Social Worker Down, But Not Out!
Being a caregiver is an awesome responsibility and not one to be taken lightly
In my current recovery from a medical procedure, feelings of helplessness, dependence on others & level of patience to wait on others to help me---- draw up a bevy of emotions. If you have a teenager, or at least mine--"Forgeeeeeet About Itttttttt!" At mention of the word teenager, you already know, I need not say anymore. Never mind boy teen. The world being created for them is an understatement because if it ain't about a haircut, some purchase that includes Nike or Polo in it or food my teen hears and sees nothing else. Period. Mom walking hunched over holding her body walking at .25 miles an hour evokes not one emotion of compassion at all.
It is a very rare thing for me to ask a favor mainly because I somehow like the "Superwoman" title and my proud chest moments of I can do that all by myself even if I anticipate a crash and burn moment or two. Hence, my social worker "Superwoman" heart I wear at all times. It has cloaked me since my teen years desiring to fix people's lives, so someone fixing me is quite uncomfortable. Another reason, I am so used to giving to folk and fixing things it feels odd to be the receiver. Lastly, there is nothing like being disappointed when someone doesn't come thru for you and I remember & calculate everything I have ever done for people over my life and feel so low when no one willingly steps up for me to do so. Rationally, we should not do things expecting something in return which is not what I do but it sure feels good when folk pay it forward right back to you. I get an all is right with the world feeling.
Here are a few words of advice from my experience on both sides of the bed:
1. In as much as you can, prepare for your planned downtime: meal planning, transportation to & from, errands, house maintenance & bill payments. As a black woman with natural hair, I cannot stress enough, get your hair styled in advance with hairdos like braids; twists; or whatever protective hairstyle you see fit.
2. When folk volunteer, accept their offer. There are many little things like dishes, watering plants, moving garbage cans on disposal day, prayer, pick up of forgotten items or prepared meals that can help you get well sooner.
3. If you plan or are roped into be a part of the "Get Well Team" know your limits, be clear on expectations. Do what you're comfortable doing.
4. Most importantly, if it's not in your spirit to do anything, say it & be honest about it. Nothing shines thru more to the person you are caring for is your resentment or discontent!
Share my post if it resonates in anyway with you or someone you know (wink wink) on caregiving at www.itsthespiritoflove.com as I prepare to launch my memoir as a former caregiver.