ISO Alice in Louisville
August 27, 2016 2:23 AM   Subscribe

My dear friend is battling a serious illness in Louisville, KY. She has two very young children. Hopefully she will be recovered in 3 months. I live far away. I would like to temporarily hire Alice from the Brady Bunch to help her and her husband manage their household chores and help them take care of their children. Barring that, looking for ways to support a young mom from a distance.

My brilliant, beautiful, funny, brave friend is battling a serious health problem right now. She has already been through more very serious health challenges than most other young people I know. She's unexpectedly in the hospital with very serious complications of a planned surgery. She is being told that her recovery will be very painful and at times debilitating, that it will take about 3 months, that she'll have to have another serious surgery, and hopefully then this will all be behind her. She has two very young, darling children (one is a baby). Her husband is hands on but overwhelmed. She has family in the area and lots of friends, but there are limitations. I live far away.

My first thought is that I would like to hire Alice from the Brady Bunch to just take over and take care of her and her family. I would like someone utterly competent and willing to do things like go grocery shopping, clean, prepare simple meals, do dishes, and help take care of the children. Is there any way in the U.S. these days to hire someone amazing like that ... temporarily? Even for part time hours?

Second part of the question - please provide any tips for how I can help from afar. She is in the hospital indefinitely at this point. She is understandably depressed and anxious about her children, her pain, her life between now and the recovery period, her work (professional, high-powered job), her husband, the rest of her family, etc. She misses her children. We have sent flowers and her extended friend and family network is doing things like grocery shopping and sending meals. I would like to ease her burdens, and maybe help entertain her during the immediate recovery. And then do things to help (from afar) during the longer recovery until she is back on her feet after the next surgery.

This is all very unexpected and stressful and she has already been such a trooper and put up with so much.
posted by anonymous to Health & Fitness (4 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Unless you're very certain that hired domestic help would be welcome, I'd send money instead, especially since they've already organized her extended network to do stuff for her. It might be someone's got the cooking handled already but they could really use babysitting help or that money for medical bills would do more to ease the stress of being away from work. You can discuss it with them and offer to hire someone, but I'd let them decide what would be most helpful. If there's someone local in Louisville doing the organizing, that might actually be a better place to start asking.

Do not have an Alice just show up at their front door and then your friends are forced to expend precious energy to figure out how to incorporate her into whatever routines they've cobbled together.
posted by yeahlikethat at 6:01 AM on August 27, 2016 [1 favorite]

Definitely run your ideas by her first to see what she would want. is the most obvious choice for where to look for a housekeeper type person. I definitely know a bunch of other people in my field (medical) who hire housekeepers who come over daily to help with the sorts of things that you are talking about.

As an extremely busy person with two small children myself, I also find a meal service super helpful. The meal service allows you to choose the meals you want, the frequency, etc, which I'm sure would be more helpful than having to try to work around sporadically provided meals from friends. There are services that provide meals you just have to heat up, but if you get the housekeeper person, then they could definitely prepare the meals. Alternatively, if the husband has cooking skills, giving him a few hours off per day using a person who just provides childcare would allow him to cook the meals himself (they generally take 30-45 mins to prepare but it's SO much easier than having to make meal plans and do the grocery shopping and all that, it's super helpful).
posted by treehorn+bunny at 8:39 AM on August 27, 2016

I'm a long time Louisville native, still living here. I'm happy to put some feelers out on local Facebook/"mommy group"/etc. pages I'm a part of if you'd like. PM me if I can help in any way.
posted by pecanpies at 6:44 PM on August 27, 2016

Freeing up husband by way of cleaning, laundry and or gardening service may be helpful things to ask about when you discuss this with them.
posted by koahiatamadl at 7:34 AM on August 28, 2016

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