When Parenting and Caregiving Collide, Do You Let Your Kids Off the Hook?

Denise

When Parenting and Caregiving Collide, Do You Let Your Kids Off the Hook?

Denise
guilt-mdA family member with a chronic illness needs your care, which can mean your kids sometimes must wait. Or do without. Or manage on their own. And, oh!, the guilt can really eat at you, so much so that you might be tempted to let your kids off the hook. But then you've got little monsters living with you.

Yesterday, on Your Caregiving Journey, @G-J joined me to talk about managing the awful collision of caregiving and parenting, when guilt can tempt you into becoming a lenient parent. You can listen to our show via the player, below.

During our show, G-J spoke about when the leniency with her son creeps in, which is followed by her regret (and anger at herself). She also mentioned that she doesn't talk about this aspect of caregiving because she participates in a caregiving support group with members who are much older.

So, I'd love to know: When parenting and caregiving collide, do you let your kids off the hook? Do you find yourself doing too much for your kids or buying them too much or overlooking too much? Please feel free to share your experiences in our comments section, below.

Chat Reminder: G-J will host our monthly chat for those who care for a family member while raising kids on Saturday, April 20, at 11 a.m. ET (10 a.m. CT, 8 a.m. PT). To join the chat, log into your Caregiving.com account and then visit here.


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Jo Rozier

\"Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: 'What! You Too? I thought I was the only one.'\" -- C.S. Lewis\r\n\r\nAgree with @MissAngie, a very good and timely topic from <a href='http://www.m40.siteground.biz/~caregiv6/members/denise/' rel=\"nofollow\">@Denise</a>!\r\n\r\nI listened to the program a couple of times just to take it all in, so much I could comment on.\r\n\r\nFirst of all: <a href='http://www.m40.siteground.biz/~caregiv6/members/g-j/' rel=\"nofollow\">@G-J</a>, not only are you an exceptional wife and mother (in my biased and completely uninformed opinion :-) you are also not alone in this experience. \r\n\r\nAs the quote above says, a huge part of our connection with you is that what you write soooo resonates with so many of us. \r\n\r\nI was struck by your belief that you couldn't talk about this with others. Maybe not he support group filled with your elder-states-men but at a Parent teacher conference, you might be surprised. My experience has been that when I open up with other parents about some of my challenges, the response is always \"Me too!\" I find I have to be careful doing this at work because short comments_mysql become hour + long conversations about the latest foibles of our kids. I think you'd be surprise how many of us feel exactly as you do. \r\n\r\nAlthough you feel as though you are letting your son off the hook with some important items, you gave several examples of areas where you drew a hard line: staying out too late, driving restrictions, getting homework done. \r\n\r\nYou've prioritized and that's what is important. Absolutely you can see and think of a thousand other things that could be done but you let them slide, I'd argue they're not as important as they feel right now.\r\n\r\nYou correctly identified that you cannot fill every role in your son's life and something things he WILL miss out on. What does that teach him? That he is not the only concern in your life. An important lesson later on so that he learns that he is not the center of the universe. \r\n\r\nThese are all conclusions I've had to come to myself as a single parent, sandwich caregiver. \r\n\r\nOne last suggestion, let your son know your limits. As parents we wear the \"superman/woman\" cape pretty well. We never admit or acknowledge what we can't do. I've had moments when I reached my emotional and/or physical breaking point... and I let my kids know, \"Papa can't do [a specific task or activity]. It's not that I can't do life or I can't go on but I have to admit when a chore or project has pushed me to the breaking point. \r\n\r\nAt those times I tell my kids if they want it they will have to do it themselves. Maybe in other \"normal\" families the parents do this for their kids, not happening here, not this time. \r\n\r\nMy kids, after getting over their shock that I have limits, have always stepped up and everyone has been happier going forward.

MissAngie

I can really ,really I mean really relate to this topic.\r\n\r\nWhen my mom Grace first became ill my kids were ages 11 and 9.\r\nWhen mom moved in I felt that I burdened them. I let way too\r\nmany things get out of hand. They are spoiled and I really blame myself.\r\n\r\nI had a daycare from home for ten years and the daycare parents spoiled my kids too.I think Silicon valley is the most lucrative place for a well run licensed daycare. I was paid well and made enough to care for mom from home in her early stages of dementia.\r\nIt got to be too much a few years ago when mom became more confused and thought it was her daycare and that I worked for her. I ended up going out of business due to stress.\r\n\r\nThe funny thing is my kids are spoiled, but not spoiled brats. They seem to be more intuitive to the needs of others than most young adults their age. They are 22 an 20 now and they help with mom and keep her company. \r\n\r\nThey tell me now that they had it way too good when they were little and they appreciate the fact that they also knew their great grandma who died at age 94. Shortly after that my mom was so exhausted from caring for my grandmother she had a light stroke and then dementia set in.\r\n\r\nMy daughter even told me that if more kids knew their history and appreciated their grandparents sacrifices and the stories they have to tell of war,civil rights,equality and perseverance they wouldn't behave so badly. To hear her say that made me realize my husband and I must have done something right even if they are a bit spoiled.