Do you know caregivers who’s exhaustion, worry and walking on eggshells is making them crabby toward their spouses, are taking on more tasks & responsibility and their anger is keeping them in a negative place? Through my coaching, I work with caregivers just like that who want their relationship with their spouse to be more of what it was, to have more energy to focus on their own physical health and to not to have to be on top of everything.
If you feel resentful you are not alone. Many caregivers feel this way. Many of us feel resentful toward our spouse, loved one, family, friends – and many resent their circumstances.
And you don’t have to feel this way.
You have the power to choose to shift away from that feeling and to make another choice.
This is important because resentment changes who you are. Many of my clients say yes to coaching because they find themselves becoming someone they no longer recognize.
What can you do to shift away from feeling resentful?
◦ First, get clear and be honest with yourself about what or who you are feeling resentful toward. When you are clear then you can move forward.
◦ Second, why do you feel resentful?
◦ Third, and this is my favorite, write down 50 ways to have peace of mind. They can be ridiculous and make no sense – the goal here is to get you thinking outside of the box. When you do, you will find at least one way to have peace of mind and presence. Goodbye resentment!
By the way, during our Sliver of Light Membership Club Support Group meetings we talk about resentment – and so much more.
Mark your calendar for Thursday, May 26th at 10:30 a.m. cst and join us for an hour so that you can replace some of the background processing into peace of mind and presence so that you can experience less stress, less regret, and more joy.
In our FB Community, The Caregivers Collective, the community brought up:
I don’t see myself as caregiver
Can I consider myself a caregiver?
What makes a caregiver?
What’s our definition?
What came out of this conversation is that individuals have trouble being called a caregiver because they don’t feel like they meet the criteria. They feel that they are not there enough, and to them that they are not doing much.
The thing is they begin to see that the things that they DO do as counting. And in some cases, it is 100% doable from anywhere.
From this conversation what came up was when they went looking and asking themselves, ‘What do I do?’, ‘What do I need to do?’, and then seeing that they have a function that is critical in the care. Like supporting other family and friends and their loved one in decision making and having their back.
I’ve been reading “Take Your Oxygen First” by Leeza Gibbons. This paragraph struck me⇩
“…….there can be a great deal of shame and stigma attached to the idea of caregiving. Caregivers are often described as ‘martyrs’ and ‘victims’. To many, caregiving is often associated with codependency, a mental health challenge in which a person cares too much for another’s struggles, often enabling bad behavior in the one being cared for. These associations cause caregivers to avoid being labeled a ‘caregiver’ and, as a result, they fail to seek help for themselves.”
Excerpt from “Take Your Oxygen First”
In particular, this quote⇩
……..’Cause caregivers to avoid being labeled a ‘caregiver’ and, as a result, they fail to seek help for themselves’
Why does how you define yourself matter? I see this over and over again. When you don’t define yourself as a caregiver, you fail to seek help. When you fail to seek help, you suffer. When you suffer, your loved one also suffers.
What to do about it?
What if you defined yourself as a caregiver so that you sought the help and support you need? What would you be experiencing as a result of having that support and help?
This is a much bigger conversation. Let’s continue it together. Post your comments below.
‘Mom’s going to run out of money’! Has this thought ever entered your mind? It has for me and for many caregivers.
‘Will long term care insurance pay for mom’s care?,” was what I wondered early on (fun fact – it didn’t).
Other caregivers have said that they want their mom cared for at a certain level and they know that her money will not sustain that level long term. I worry about this too.
Finally, like many caregivers, I treasure my lifestyle. And like others, if I needed to I would kick in the funds to sustain her level of care – but to be honest, I really don’t want to have to do that.
What to do?
First, give yourself grace. Just because you are worried about mom not having enough money to pay for her care does not mean that you are being selfish. Quite the contrary. You are being honest and forward thinking.
Speaking of honest and forward thinking – there are many ways to get a handle on our loved ones finances so that we, the caregivers, feel more secure.
I’m not a financial advisor (dear gawd far from it!) I am only the daughter of an 86 year old mother that wants the best care for her and to make sure that she has enough funds to sustain that level of care.
A few things that I’ve done to help me to feel more secure in managing mom’s funds:
Know what your mom has to work with. Banking, stocks, investments, insurance.
Reach out for assistance. AARP is a great resource. For me connecting with a senior care specialist was super helpful.
Keep a budget for your loved one.
Reach out to your loved one’s financial advisor, if they have one.
Money is the most stressful, un-fun part of being a caregiver. And the struggle with it is something we all have in common as caregivers.
Surrounding yourself with others that are also struggling with the frustrations of making sure there is enough money for their loved ones care also helps.
You may have noticed that I’m shifting the way I serve you.
I know, right?
Let’s get this official!
Over almost two years now, as you know, I’ve ‘switched my niche’ over to caregiver coaching. One of the reasons I’ve loved doing that is because of seeing how detrimental it is for caregivers, sacrificing their health and sometimes their lives, to care for a loved one. Like my dad did for his mother. We lost him way too early because he put his health on hold to care for her.
Way back in the beginning of the pandemic is when I looked inside and realized that caregivers are who I want to support. So I ran with it!
I’m here today to announce to you and explain that is what I did and that is who I serve – since August of 2020 (you know, the lost year) and I’m just getting around to tell you 🤦🏻♀️. When I get really excited about something and just know in my gut this is what the universe is telling me to do, I run with it – and explain later!
