How do you manage to work and care for someone?
A child, a disabled person or a relative with mental health issues all can be taxing and it’s not only the time and effort it takes to keep them safe, clothed and fed but it’s the mental capacity you have yourself. This is my stumbling block to be honest. I think most of us are quite amazing at pushing ourselves to do more but it’s the actual mindset approach to everything which gets quite tricky.
A difficult one to explain really as we are all so different in our approach, our dreams and goals and ways of relaxing.
I have huge dreams. All achievable. Yet less so since Mum has been living with us. She isn’t so demanding at this stage that working is totally impossible but the guilt that comes with leaving the house or taking on any kind of my own life is very consuming.
Each morning when I wake I creep up to the door where she sleeps (used to be my sons bedroom) and peer through the crack. Hoping to either see a piece of her skin which I can ascertain is pink (therefore we still have blood flow) or to see the covers on the bed moving rhythmically enough to know she is taking breaths. Of course there is always the snoring that drove Dad into a separate room many years ago but she does this less often now as it’s more the noise that comes with sleep apnea.
Once I know she is soundly sleeping I usually have until 10-11am until she will wakes up and gets up. She goes to bed at 9pm on the dot every night and sleeps all night so in theory this could be my time to work. Although I get exhausted. Especially recently as I recover from quite a tricky crohns flare up. So I tend to use those 9pm onward times for my relaxation and then I rise early and crack to it on the keyboard. It’s not quite ideal and I’m definitely not as productive as I was. My dreams are still there even if I have semi pushed pause right now. One thing I do know is that with mums needs to consider and my own health too, the future is definitely something that I’m tweaking. You might know this about me (you might not) but I write and hope to keep growing this into something amazing. So if you feel inspired to click the share button below as you think someone else might benefit fr
om my words, then thank you. I adore you for that.
The Magic answer?
If you are reading for some magic answer on how to cope, well, there isn’t one as so many patients are different; as are you. Try finding what works for you. Routines can be hard to keep and also to even establish. But also know you are not on your own and reach out when you need help. I’m no expert but I’m considering consolidating all my tips that work for us into a PDF. Do you think this is a good idea and something you might be able to make use of? As always, feel free to email me.
ps – just for the record. I never imagined myself as a carer. I have always been so focused on work and doing well for myself. Recently at the solicitors, explaining who I used to be felt alien. Most people know me as the achiever who works, works and works some more. Still, my Linkedin profile looks impressive but it’s clinging on by the fingertips. Yet i wouldn’t have mum anywhere else all the time I am capable of having her here. Although I totally understand those who do. My work is so important to me and I’m trying very hard not to lose focus. So while i do care for mum, she shouldn’t introduce me as her carer. That’s not my identity. I wouldn’t have introduced myself when the twins were babies as ‘hello i’m a mum’. While I’m happy to do my best for her, I’m beginning to learn I still need to tap into my business right now while I can.