You never thought you would see yourself in this position a few years ago, but here you are now. The primary caregiver to your aging parents, and a mom too. Although it is not the perfect or ideal setup, you can still make it work. It will not always be plain sailing, and there will often be more rough times than smooth, but persistence is important. Sticking with your family and working through everything together as a team will ensure that you come out of this journey stronger and closer than ever. Making it work requires time, dedication, and careful planning, so where should you start?
A Schedule or Timetable is a Must
You are effectively juggling two households, and trying to do so without a schedule or timetable in pace is simply asking for trouble. Two households will have different schedules and commitments, so putting together a schedule will ensure that you don’t miss any key events. Whether this is your mother’s routine checkup at the local doctors or your son’s first soccer match. Without a schedule in place, you will struggle to fulfill and meet all of your commitments, and, ultimately, this will leave you feeling frustrated and upset.
Having Daily Priorities’ and Sticking to Them
When you look at the schedule and see what is going on for that day or that week ahead, you must prioritize your chores and tasks. If you do not prioritize what you are doing both in your children’s lives and in your parent’s lives, then you will struggle to meet deadlines, and you will struggle to get important errands done.
You are Not Superhuman – You Need a Break
Caring for many people can be challenging, but caring for loved ones of all different ages can be time-consuming, stressful, and demanding, especially if they do not want the help. You cannot be expected to do everything for everyone all of the time; you need a break. If you fail to take a break, or your fail to look after yourself, then your health and well-being will suffer as a result, and you will find that you cannot give everyone the care, time, and attention that they need and ultimately this is what you set out to achieve.
Support is there – Just Ask
On this journey, you are not alone, and you never will be. Seeking support from your family, from loved ones, and even from trained organizations and professionals will ensure that you get through even the most difficult of patches. You need support at some points throughout your care journey, and you must remember that there is no shame in seeking or receiving support. If you fail to get support, then you risk burning out and ultimately ceasing to function properly. You are, of course, not a robot or a machine so seek support in any way that you can. Just a quick chat with someone outside of your home can help relieve any stress, pressure, or tension you may have been previously feeling.
Respite Breaks and Additional Care May Be Needed at Any Time
Taking a few hours out here and there is all well and good, but if you feel that you need more time, you must take the time you need; you must look at care on offer at Brandywine Living. Organizing additional care, assisted living, or even respite care through Brandywine Colts Neck will ensure that you can rest easy knowing that your loved ones are happy, content, and in safe hands. Having others help you with care is not giving up; it should be seen as something positive and proactive. You cannot give your best all of the time, so share the workload with others as and when you need to.
Making Time for Yourself
Self-care and self-appreciation are important. If you do not make time for yourself, then you will not be a good mom or a good caregiver. Trying to be everything to everyone all of the time is not sustainable. Making time for yourself is not selfish; you need time to regroup, and you need time to focus on what you want and what you need. You cannot successfully look after others for prolonged periods of time if you are not looking after yourself.
Spending quality Time with Your Children and Family
Care work, even with family, is hard work; it is emotionally and physically demanding. Spending time with your family and with your children is what you need to positively move forwards. As a mom, your driving factor should be your children, they will know what you are doing for their grandparents, and they will appreciate it (whether they always show it or not). Spending regular quality time with your family and kids at least once a week will allow you to re-energize and recharge your batteries.
Knowing Your Limits and Limitations
Trying to balance everything within your life all of the time will not work. Recognizing and embracing your limits and your limitations will ensure that you do not take on more than you can handle or that you do not try and do too much. Sometimes within a caregiving situation, especially when children and parents are involved, you have to accept that you can only do so much. When you accept that you have limitations, you can embrace what you do and what you offer, and you can enjoy every moment and memory you get with your children and parents instead of always worrying about what will happen next.
Simplifying Your Life and Your Routines as Much as You Can
Trying to juggle everything you have going on can leave even the most organized of moms feeling desperate for help and guidance. To try and balance care between your family and your parents, you need to try and simplify your life and routine as much as possible. Trying to stuff lots into a day or a week may be tempting, but how successful would it be? In reality, could you keep up with such a chaotic and hectic life? When you simplify things right down, you ensure that you only take on what you can handle.