Have we by now safely established that caring for Un-cope-able Parents is back-breaking? Yes!!
So, why do I continue to emphasize the impossible burden you carry? I suspect you stilldon’t consistently allow in the so-called “negative” ones.
I reiterate: You need NOT demonstrate Mother Teresa or Papal dedication to “prove” you’re a “good” child to unreasonable elders. Remember: We’re not talking mature parents.
It’s 100% OK to feel totally exhausted by multiple competing demands… job… significant other… children… grand-children… home and/or car maintenance… your health… andTONS more.
As a next-generation caregiver, you’re adding one more responsibility to a crushing load. You long to get un-stuck from feeling like you’re the soggy middle in a burnt (out) triple-decker grilled cheese – and that’s no bologna!
Extreme self-care is NOT selfish.
Apart from an infant’s relentless demands, I can think of no period that will leech such tremendous energy from your precious stores.
Last time, I asked you to stay tuned for further ideas on how to care for self.
Here’s a key distinction. Extreme self-care is akin to what the airlines recommend. It means, donning your own oxygen mask first in an emergency.
Yet, can I tell you how often across decades of coaching and workshop experience people have misinterpreted this statement? More than one participant has attacked me for suggesting we place ourselves first and foremost. Wow. Something about carving out time for self-care triggers the vehement reaction, as if this makes us bad parents or spouses.
Such over-the-top reactions miss the point. My offering is, to truly aid your fellow passenger, you need full capability. In this case, your “flight companions” are your unmanageable aged.
May I lift my kimono?
May I be a challenging provocateur henceforth? Whether you answered yes or no, I plan to do so anyway
In courageous admission, here goes:
- I’m the Only Child of a mentally-ill mother and alcoholic father throughout my formative years. For years, that disenfranchised Identity shaped me.
- I have zero qualms about frankly hating both my parents for decades.
- As my folks’ health issues compounded, I sighed in bitter weariness at my inevitable re-entry into a grievous household fray I’d prayed to escape.
- Yes, I initially framed eldercare as a prisoner’s second 25-year “life sentence”
My parting reflections…
This is not singularly how I feel today.
Please continue to join in as I share my journey from VICTIMHOOD to VICTORY.