Take care of yourself first. Caregivers, especially moms, have a hard time with the idea of looking out for number one before taking care of a loved one. It seems selfish doesn't it? For most caregivers, this is unnatural and goes against the grain of our nurture and compassion instinct.
The image of an oxygen mask falling from an overhead compartment is a great analogy of the importance of taking care of yourself first. The flight attendant instructs you to place the mask on yourself first, then help others with adjusting their masks. There's a reason parents have to be reminded of this because most parents will instinctively put masks on their children before they put it on themselves. But in an emergency, parents need to be fully alert and have oxygen in order to take care of the children, disabled, elderly or anyone else who may need their help.
Caregivers will push themselves further than they should in an effort to comfort or support someone else. Children's needs are endless, employers have deadlines, the church needs volunteers, and friends have bigger problems than yours so you want to help them. There will always be things you want to do to care for others, but if you don't care for yourself then all of your full, spinning plates will crash down and shatter.
Are we pushing ourselves out of the caregiver position? Are we getting to the point where we can't do another thing until someone does for us? Where we've reached the proverbial breaking point of exhaustion and then we discover that we can't do it all? We are not superhuman? We must rest and be gentle with OURSELVES?
I wrote this for me because I just got back from my doctor's appointment. I've been ignoring symptoms for a month and finally convinced myself that there *might* be a problem. It's possible that I *may* be sick. Well guess what? The results are in and I have bronchitis and walking pneumonia.
You see twins, (Bronch & Pneum); I'm a caregiver and I don't have time to be sick. Please move along to someone who enjoys sitting in clouds of Kleenex scattered over her bed.
Seeds to Share:
3 John 1:2 - Beloved, I pray that all may go well with you and that you may be in good health, as it goes well with your soul.