4 Kinds of Caregiver Guilt and How to Overcome Them
When you are in the caregiving landscape, guilt is a very common feeling. So, here are some common types of guilt and how to overcome them.
Guilt That You Are Not Spending Enough Time With Your Elderly Parents
Often, children fail to recognize the sacrifices of their parents. Parents start sacrificing even before their child is born. The biggest sacrifice that most parents make for their kids is sacrificing their “Me Time.” So, when you give the same undivided attention to your elderly parents, you recognize what they did for you.
Spending quality time with older parents is important. The constant interaction with them is what nurtures the strong bond between parents and children. Spending time with aging family members can also build the confidence of these members and show them how much you love and respect them.
However, when you are a working parent, it becomes difficult to juggle the demands of work, kids and caregiving. In fact, constantly shifting gears might take a toll on your health. As a result, priorities need to be set if you want to be successful in your career, in parenting and in caregiving.
When you try to shift your focus more on your kids, for example, you will find yourself spending less time with your elderly parents. While it may be hard at first, you’ll have to understand that setting such priorities will help you progress toward your goals.
Guilt You Are Not Spending Enough Time With Your Kids And/or Spouse
Taking care of your elderly parents is an expression of love and gratitude. It’s a way of giving them back all the love and affection they showered us with while raising us. While there are many who refuse to support their aging parents, some feel obligated to take care of their elderly parents.
Parents are those who help us to grow. They provide clothing, shelter, food, medicine and education. We relied on them and they taught us how to live in this world. It’s a fact that without them, we wouldn’t have survived. Consequently, it becomes our responsibility and duty to take care of them when they grow old and weak.
There’s nothing wrong with taking extremely good care of your elderly parents, but the same should be done when it comes to your kids and spouse. Finding time to spend together is hard for any married couple when one of them is involved in caregiving. The same applies to spending time and playing with your kids. However, that doesn’t mean you should forget or sacrifice your responsibility as a wife/husband and/or as a parent.
Guilt You Are Unfocused at Work Due to Your Caregiving Responsibility
The duties and responsibilities of caregivers can vary. Whether you are responsible for assessing medical needs or assisting with basic needs and helping with housekeeping, the job of a caregiver is always exhausting. Dealing with aging parents can sometimes be very frustrating as they can be very stubborn or refuse any advice or assistance.
At times, you will even have difficulty sleeping and getting up and facing the day. Of course, this would affect your concentration at work.
You see, sometimes when you are too distracted, stressed or tired, the best thing to do is to take a break from work. You can’t force your brain to focus when it is already exhausted.
Guilt You Are Regretting Being a Caregiver
No matter how much you love your elderly parents and want to take care of them, unfortunately, caregiving and regret often go hand-in-hand.
Initially, you’ll feel blessed, grateful and happy that you are able to support and take care of your aging parents. In the first few weeks, months or even years, you’ll try to do everything you can to stay faithful to your caregiving responsibility. However, after some time, you’ll start feeling like it was the worst decision of your life.
Instead of wallowing in guilt, know that it’s completely normal to feel the way you are feeling. If you want to know how to overcome this guilt and forgive yourself, click here!