I support adult children who are just beginning to care for an aging parent and are struggling with guilt, frustration and feeling like they want their life back. Through my 1-on-1 coaching I walk my clients through my proven 5 step path – You Again: How to Have a Life for Yourself AND a Happy, Aging Parent so that they can truly have a life of their own with no guilt or frustration AND a happy, aging parent.
I’m not caring for my parent……… yet. And when we dig into this we find out that you are helping with banking, running errands, making sure pills are taken.
Guess what? You may be caregiving an aging parent and you don’t realize it or are scared to admit it.
What I know is that when you acknowledge that you are indeed caring for an aging parent, then you can empower yourself with that so that you can get part of your life back AND also have a happy, aging parent.
My mom recently had surgery (she’s recovering really well!) and I caught myself falling into the ‘I’ll take care of everything’ trap’ again.
I’ve learned that I had to step back and let others help with my mom. The helpers were there. It was so easy for me to get ‘sucked into’ doing everything for her myself. When I stepped back, I realized that mom was being taken care of – maybe not in the way I would do it, but she was being taken care of.
I got stuck in my own ‘I’ll take care of it’ and realized that was exactly where I was 9 years ago, when I first began to care for my mom, and I got burned out. Noticing that was where I was headed again was what stopped me and cued me in to step back.
I realize that I have the luxury of stepping back – or away – and that there is a team stepping in to care for my mom. And I feel deeply for those of you that stepping away is not nearly as easy, since I got a taste of that for myself.
In my empty pockets of time when mom was napping or eating or just generally entertained, I would go for walks to step away for a while, go home and take a nap (boy was that the best nap I’ve ever had), manicure my nails.