Ellen's book will strengthen and guide you in your role as caregiver to an elder parent or relative, and help you understand your own physical, emotional, mental & spiritual needs.
Women Feel Guilty
If you own, or have owned a uterus, chances are you experience guilt, even if it’s only from time to time. As women, many of us feel guilty for what we’ve done (and wish we hadn’t), for things we haven’t done (and think we should have) or a combination of the two.
These feelings may be just a niggling undercurrent, or full blown guilt that interrupts our sleep, keeps us from fully relaxing. Our guilt can relate to our kids, our work, our spouses, our friends, however, in my experience, in no area of our life does guilt “‘attack” us more than when it comes to our aging parents.
Complicating our feelings of not doing enough for our mother or father, some parents, coming to maturity in an age when most women did not have power, learned to get their needs met by manipulating, both deliberately and unconsciously, playing on their loved ones’ emotions. This exacerbates the tendency we often have as daughters to do more for our parent than we have the time and energy for, or, to be perfectly honest, the inclination to do.
Achieving objectivity about our parent’s needs and their care can be a difficult challenge. That’s where partners, friends, perhaps other family members, and professionals such as elder care coaches and caregivers come in. They can help us gain the clarity and objectivity that is often obscured by the emotional bonds we have with our parent.
I don’t know what I would have done without those people in my life. They’ve been available to bounce things off, to offer insight at times. My husband has been very helpful with his male perspective and I have my favorite nurses and care aides in my Mom’s facility, who know Mom very well and can provide loving, professional input from time to time.
Holidays are the time when it’s easy to overdo it. Our hearts are more open, we feel our emotions more because of what Jung called “The archetype of Christmas”.
Please remember over the next few weeks - we cannot be everything to everyone – something has to give. Give yourself the gift of a joyful and relaxing holiday season.