Nicole - Raising Animals said...

I've been in that EXACT spot and I can tell you that either one of those things would be perfect! How sweet of you guys to be thinking of her!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008 10:15:00 PM  

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