When I'm Taking Care of Myself, Please Don't Tell Me to Take Care of Myself

pen-1743189_640Sometimes, I think the wrong message about caregiving becomes our bad rap.

We hear over and over that, as family caregivers, we don't take care of ourselves.

Last year, during the lowest lows of my parents' declines, I wrote a Weekly Comfort called Swallow. Soon after publishing the post, a visitor commented that I needed to take care of myself. I replied, "Writing is what helps me which is why I took a few minutes to write this piece. That’s my self-care."

In essence, while I was taking care of myself (writing), someone told me to take care of myself.

Today, during our Conversations about Caregiving Twitter chat, someone popped into our chat of family caregivers taking time out of their day to receive support and camaraderie to announce that family caregivers don't take care of themselves.

So, while we were taking care of ourselves by unloading and sharing with others who understand, someone told us to take of ourselves.

I would love if we could move away from the message that family caregivers don't take care of themselves and instead move into a discussion about how little support our health care system and our communities offer us. We don't have enough help. That's the message.

With enough help, we have time for all that's required during our day as well as for ourselves.

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