41 Comments

  1. Cindy

    These are such good reminders. The quote about “how you carry the load” really rings true with me. I don’t always do this well, but if I can have a good attitude, caring for someone else can be so rewarding.

  2. Hi Christie, I was listening to the radio and the subject was about the needs of caregivers, especially those who are caring for parents. We sometimes forget how selfless these people are, and in most cases there are siblings that could be helping but just leave it all to the one person. Thank you for sharing some encouraging words for these special people who give up so much for the ones they love. Great to have you at #MLSTL and enjoy the rest of your week. xx

    • I’ve seen that very thing happen with siblings and aging parents, Sue. Luckily, there are four of us that live locally, and we’re all close with my mother and actively involved in caring for her. She still lives by herself and doesn’t need full-time care, but definitely needs support. I have deep admiration for those people who are going it alone.

  3. I never expected to be a care giver, and then I was. I often did not feel up to the task. I am not a nurturer by nature. Still, I did the best I could. I feel okay about that now and am grateful that I was able to care for my Dad. My advice would be to just do the best you can. It makes a huge difference.

    • Caregiving does not come natural to me either, Michele. I have a sister and a daughter who are both nurses, but evidently the gene skipped me. 🙂 I think your advice is spot-on though. We each do the best that we can at the time and pour as much love into the tsk as we can.

  4. Hi Christie, love this post and the quotes! I’ve was a caregiver to my husband and it was one of the hardest things I ever did, but also a way to show him how very much I loved him. It was an honor. Thanks for highlighting this aspect of life that touches us all. #MLSTL

    • I can only imagine how difficult that would be Candi. I admire your strength, and I think you’ve hit on something important here–if we can see caregiving as an act of love and an opportunity to honor the person we are caring for, that might make it a little less challenging and bring a sense of peace. Thank you for sharing your experience with us.

  5. Patricia Doyle

    Christie, I’m like Michele… not really a nurturing person. I don’t even have children, by choice. So caregiving comes hard. Yet, I am the primary caregiver to my SIL (a mentally challenged adult, who is very negative about everything. Like others have commented, there are siblings but they do nothing. My hubby is her financial guardian (pays the bills) and they assume that alleviates them from all responsibility. He and his sister just do not get along (personality clash), so to support him, I’ve taken on primary caregiving. He recognizes that and expresses appreciation. So yeah, you’re first few lines in this post speak to me…compassion and irritation! And the other thing I read recently (and agree with), “when it comes to caregiving, like parenting, everyone is a critic. Nothing you do will be right.” And with caregiving, they won’t want to help do anything different. You’re lucky your siblings engage and work together.

    • That’s a tough situation, Pat. Your filling that role is a real testament to your love for your husband. The fact that people all have “advice” on how you should be doing things doesn’t help. Often, even the person you are caring for will not be in a position to really appreciate what you are doing for them. They may resent having to be cared for and direct that unhappiness at you. That’s when you have to remind yourself that you are doing what you can and it is enough. And finally, you are correct that I am pretty lucky in my situation with my siblings. I offer gratitude for them every day.

  6. As my husbands’ caregiver for fifteen months, I did it with joy and the hope that I was going to help him live. I have very supportive children who were there to help when I needed to run errands plus an agency that offered help for free. My advice is to check with social services at the patients’ hospital they know what is available and as I found out sometimes it is free.

    • Your words warm my heart, Victoria–that you did it with joy and hope. I’m sorry the result is not what you were hoping for. I’m happy to hear that you had good support. Thank you for the advice to others who may be going through something similar. It’s so important to take advantage of the support that is available to you. Thank you for sharing your very personal experience.

  7. Such great quotes and sentiments Christie. I watched my mother care for my father and realise only too well what it did to their relationship in good ways and not so good. I really like the Chesterton quote! A lovely caring post and I’ve shared for #mlstl

  8. Hi Christie,
    I particularly like Rosalyn Carter’s quote…how true that is. When I read the post title I wondered where this came from. Is there another message or personal experience that inspired this post? No need to answer my nosy musing, it’s just that is where my mind went.
    Right now I am caregiver as hubby is struggling again with his back. Hoping there is a swift and (relatively) easy resolution for him. (and me)

    • I like that quote too, Nancy. As far as inspiration for this post, my 80-year-old mother got sick this week. She lives alone, and the four of us siblings that live locally scrambled to make sure she was taken care of. It just got me thinking how many people are caring for elderly parents or ill family members and what a challenge that must be when the individual requires more intensive care, especially if the person providing that care doesn’t have others to spread the load. My husband has also had some health issues, but debilitating episodes are typically relatively short-term and spread out some. Thankfully, he’s on his feet currently! I’m sending healing energy your way.

  9. The quote: about the laundry. Jack Kornfield writes of it in one of his books and he is a Buddhist Psychologist.

    I think I am a caregiver with limits.

    I have had first hand experience decades ago when my husband was unwell and I found myself growing so resentful and over-tired coping with kids and work full-time but no-one wants a caregiver to complain.

    My Dad is 95 and I can care for him from a distance with regular visits and meals to keep him going. I don’t know if it’s our family way, being reticent and proud but I am best at caregiving in short bursts and am better with little kids.

    I know when I got cancer, it was very hard for me to ‘let go’ of what I could not control at home in my day to day care whilst I had mobility issues. I got too demanding of my husband and I knew it so I adjusted what I expected.

    A very thoughtful topic.

    Denyse #mlstl

    • Thank you for sharing your experience from both sides of the aisle, Denyse. I am not the world’s best caregiver. Like you, I do better with specific tasks in a given timeframe. I just do the best I can and try to focus on putting love into the task. It doesn’t help the situation to beat ourselves up over not being perfect caregivers or for not being positive about everything all the time. I hope you are having a wonderful day.

    • Hello Nikki and welcome to my little corner of the blogosphere. I agree, caregiving is such an important, undervalued job. I’m going to make it a point to thank those I know who serve this role. Thanks for stopping by and have a fabulous day!

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