“Our parents care for us as children and we care for them in their old age but we always know that there will come a day when they will see Jesus long before we do.” (July 2, 2013)
As parents age and move closer to the end of their lives many adult children may find themselves stepping into the role of parent, care-giver, and nurse while trying their best to honor their parents.
When in this position, it’s necessary to try balance parents, spouse, children, and grandchildren too. Throw in work and church, it feels as if there is absolutely no time to take care of oneself.
There seems to be no time for exercise. It may even seem selfish for wanting an hour to take a walk or go to the gym.
Comfort foods are used as a stress-reliever. Indulgences become a reward.
And it’s about so much more than finding balance, dealing with stress, or being bone-tired. Caring for our parents comes with the childhood wounds, family tensions, and the building frustration of the unfairness of it all. Brothers and sisters seem to go on with life as normal. While they were only there for a few hours to visit, parents go on and on for days about how good it was to see him or her. To add insult to injury, the absent brother or sister is the parent’s favorite child who does no wrong.
If you are in this position, then I want to tell you that you absolutely, positively need to begin caring for yourself. You can’t on like this indefinitely! If you continue to try to balance it all, you will come crashing to the ground sooner rather then later. And then what? Who will step in and pick up the pieces?
Not only will it all come crashing down but you may find that you’ve put yourself in a place where someone needs to take care of you.
It’s time to ask for help! You’re not weak because you can’t keep it all balanced and you’re not selfish because you need a few hours a week to take care of yourself…..
(Disclaimer: Due to distance, I am the kid who shows up for a few days to help out and then leaves. My husband, Hank, tries to pick up his mom and takes her out of town for a few days so that Judy can get a break. Thank you Judy and Rhonda for all that you do to take care of our parents! )