Why is it so hard to admit that we can’t do everything on our own? I try so hard to do everything, please everybody, and hold all the pieces together. I either am going a hundred miles an hour trying to accomplish everything or sitting on the couch in tears because I am failing. Grandpa is still not sleeping well – waking four to 12 times a night needing assistance. I can do all the daytime things, and I can do all the night time caregiving, but I can’t do them both and maintain my family.
Family has come to stay for a while. My dear husband’s brother, wife and three girls. They instantly can see that some outside assistance is needed. I want to agree, but something holds me back… 1) A need to make sure that I am not playing the “victim” role (poor me), 2) A need to prove that I can do it all (super mom, wife, and caregiver), 3) A need to take time to truly see the full picture and not just agree because I want to.
Two weeks into summer and I am ready to agree. I am home with my kids and I want to do things with them… is that selfish? Exhaustion kicking in and I want to take a nap… is that selfish? Grandpa has increased confusion and paranoia and I want someone else to deal with it… is that selfish? Then slowly the realization that it is not selfishness, that it is not failure, that it is called regaining a healthy balance.
God provides…a friend of the family. Unemployed nurse with an 10-month-old baby. She is willing to come stay a few hours two days a week to start with. She can bring her precious little girl. She can help be in charge of Grandpa. I won’t have to ask my family or children to do it. She can help with some of his laundry and his cares.
So starting in a couple of days, I will have six hours/week that I am not responsible for the care of Grandpa. I can take my kids to the pool. I can take a nap. I can go more than 15 minutes without wondering about Grandpa. I think that is the most draining on me right now. The feeling of constantly needing to know where he is, what he is doing, and feeling like I should be doing more with him. He is so mobile at times during the day that he wanders the farm site. He is hard to keep track of. I feel like I can never fully rest or relax. So I am looking forward to a little respite, a time where I don’t have to feel guilty for taking a little “me time”.
God is good… all the time!