· Am I making the right decision for my parents and my family?
· What about me? Who takes care of me?
· I’m physically and mentally exhausted, how do I keep going?
· Why isn't my brother/sister/family member helping out?
You might be feeling exhausted, like you can’t keep going. Or maybe you feel angry most of your day, especially at those you love the most. If is it feeling too much, it might be a good time to take a look at your situation and see if there are areas that can change. There are different parts to look at when you want to start to deal with your care-giving role. Some things to consider are:
· What do you want your care-giving to look like?
o You may want to continue to have a high level of involvement with both your parents and children, or
there might be certain tasks or events that you wished you didn't have to be involved in. Be honest about
how you feel. Be aware of “I should…” or “It is expected of me…” as these can be hints to the areas
where you may be experiencing the highest levels of stress and that need to change.
· Are there others who you believe could be involved?
o Make a list of those others and what you think they could do for your parents, children or you.
· Can you consider other services to help?
o Research on the internet what other services might be available in your community – there are free and
As much as you believe you are super human and able to handle anything thrown our way, everyone has their limits. The most important question is even if we could handle it all, do we want to handle it all?
Consider your boundaries. Boundaries help you and others. If you haven’t taken care of yourself then you won’t be doing your best to take care of your parents or your children or partner. The important first step is to be honest with yourself about how you are handling everything that is currently going on. If you continue to brush it off or think “I’ll just do this one thing and everything will be better” you are fooling yourself! Taking a clear look at where your life energy is going right now, is a stepping stone to making changes that will be healthier for you and for those around you.
When you do make changes, be prepared that others will resist or act angry, especially if that has worked for them in the past. If there is a family expectation that you are the only one responsible for certain tasks, be aware that changes might not happen overnight. Persistence is the key. Remembering that you are making these changes both for your own health and well-being, but also when you have more energy and time, your children and partner will appreciate it. There are always trade-offs to the choices we make….which choices will you make today?
If you would like to talk about your experience of living in a sandwich and receive support to exploring a different way of handling it all, give Heather a call at 604-375-3010 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org