The job of keeping up with a household doesn’t stop when you feel sick. The laundry still piles up and the kids still have soccer practice, even when your body tells you to rest. But your needs are part of the family's needs, too.
You don't have to do it all yourself when you don’t feel up to par.
Ulcerative colitis can begin very early. At the age of 12, for instance, Amanda Sina Griffith found herself the object of a custody battle -- and was besieged by painful stomachcramps and bloody diarrhea. “I’d had very mild stomach symptoms before; my doctor thought it was a bacterial infection. But now, it was worse,” she recalls. The diagnosis was ulcerative colitis.
Now 31, the Norton, Mass., public relations consultant and mother of a 7-month-old still finds that when she’s under stress...
Put yourself on a schedule. Set aside certain days to do specific chores, including yard work, so that you don't overdo it.
Split the tasks among family members. Assign each person one or more jobs to do every week, such as taking out the trash and vacuuming the rugs. Or, use a "chore jar" to mix it up, so different people tackle different things.
Prioritize what can and can't wait. Your health is always more important than dirty dishes in the sink.
You might want to have a cleaning service come in regularly. Or you could hire one to do a thorough scouring a few times a year.
Cook in Advance
Be ready for days when you don't feel like cooking. Make and freeze extra meals on your good days.
Also, don't be shy. Telling your partner it's his or her turn to make dinner. Ask friends to drop off meals when you're having a flare. Look into prepared meal delivery plans, too.
Be a Savvy Shopper
Stick to stores where you know the layouts of the aisles and the restroom locations.
Get the family involved to speed your shopping time. Break up your list, and give your spouse or older kids some items to find. Have everyone meet back at the checkout area.
Your local supermarket may deliver. There are online grocery shopping services, too.
Specialized local vendors may offer home delivery of dairy products, baked goods, and more. Check to see if there's a community-supported agriculture group, or CSA, that delivers in your area. When you join a CSA, you pay a fee for a growing season, then get a share of the harvest each week. It could include vegetables, fruits, herbs, eggs, dairy products, meat, honey, or cut flowers, depending on the farms involved.