Guilt is a powerful emotion. In many ways, it is a natural response for when you do something wrong or when you don’t do something you should. But when it comes to caregiving, it can truly seem that even though you do nothing wrong, you feel like you can never do enough. Sometimes your loved ones may even use guilt purposefully to force you to give them your full attention or to get something they want. You’re doing everything you can, but all you hear are complaints. Are you doing enough?
Do Not Marginalize Yourself.
Caregiving is a hard job that takes a lot of commitment. As AARP puts it, “There is no formula for becoming a caregiver. Each experience is unpredictable, ever changing and unique.” Refrain from marginalizing the magnitude of caring for a family member as well as your role in it. You may tell yourself that if you truly loved mom or dad, it wouldn’t be so hard. But it’s essential for you to understand that it is OK to do what you can and accept that. You also have to somehow balance the other parts of your life.
Take Time Away.
When you’re caregiving, it would be nice if the rest of your life would stop. But unfortunately, it doesn’t. There is still a job to work, kids to take care of, errands to run, etc. You may feel that in all of this, you never have some time to do something that isn’t directly related to one of your suffocating responsibilities. If you continue, you will eventually experience burnout. So take time to exercise, read a book, or attend a support group. You may feel guilty at first, but if you don’t put your needs first once in a while, you won’t be able to effectively care for the needs of your loved ones.
You love your parents, there is no doubt about it. But pushing yourself too hard can put a strain on your relationship with them and everyone else. Don’t be afraid to reach out to other family members or friends for short-term respite. Consider also that there are professional caregivers available in your area who are trained and willing to not only put your parents needs first, but also give you a much needed break… free from guilt.
Of course, the goal in all of this is to give your loved ones the best care possible. And believe it or not, you can’t do it alone, and there’s nothing wrong with that.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering caregiver services in Fort Worth, TX, please contact the caring staff at Custom Caregivers today. Call us at (972) 702-7988.
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