When they asked the little girl where her home was she replied - Where mother is

Parents Can Be Proactive

Published: July 19, 2006

It’s often been the issue in the back of my mind, and resides in the “what if” category of conversations that I’ve had with my husband with no definitive answers – and that is – what happens if I get sick or need medical attention?

As a Stay at Home Mom, I’m the one who is responsible for my children’s health and making sure that everyone is looked after. There is always a plan in place in case one of my children is sick however there really isn’t a plan in place in case something befalls me. And let’s face it – when mom isn’t around – things tend to fall apart– that is - unless your family is prepared for it.

The importance of a family plan became crystal clear for me this past weekend, when I stepped on a bee in the backyard and had to be rushed to the emergency due to an allergic reaction. And what we later discovered as I lied in the hospital waiting for the reaction to dissipate, was that there were so many things that we had not been prepared for, in a situation like this one.

After the incident occurred and I returned hope safely that day, my husband and I sat down and created a plan for our family. We listed the most important things that we would need for any unforeseen circumstance that would prevent me from providing the usual “mom” things for the family.

For instance, as a breast feeding mom I need to have extra breast milk on hand in the freezer. My daughter is unable to take any type of formula due to an allergic reaction, so I am the sole provider for her food intake. It is even more important for our family to have extra on hand in case I cannot provide it when it is feeding time.

I also wrote out a schedule that shows “a day in the life” for each of them. This will assist any other person who may be looking after the children, what the children do each day (ie- when it is bath time, what they eat during the day, and when it is bed time, etc.)

We had to discuss what to do if something happens to me while I am on my own with the children. What happens if I cannot reach the phone or speak for myself? What we decided to do was teach our very bright, three year old son how to push the numbers 9-1-1 in case I wasn’t able to.

We made a list of allergies that each family member has experienced and all reactions to certain medications etc., for medical professionals as a reference in the event that I cannot relay it myself.

We also discussed who we could contact if I needed someone to come over to the house to help. We have listed names and numbers of relatives and neighbours who are close at hand and have posted it up on our fridge.

I strongly suggest that all parents have a family plan in place in case of an emergency or unforeseen circumstance. For your sake, and for your children’s sake, take the time to do it. Also, discuss the plan with your relatives, friends and neighbours. The more people that you can include in your plan – the better.

It’s your best insurance policy that ensures your family remains safe and cared for if the nurturer suddenly becomes the one who requires the nurturing. And it’s the kind of policy that you never have to pay for…as long as you make one.