In reading various posts this am (which btw, thank you all for helping me stay grounded. I feel so isolated sometimes then read situations of others that make me realize I am NOT isolated) I see a recurring theme. Feeling bad with our performance followed by others’ responses of “we’re only human” or “cut yourself some slack” or “breathe, center, move on”. It occurred to me we as caregivers we are like the dog going to the vet. Our LO steps into their next level (whatever that may be) and we, being on the leash, are pulled...scratching and clawing into the next level with them. We have no idea what will happen as we get pulled in, but once we are there we adapt, adjust and dutifully wait for the next command. The next step is made, and here we go again...scratching and clawing into the next level as our LO pulls us along.

Thank God for all of you who are already in that “next level” and can help those of us still scratching and clawing to get away. Telling us “we’re only human”, “cut yourself some slack”, “breathe, center, move on”. Thank you.

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Longhaul, I see from your screen name you are already thinking about what lays ahead on this strange and confusing adventure.

There are many times that I think back and would have done thing differently. It was like being placed into a job where one has no training and everyone expects you to be an expert on day one. But who knew? Eventually I found time to read the forums and I learned a lot. Did everything work out, well part of the time, but it was worth a try.

I thought there would be many more posts on this, when I wrote a flip answer. I'm sorry about that, and you do have my sympathy for your issues. Sometimes I feel that all of life is like the way you describe care-giving anyway - we never know what is going to happen next, and it is often not all that good. However if we did know all the bad things still in store for us, it would probably make everything worse. Looking back at my life, I am glad that I could at least enjoy the good times, without knowing that things were going to go wrong. So yes 'we're only human', and yes, 'we need to cut ourselves some slack'. Best wishes.

I don't think that 'scratching and clawing' is a helpful way to think of this, even for yourself. Reading on this site gives you a range of ideas about what may happen next. Walk up those steps with perfect posture, total dignity, and a book on your head for balance! Just don't trip!

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