Caregiving is likely one of the most emotionally complex situations you will ever find yourself in, especially if you are providing care for a member of your family.
Family history, family culture, family size, family dynamics, family resources all play into the emotional and psychological experience you are having as a caregiver.
The person being cared for has emotional wants, needs, and expectations which may or may not be able to be met – and you, as the caregiver, have emotional wants, needs, and expectations which may or may not be met.
This is why I strongly recommend that you dig deep and examine your motivations for stepping up and into this role.
If deep down you are doing this hoping for a reward for all your hard work, you will burn out – because the likelihood of a big enough reward materializing is slim.
If deep down you are doing this because you are seeking appreciation, you will burn out – because the likelihood of you receiving enough appreciation for all of your effort is slim.
If deep down you are doing this as a way of protecting yourself, to somehow ensure that you will have the help you need when you need it, you will burn out – because those future circumstances are beyond your control.
If deep down you are doing this because you think you “have to,” you will burn out – because telling yourself stories that make you feel trapped in your life is a recipe for burnout.
Your strength to endure the emotional challenges of caregiving will come from your connection to why, deep down, you are choosing to do this for YOU…
…primarily so that you can be at peace on your own deathbed about the fact that, when you were needed, you acted in alignment with your values and showed up as the type of person you wanted to be in the world.
“I am choosing to do this for me, not only for them.”
It took me a while to find my way to connecting with that perspective, but it greatly increased my ability to endure the slings and arrows of caregiving.
If you need some support to dig a little deeper, I’m happy to help.
Thank you for being one of the ones who care.
Details about my group coaching program for caregivers are here.