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Moving The Goal Post

Life can get busy sometimes, which always leaves us wondering if we’ve done enough for our loved ones. We have taken care of the kids, made sure we had some special time with our partners, and looked after the dog, the cat, the house the groceries…whew. Everyone is looked after, right? Wrong. Now ailing parents need some of your time and although you are exhausted from work and everything else you have had to do during the week, you need to help them deal with whatever is going on in their lives. You may not be a spring chicken anymore yourself, or your health may not be the greatest, so adding extra errands is beginning to catch up to you.

But you press on regardless of how you are feeling even though you know you are going to pay for overworking yourself later as you deal with everything that needs your attention. If you have older parents your schedule can become full very fast. There is always something to do and even though they have been independent in the past, there will come a time when they will need your help more than ever. Just like they helped you by feeding you, teaching you how to walk and talk and so much more, now it is your time to thank them back for all they have done for you.

They may need help around their home like cutting the grass or removing the snow. Some grocery items can be a struggle to get in the house or apartment, like heavy water bottles or boxes of pop cans. Maybe they no longer drive and need you to take them places. Or worse, they have called you in a panic and need you to come over now because they are having a medical emergency. Without question, we always try and be there for all our loved ones but as much as we do for everybody, we are always still questioning if we have done enough. It seems we keep moving the goal post.

Speaking with another caregiver one day, I was not surprised to hear them say how they feel they are not doing enough as they care for their widowed ailing parent. Yet, from what I know they are doing a lot! We can spend hours helping our loved ones and still not feel we have done anything at all to help them, especially when there is more asked of us and more ailments to take care of the next day, the next month, the next year.

As caregivers, we can only do the best we can and not beat ourselves up as we try and juggle everything. There are situations we cannot control even as comfortable as we try and make our loved ones. We cannot always be there for them at the time they need us to be. We may have our own ailments to manage, doctor appointments to get to and more. We may not get to them in time to help with an emergency and we feel guilty for not driving faster through traffic to reach them, or notice ailments that could have prevented their emergency.

Remember to pat yourself on the back every now and then, because any help you give is welcomed. Those days when we think we can’t fit in another errand, yet we are back helping our loved ones are the times we need to step back and take some time for ourselves. No overworking yourself or you won’t be any good to anybody. Try and juggle your time better to fit your loved one's schedule around yours as best you can. I know it can be a challenge. Spread out appointments that are not urgent. If you go shopping, take your loved ones with you and do it together if you can. It might cut down on your running around.

I don’t have to tell you that you will run out of steam if you keep going without taking a break. You certainly don’t need others caring for you. So, do what you can without pushing yourself over your limits because it will catch up to you. Stress weights on us and can throw our bodies in a tizzy. Before you know it, you are run down and you have trouble finding the strength to keep going. Do yourself and your loved ones a favour. Stop moving the goal post. Believe what you are doing is enough, especially when you do it with love.

SR John

Writer Author S R John

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