Guilt When Requesting "To Just Sleep"

Guilt When Requesting

Someone left a comment on another blog post that resonated with me.

She was in the hospital, sitting next to her 94-year-old mother, exhausted and unsure. She commented that she felt guilty just asking for 1 day of respite, at this time when her mother so desperately needs her by her side.

I had the same thoughts.

Two days before my mother passed I recorded myself saying that I just needed a break. Obviously I was not expecting my mother to pass so suddenly but, Since that moment I've felt tremendous guilt for ever uttering those words but you know what...These feelings are valid.

Care is a marathon, not a sprint and at the 26th mile, we just need a break and more often than not, there is no one to relieve us to help finish the race.

I have to remind myself of this.

Caregivers are often doing the job of at least 3 people. We are loaded with the emotional, mental, physical, spiritual, and practical daily care of another person which leaves very little time for us to live in our world.

Until we create a world where care is seen as a community task then Caregivers will have these moments, unfortunately. But the guilt is not yours to carry. It's the COMMUNITY, FAMILY, and POLICY that let you down, this is their guilt to hold and come to grips with within themselves. The beautiful thing about Caregiving is it will touch every soul before they leave this earth, and everyone will reckon with, if and how they failed to show up for the ones they love.

I feel your pain, exhaustion, and your hurt and I'm here to tell you that you deserve that day off.


1 comment

  • Sarah

    Hi Jackie! I followed you daily for a long time, during your Mom’s life and for a while after. I have been my Moms caretaker for 4-5years now, due to Alzheimers and Parkinsons, and failure to thrive, including hospice care as she was consistently losing weight, down to 47lbs (she is 4’5", the size of a small middle schooler. Weight gain has been our focus since she has always been in good general health. Less than a month ago, she had a stroke that affected her mouth and throat muscles, which definitely upped my stress and exhaustion as we now have to crush meds and feed in pudding, puree or chop most foods, and supervise ANY intake. My whole day is now a cycle of med routines and struggles to keep her calorie and protein intake up, and the general ADLs. I am so mentally, physically, and especially emotionally drained. I do have resources and people to help me out and I take time to myself and my husband, but as you know, it never shuts down. It is SO hard to actually focus on ME and not Moms needs, even when out of the home. I have thought of doing a blog, and been told I should, if for no other reason than to have a kind of diary of our journey. I honestly would love to get a better idea of how to go about it. Do you have recommendations on best platforms, formats, ideas?

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