Caregiving Journey: Duty


Caregiving Journey: Duty


It's one of my least favorite words. I am reminded of my Girl Scout pledge: "On my honor I will try to do my duty to God and my country ..." (In prep for this blog, I looked up the promise and found that it now reads "On my honor I will try to serve God and my country..." Better!)

So why do I recoil from this word? It's simply a joy stealer for me.

Suppose my husband gives me a gift. "Oh, Sweetie thank you for thinking of me."  Imagine if he replied "I'm your husband. It's my duty." Talk about a moment-stealer!  How much better to hear, "I love you.  It is easy to give you things. I want you to know how special you are."

Contrast these thoughts:

It is my duty to care for my husband vs it is my privilege to care for my husband. I prefer privilege.

It is my duty to raise children vs it is a joy to raise my children. I prefer joy.

It is my duty to be good to my friends vs it is fun to be good to my friends. I prefer fun.

In my life, duty drains. Joy and privilege, honor and fun replenish.

It was my privilege to help my parents in the way they needed. It's my joy and honor to care for my husband.  It's love, not duty.  Those are two very different things.

For me, I hope this caregiving journey will be a duty-free zone.

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Sigh... sometimes it seems like duty. I tell myself I'm doing this for my dad, over and over. Of course, if it was just my mom, I'd still be doing it.


Well said. I don't like that word either. It seems to take choice out of the equation. I feel there are always choices, including how we look at things.


Your posts are always so well crafted, <a href='' rel=\"nofollow\">@marfromwi</a>. For me the term \"duty\" connotes joyless drudgery which has no place next to love. For those whose carees are not loved ones, perhaps the better term is \"responsibility\" or even \"choice.\"

Lillie Fuller

I so agree my friend!!!