Just discovered that being a new caregiver is kind of like being a new parent.


I just had an epiphany today. Being a new caregiver to an elderly parent is alot like when you become a parent for the first time and all of your friends are still single. Today I finally got the chance to spend time with a close friend. Before our conversations revolved around dating, old friends etc. Now my only conversation was about being a caregiver and all that comes with it. I could tell my friend could not relate at all. Just like friends without kids cannot relate to the challenges of a new parent.
The feelings I have as a caregiver are the same ones I had when I was pregnant with my first child. Overwhelmed at the thought of being responsible for someone else. But now the burden is even great because we are responsible for the ones who always took care of us.
Perhaps when I reach the one year milestone, I will have the hang of this caregiver thing and it wont be as bad as it once seemed.

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Strangely enough, I don't talk about caregiving to anyone but other caregivers. It never occurs to me to talk to other people about my mother or what I do at home. The closest I come is saying she is okay if someone asks, or saying I have to leave to cook dinner. I'd rather talk about other things when I'm out.

I was referring to my physical self not my mental self!!!

father of the year. lol
when i was 24 and had a newborn, a friend and i sat around bs'ing one night till the wife went to work at about 10;00 pm. seeing no reason to sit around home anymore, steve and i took our bikes to town, copped a couple quarts of beer and headed for the old bridge pulloff to drink em. bout halfway thru my quart of beer the realization hit me that i still had a newborn sleeping at home. man we hauled ass back to the house to find the baby sleeping peacefully. i was actually quite involved and changed a million diapers but it took a while to catch onto the new routine.

Im glad my second "parenthood" came at the age I am now rather than 25. Even though Ive resorted to acted like a ten year old most of the time. I absolutely could not handle this when I was in my 20s. I would have been so disrespectful and "entitled" Having children does give me a slight bit more compassion and patience for this role.

I love your epiphany! But it was a lot easier when I was 25.. LOL

Just be sure to take a mental vacation by listening to all their stories and supporting them, too. I bet you already do that, but when we're overwhelmed, we can get really needy. Some days I sound like I have been locked away for at least a year!

If they think it sounds like a comedy routine, so much the better! It's good for your self-esteem if others find you witty and fun to be with. If you scrounge around some, you can find others who know what it's really like,

Its been anything but smooth for me. I do realize I have no life or anything to talk about except the drama of caregiving. Most people chuckle when you tell them about your parents behavior. They think you are dealing with either Sophia from the Golden Girls or Arthur Spooner from The King of Queens. When in reality its nothing like that.

You have amazing insight about this caregiver thing. I commend you for recognizing how it affects relationships so soon in the process. That is good! Keep relying on your friend, but expect they'll get bored eventually.

Two of my really good friends have hung with me through this now over 3 year deal. My mom's in an AL, but it's still very consuming of my time. I've had to make myself very aware of not unloading too much on them. That's what this place is for. LOL

And unfortunately, unlike a growing child, it does not get easier. Our parents are in decline and all the stuff that comes along with aging. Sure there is joy along the way, self-realization in strength we never knew we had, and tons of multi-tasking, especially if you have school-age children still at home. You will get tired and it will show on your face. It's part of the territory.

Not trying to be a Debbie Downer, but I believe in being realistic.

Sounds like you have a good start and I pray for a smooth path for you and your mom on your journey.

Keep us posted!

Just like Motherhood gets easier, so does being a care giver.
You get into a routine (as important as it is for an infant).
You learn a few lessons the hard way.(Yes, I'm talking about poop and pee.)
You learn to prioritize because NO ONE can do it ALL.
You learn who your loving, helpful, caring siblings/friends are and learn to let go of the pain the rest of them cause.
You learn to take care of yourself, because you are so desperately needed.
You find a place full of other caregivers (mommies) who understand, advise and support you.

I reached my 2 year mark this week. If I had found AC earlier, I would have been less overwhelmed sooner. You have found this great site early in your journey. You are lucky.

But just as raising a child gets harder as they age,(Terrible 2's, teenage years) So does care-giving. We are just better prepared for it.

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