Every day, you get up and get ready for work. If you have children, you prepare them for school or daycare. Housework and laundry can’t go ignored. You’re also helping your parents with their daily activities of living.
You organize their daily schedule, make sure they take their prescription medications, and get them to appointments. You also have to work and make sure your daily responsibilities are completed on time. It’s overwhelming, but you do it every day. You don’t want to let anyone down.
That’s great! But, there’s one person you forget to please in this scenario. When was the last time you thanked yourself?
Do Something You Love
Do you have any interests? If so, when did you last make time to do that hobby or activity? You love to paint, but you haven’t picked up a brush in years. It’s time to stop and set aside an afternoon to paint. If you are helping your parents that day, get them involved, too.
Make a pitcher of iced tea, and prepare a platter of finger sandwiches. Set those up on TV trays or the coffee table and find a beginner painting video that you can all follow. Hit pause as needed.
Everyone will have fun painting together while enjoying a glass of iced tea and sandwiches. At the end, you can compare your efforts. No one needs to be perfect. It’s essential that you had fun.
Has It Been Years Since You’ve Taken a Day Off?
You work 40 hours a week, and weekends are devoted to going to your parents’ house to prepare their weekly meals. You haven’t had a day off in years.
It’s time to drop everything and spend a week doing something you enjoy. Take that week off and go on a vacation if you want. Rent a house in the mountains or near the beach, shut off any unnecessary electronic devices, and enjoy having a week to yourself.
If you don’t want to travel, plan fun day trips nearby or stay home and spend the entire week in your pajamas. You don’t have to get out of bed until you’re ready. Spend time catching up on TV shows or movies, reading books, or working in your gardens.
Never Forget to Put Self-Care First
Self-care has to come first. Prioritize yourself at the same time you’re planning the things your parents need help completing. If you are due a medical test, schedule it. You take priority. If you have a dental appointment that conflicts with your mom’s check-up, someone else needs to help her out.
Don’t skip a meal to make more time to help your mom and dad. You need to eat. Plan your meals so that you’re sitting down with them. If that’s not possible, it’s time to get someone else to help out.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed, it’s time to sit down and reconsider your schedule. You don’t have to do it all without help. Call a home care agency and ask about the cost of having caregivers helping out. They can cook your parents’ meals, take them to appointments, and run errands. A home care specialist can walk you through the prices, options, and requirements.