The Caregiver

Caregiving is not as easy or natural as some might think.  To some it is an acquired skill. An Art form.

As a child I used to love to play with my dolls.  I had so many dolls too.  All or most were baby ones, one was porcelain (which was a bit creepy, lol), a few were bigger buddy type dolls and the rest and my most favorites were stuffed (both stuffed animals and rag dolls).  I would pretend to feed them, bathe them, put them to bed, teach them, and even scold them.  Like any child I was just re-enacting the world around me through them.  As I grew up some of the caring tendencies went away, I guess I had no use for them at that time.  In my late 20’s I became pregnant and panic started.  I had the realization that I was not ready to care for another human being when I have done such a crappy job caring for myself.  I couldn’t keep finances, honestly I still can’t but I am continuously learning, I barely knew the father of my child, and I sure did not want to repeat the abusive patterns my father had so forcefully ingrained in me.  My poor first child, what was to become of him? and me for that matter.  A long hard road ahead . . .  Every day was an Odyssey.  Parenthood was not happiness for me.  It took me to the deepest corners of my soul and shone a light of hopelessness, despair, and isolation.  Parenthood brought forth every issue or insecurity that I have had stashed away in my emotional closet without a hint of mercy.  I have worked in commercial kitchens all my life up to this point, but I could not juggle the house, the kids, and the husband.  Unfortunately to say, my marriage paid the price, and again I felt hopeless, in despair, and isolated.  The beauty of experiences like this is, while you are in the middle of the storm you don’t see your personal growth, but once you come out you can see how you have become the being you never thought you would be.

Fast forward to my current situation.  I am staring down the caregiver role once again.  This time I’m caring for my mom.  At first I thought this isn’t so bad, but then I started thinking about bathing her, changing her, helping her move, dress, and tending to the house as well, and panic started.  Then, my mom started to need me, but I learned she was going through the same anxiety of having someone helping her.  To watch my mom struggle with something as simple as sitting up on bed helped me put my panic aside and ease her from her anxieties.

As the caregiver I am hoping to shed some light at the task of caring for a parent.  What is working for me, what does not.  I will talk about some of my issues with housekeeping, as well as share some of my resources that have worked for me on budget, cleaning, and organization.  Other topics covered are legal issues and documents, meal planning, activities for the elder, and activities for yourself.

I hope you find something within these posts that will inspire you whether to fix your house, or help a loved one.  Share your journey, leave a comment down below ;).