A Note on Caretaking

With my husband working non-stop and traveling, I’ve been holding down the fort by myself.  In truth Babu, Cort, and I have been holding down the fort.  It’s usually rare thing for him to travel, suddenly that’s all he’s doing.

And I’ve been wracked with guilt.  I keep telling myself I’ll sit with her through breakfast but then Cort needs to walk, queries need to be written, calls needed to be made, calls are coming in.

I say I’ll sit with her at dinner and keep her company but I need a shower real bad and had just enough time.  Or I lie down for a moment instead or I go up to the third floor and spend some time with my neglected cat.  (She and Cort don’t fully get along yet.)

Babu needs as much light in her life as she can get.  Sometimes I let her finish meals or read the paper alone.  I don’t always buzz around showing her harvests from the garden or talking about the weather.

I make sure she’s healthy, fed, clean.  But I also have to write.  And take out the trash.  And keep my garden alive and walk my dog.

I came to a realization.

It’s quite a no brainer actually.

The primary caretaker:

A.  Should not be the only one.

B.  Shouldn’t have to also the be “enrichment” person.  That’s for company.  And Babu should have more of it.

Babu doesn’t always have company in the house but I need to advocate more for it.  People ask me if need anything and sometimes, when I don’t have an appointment, or I just want down time with my husband, or whatever, and I say no.

But yesterday, some LOVES came to visit.

And they brought ice cream!  It was a magical day full of quips of memories from my sister, my two beautiful nieces, and Babu!  That busy, busy Momma, juggling the same list of concerns, sick ones, busy schedule, meals, baths, times two!, took the time and brightened Babu’s day.  And mine!

I’m seeing my other sister this weekend as she offered, during her busy life of work and volunteering, to come visit.  She brings light and sparkles where ever she goes.  I’m going to ask if we can schedule something regular rather than do it off the cuff.

So like always, I’m learning three things:

Ask for help

Be open to that help

Be forgiving with myself

 

I keep forgetting and then I keep reminding myself.  I did the same thing when I was teaching.  I’d forget: self care, eat lunch, put my oxygen mask on first…

It’s different now then when I was teaching.  I feel like much more of a sane person.  And now I am doing every single thing I need to do just fine.  I just wish I could do more.  I’ll delegate.

5 Comments Add yours

  1. karen says:

    I want to say so much. I’m sitting here nodding my head in agreement with everything you are saying, I hope it helps that you are not alone in your quest to try to be superhuman. On this side of the world, we too trying, and often failing. The main thing though is that we are at least trying. Sending a hug to you. xx

    Liked by 2 people

    1. You are being sent one too! I’m not alone…I married a superhero whose making a salary for both of us and still an amazing husband and grandson! ❤️️

      Liked by 1 person

  2. bone&silver says:

    Good delegation and self care are essential survival skills for a carer- well done

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Ann Coleman says:

    Your best really is good enough… I agree, delegate where you can, and be willing to say no when you have to. It’s tough enough being the caregiver without being hard on yourself too!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so very much.

      Liked by 1 person

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