These last few weeks have been stressful on both the caregiving and entrepreneurial front. Aside from managing client work, I’ve been dealing with feelings of guilt on the caregiving side of things. If you follow me on Instagram, you may have seen a few ominous-sounding stories. But in short, my grandmother and I both got a skin infection that required immediate treatment. Since my grandmother is in a facility, her care was up to them, but it resulted in me not seeing her for nearly two weeks. Given that I visit her every night to feed her dinner, this upset the routine we’ve developed over the past two years.
While the whole situation was frustrating and upsetting (and perhaps not fully resolved to my liking), it made me give a lot of thought as to what happens when the caregiver gets ill or needs to prioritize their care. Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve felt emotions ranging from anger to guilt to feeling like I should have done or said more to advocate for her better. The reality was that I had done everything in my power that I possibly could to resolve the situation—and it still didn’t feel like enough.
Going back to visit her after my hiatus was hard. She was confused and disoriented, which will make getting back to a routine challenging. But the situation reminded me of how important it is to take care of myself and my health. I had been so reluctant to miss a visit and often compromised my health to make sure that I showed up every night for her. While it’s easy to get swallowed up in our own emotions, especially when caring for others, I’ve learned over these past couple of weeks that it’s also important to advocate for our own needs and to recognize when we need to take a break.
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