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I feel guilty but really need this time - it's only once/wk. I've tried to explain to her that I need a day off, since I work full-time. I usually spend Saturday's shopping with her and doing whatever else needs doing. We sometimes play a card or Scrabble game together. I wish I could provide more social life for her, but at 97, it's limited. I really need my Sundays off, and hate feeling guilty about it.

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Try not to feel guilty. If you can provide some companionship for your mother other than your own company on Sunday, that would be good.

If you have senior companions in your community (look up RSVP in your phone book), they may have someone who could visit with your mom some days. There may be someone from your church who visits elderly people alone, as well.

But you absolutely have the right - and likely need - to have a day for yourself. Your mom gets lonely, which is understandable, but you have to take care of yourself, as well.
Carol
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By ignoring it. You are doing everything you can as a caregiver. Where is it written that you should be on call 24/7? Taking time for yourself is the healthy thing to do, for YOU. You will be in a far better position to be a caregiver if you have taken care of your own needs also.
Otherwise, if you do not, YOU will become the one who becomes resentful!! Stop beating yourself up: you deserve it! Slot out some time for yourself every day, as I do. If she doesn't like it, too bad!! She doesn't own you!
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Is Mom able to stay by herself while you work and go out on Sundays? If not, who stays with her?

Guilt seems to be a constant companion when you are a caregiver. Try to push it to the background and don't let it control your decisions. You need to work. You work. You need a day to yourself. You take it. As long as you are providing for your mom's safety and comfort, you need to take care of your needs, too.
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We love our parents and care for them the best we can. Caring for them is a very difficult job to begin with and in order to do so it's very important that we recognize that "we can't be their everything", heck, we can't be anyone's everything. Lets just do the best we can and know that we have to care for ourselves. Taking care of ourselves has to be a priority for us as a caregiver because when we are cared for we are better able to give caregiving with love. If it means that sometimes we have to put our own needs ahead of our parents (when it's not serious) to get a much needed rest it's okay. It's okay to take a time out, do something just for ourselves and not feel selfish for doing so. Our lives are just as valid as those we care for. Yes, Mom or Dad might have to feel a little lonely sometimes if we can't find a companion for them, they have to make a sacrifice of us at times for our well being and this is okay. I just try to do the best I can for my father but without neglecting myself or feeling guilty for wanting to give myself some "my time". Caregiving when done in a healthy way means we don't lose ourselves and our own life in the process. Although like many others I have had to learn this lesson through my own trial and error. Guilt is so damaging.. it's not right for us to do all we can to care for our parent and then punish ourselves with guilt when we do something for ourselves. We are meant to enjoy life.
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lsmiami, that's great for you, but not everyone had good parenting. Some of us were abused as children, as adults, or both. Some of us are learning these lessons now by parenting ourselves.

We may know what we need to do, but it doesn't mean it's something we are ready to do yet, or are even capable of. Some of us are capable of the separation, or the taking of a break, but not all can live without the guilt. So be nice. Encouragement works better.
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I also took care of my mom, and she was very feisty when it came to me spending time away from her. She had even thrown garbage cans at my friends car. Anyway, I found an agency that provided her with activities during the day, EVERYDAY, m-f and she was wiped out by the end of the week. It was great for her and Great for me. Dont let the guilt trip lock you down, your being very generous with your home, and time And thats a whole lot to offer. Many blessings..
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I sympathize! Mom mom is still bright and alert but wants attention all the time. She is very good at coming up with things for me and my sibs to do, I think, just to keep us around. I feel sorry for her. But it's hard to be around someone like my mom, who is extremely negative and demanding. She barely resembles the woman I used to know. I still love her, but she has morphed into something like a porcupine! Caregiving is, without a doubt, the hardest thing I've ever done -- and, unfortunately, it comes at a time when I am aging as well. It's not a very happy combination of events. I personally find my friends a treasure at this time (as I'm a widow) and a sense of humor is absolutely essential. Best of luck to you in this journey.
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Please Daughteralone and KariSue and everyone, TAKE CARE OF YOURSELVES FIRST and don't ever LET yourself feel guilty for it. Because you have done nothing wrong.

You cannot keep giving of yourself, if you do not put into your OWN bank. You can try of course, but at some point you will come up dry. Trust me, you don't want to go there. It's a sad and scary place, and there is no one there to take care of you.

If you begin to hear those little voices in your head telling you that you are being selfish or mean, tell them to STFU! If there are any people in your life telling you that you are mean and selfish, tell them "I" said to STFU!

Even the very nicest and sweetest and kindest patient in the world can suck the life out of you. TAKE A DAY OFF. TAKE 2 or more if you can. If you have a crabby nasty patient, TAKE 3 or more, or just haul them out to the trash on Monday. ROFLMFAO!!!

KariSue, you are giving your husband an awful lot of your time. I suspect you are the one paying for his being in the hospital by working fulltime. Give yourself a break honey!!! I know you love him, but Please for the sake of your physical and emotional health take either Saturday or Sunday ENTIRELY for yourself! Maybe consider only 1 phone call a day as well? I think if you continue on like this you may break down. Then who would care for your husband? For certain there would be no one to take care of you.
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You said it very nicely Pamela Sue. I know that folks would certainly prefer to be coming from a place of Love... instead of bitterness... but that's why the bitterness, because of not having that love and support... takes a while to learn Love, on one's own. But all are trying... which is why folks gather here.
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Daughteralone, remember no one can make you feel guilty unless you allow it. My guess is your mom just gets lonely even though it is for one day. You have to take care of yourself and you want to do it while your mom does not need 24/7 care.
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