Balance Family Life With Ulcerative Colitis


In this Article

  • Rethink Your Approach to Cleaning
  • Cook in Advance
  • Be a Savvy Shopper
  • Get Creative With Child Care
  • Make Plans for Your Pets
  • Open Up to Your Loved Ones

When you have ulcerative colitis, a little advance planning and some timely help from your family will give you the boost you need to manage your household chores. Whether it’s doing the laundry, buying groceries, or getting the kids to soccer practice, follow some easy steps to keep your daily tasks on track.

Rethink Your Approach to Cleaning

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 members of your family. 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.

Decide what can and can’t wait. Remember, 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

Also, don’t be shy about asking for help. Tell your partner it’s their 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. Some stores in your neighborhood 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 one, 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.

Get Creative With Child Care

Keep a list of friends, extended family, and neighbors you can call on when you need help getting the kids to an activity. These same people could also take your children on play dates to give you some downtime when you’re not feeling well.

Talk about your illness with your children. You don’t need to go into a lot of details, but even young kids can understand that there will be days when Mommy or Daddy doesn’t feel well and won’t be able to play with them.

When you have low-energy days, do quiet activities with your children. Read books, do puzzles, or play a board game.

Make Plans for Your Pets

Let another member of the household be responsible for pet duties. Your partner can take your dog for a walk in the morning, and your children can do it when they get home from school. Add other jobs to the weekly chores list, including picking up poop from the yard, changing the litter box, or cleaning cages or tanks.

One of your neighbors may be able to lend a hand. A professional pet sitter can also take care of your pet’s needs and give them love and attention when you can’t.

Open Up to Your Loved Ones

Your family won’t know what you need unless you tell them. You might feel like you’re being a burden when you ask for help, but it’s likely you’re giving someone a chance to feel good by pitching in.

When you make your wellness a priority in the short term, you’ll have more time and energy for your family in the long run.

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Louis Aurisicchio, MD, Mount Kisco Medical Group, Carmel, NY.

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