Juggling Life

(Editor's Note: Shorty joins our blogging team today with her first post, below. You can learn more about Shorty by visiting her profile.)

For those of you who don't know me, I am a 45-year-old daughter caring for my 80-year-old mom who has dementia, COPD, and gait issues (pretty much means she falls down a lot). I found myself in this position after the last series of falls which came from mom not eating, not taking care of herself, not taking her medicines correctly, etc. The option was either my husband and I could move in with her or she goes to a nursing home. Even though she has dementia she is still with it enough to know what she wants and she did not want to go to a nursing home. All she ever wanted was to be in her home so in order to accomplish that....here I am!

I guess when I decided to take on this task I thought my world would revolve around her and I didn't have to worry about what the outside world was doing. I thought I could shelter myself with my mom and I would be complete! HAH! What a rude awakening it's been to know that I still have to address issues outside of my mom's care. My husband works outside the home full-time, but that is the only income we have so I soon realized that the old issues I had...financial, errands, tasks, etc. followed me into my mom's house. Not to mention I am in the house I was raised in so all the old ghosts are still here too.

It's funny how you can open your eyes in the morning and have your head full of "things to do" before even getting out of bed. Instead of my responsibilities lessening they became more complex and challenging. I found out that the world will not give me a "pass" to just concentrate on taking care of mom. All the old habits I had of taking care of things changed and were no longer working for me. I felt completely alone and overwhelmed.

Some days "juggling life" creates resentment and frustration in me making me want to shout to the world, "I already take care of my mom, what more do you want?" Then if I listen really close....I hear life say back to me, "Suck it up and put your big girl pants on!" This is when I try to take a step back and remember that life is going on around me and I can either join it or crawl into a hole where I am useless to everyone, including myself.

I realized that tomorrow always comes whether I want it to or not and I can either deal with it head on or give up. Giving up is not an option for me.

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