Let me ask you this question: Do you know individuals that are up to their eyeballs struggling with caring for a loved one and noticing that they are becoming a person they don’t recognize? Bitter, angry & resentful? Well through my coaching, I’m helping them to get back to being themselves again.
I was so excited about this new opportunity that I realized that I forgot to explain it to you. I know that with how I’m focusing my efforts, I will be able to make a big impact in this world doing the work that I absolutely love.
As I was talking with someone about why I do what I do just a few weeks ago, I realized a reason that I had kept buried and was unaware of – at least on the surface.
My dad is my why. I can remember my dad coming home from my grandmother’s (his mother), who lived next door, tired, hungry and just wanting to spend time with my mom and me. He is just walking through the back door and grandma calls. He has to go back.
My mom didn’t tell me this until I was older, but my dad was taking my grandmother’s prescription pain medication – for who knows how long. After my grandmother passed away, dad finally went to his doctor for the pain. It was too late and the cancer was too far gone.
Reflecting back on this and on what I’ve noticed with caregivers, is that caregivers put themselves ‘dead last’. I’ve heard that term before and just got it now. Jesus.
My dad is only one of the caregivers that I have known that put their physical health last for their parents, loved ones, children.
What I know is this – if you are reading this, your loved one is well cared for. They are good. I say this because I know you, the reader. You put yourself last. You are focused on making sure that your loved one has everything they need. What if you put that same focus on yourself? Go ahead. Your loved one is good because I know the high degree to which you care for them. Even if guilt is trying to overtake you.
“Caring for them is all consuming,” someone has said. It can be if you let it. What would it take for you to take care of you?
What if you said, now hangin here with me here, “no” to them sometimes? And not saying the word to them, unless you need to, and saying no in your mind to them?
For an example, say your mom says she needs tea. She’s out. Instead of dropping everything and running to the store, say that you will get it for her, and do not rush out to the store to buy it. Add it to your grocery list and next time you go to the store, get it. Now that you’ve done that, you’ve freed up some time for yourself. What will you do with that time – for you?
What will you say no to so that you can say yes to yourself?
Remember that you are doing your best – and are also going above and beyond for your loved one.
P.S. I am on a mission to empower 10,000 individuals that are up to their eyeballs in caring for an aging loved one to continue being themselves without guilt and stand in their power using coaching and a simple step-by-step path. Join us at The Caregivers Collective www.facebook.com/groups/caregiverscollective/
3 Ways to Not Lose Yourself in the Upcoming Holiday Madness
What’s Happened to My Aging Loved One During the Pandemic & How Can I Support Them?
Are you feeling anxious about gathering with family again after not seeing them in almost two years?
Are you starting to wonder what your aging loved ones will be like (and secretly know that they will be different) and wonder how you can support them, without losing yourself?
My friend Kathleen and I have got you covered! No worry or anxiety on our watch!
Your next steps:
Click here to sign up for Kathleen’s program, 3 Ways to Not Lose Yourself in the Upcoming Holiday Madness, coming up this Saturday, November 13th at 10 AM EST/3 PM Irish time.
There are only 15 spaces left so don’t wait!
Then click here to sign up for my program, What’s happened to my aging loved one since the pandemic and how can I support them while I keep being myself? on Friday, November 19th at 12 PM CST/1 PM EST,
To convert the time correctly so you don’t miss a thing, click this link to WorldTimeBuddy
It’s been, what, almost two years now since the pandemic started.
Have you already noticed some changes with your mom, uncle, grandparent? Things like repeating themselves, forgetting that they’ve asked you the same question 5 times, talking a lot louder than ever?
Are you freaking out? Wondering, “Oh no it’s that time. They are starting to fail and that means that I have to step in. But to what degree, what can I do, what will they allow me to do, what do I want to do?
It is your choice. Whew. Feel better? Not really? Okay let’s break this down. You have a choice as to how you react to what you are noticing. You can either: Say something like, “Mom, I noticed that you put your purse in the freezer,” or something along those lines. That’s all you have to say. “I noticed” and let the conversation flow from there. Your loved one might admit that they’ve been catching themselves doing some strange stuff as well. Your loved one might deny everything. Either way, you’ve opened up that communication.
Your second choice here, because remember I did say that you had a choice……is to ignore it and carry on as usual – until something happens.
There is no right or wrong answer here, by the way, and no judgment from me. Because I chose to ignore what I noticed with my mom until something happened. If I had it to do over again, I’d have noticed and had that conversation. And that is the reason why I’m supporting individuals who are up to their eyeballs in caring for an aging loved one, wanting to get back into being themselves. So if I had done things differently, would I be here doing this now? Hmmm. Who knows. You can’t go back, only forward.
You may be worried that if you notice and you have that conversation, you will be ‘on the hook’ for caring for your aging loved one. Not so and again you have the choice. What I know is that when you ask and have those conversations, then you can be better informed to make the decision for yourself what your role here will look like. You don’t have to have it all figured out at once. One step at a time.
Are you worried about the upcoming holidays when you see your aging loved one in person, knowing that there may be a change in them?
Are you one of those individuals I mentioned earlier, up to your eyeballs in caring for an aging loved one, wanting to get back into being yourself?
Either way, I’ve got you. Let’s talk so that you can mitigate the fear, frustration and maybe guilt you are feeling. Click here to visit my calendar and schedule your “Getting Back to Yourself” discovery call. This is a complimentary call just for you so that you can have a clear path moving forward in whatever you decide is best for you and for your aging loved one.
P. S. Tell me in the comments below, what are you worried about with the upcoming holidays and your aging loved ones?