Thursday, March 21, 2013
The Proper Care and Feeding Of The Caregiver
After 13 years together, John knows me well. A few years ago, he realized that when I am crabby, it is because I have not eaten. 99% of the time if I am overwhelmed or frustrated, he'd ask me when I last ate- and it was usually two meals ago. Of course the kids had eaten and life had been well maintained for even the dogs- but I had let my self-care fall by the wayside.
After that happened more than a few times, I realized that it does not do my kids any favors for me to 'put my needs aside' to the point of neglect. It wasn't serving anyone. Do I put aside a lot for my kids? You bet. But there has to be balance. It's funny how that word rings through my mind sometimes. So much seems imbalanced.
Moms seem to suffer from unbalanced give/take.
What if once a week, we sat down and read a little bit? I miss reading. I don't do it often enough. What if we put the kids to bed and put on a movie?!? I don't mean 'put on a movie' and then you run around the house starting the washing machine and cleaning the kitchen. I mean sit down and just watch the movie! I can't tell you how many times I have tried to do this, and John will walk in and say "So what's this about?" and I will say "Oh. I don't know- I got distracted doing _______."
Moms are tired. Dads are tired. We have a whole new 'sandwich generation' who are now caring for their parents AND their kids at once. That is exhausting. People are tired and unbalanced and overwhelmed.
Let's all try to proactively properly care for ourselves so that we can be better human beings and caregivers. I'm going to work on this myself. Eat breakfast! Take a walk! You will benefit and I will benefit and those we care for will certainly benefit.