Loving hands

Loving hands

The Parent Trap

Of course, we adore our moms and dads.  They gave us life and love. There’s nothing we wouldn’t do for them.  But….

As baby boomers, we feel trapped by the feeling of guilt when we can’t be there for our aging parent – even for a quick trip to CVS to pick up a prescription.  We honestly feel like a bad person if we have to say “no.”

Advice From A Pro
My friend Peggy Wagner, a licensed counselor has this advice on dealing with family stress and strain.

Caring for older parents can be a stressful situation because we worry so much about them. We have to realize that there are things we can control and things we can’t (like chronic illness and aging behaviors.) When we constantly stay focused on these issues, we forget about our own self-care.

We Deserve A Break
We do need to take breaks from these situations. We need time to go out and enjoy ourselves.  Take the time to engage in our passions, be with friends or even relax alone.

Once we start separating from the stressful circumstance, we can come back and handle things better.  When we take a time out, we will be in a better state that is more beneficial to both our parent’s health and ourselves.

Set Boundaries
Remember, we have several identities in our lives. We shouldn’t spend all our time or energy on just being the child or caregiver.

When we give ourselves a few moments of escape, we can come return to the situation and it will seem more manageable.

We need to look internally and figure out what we need. If we need more time for ourselves, we must tell our parent. If we can keep our life and roles in balance, we won’t be as stressed.

Need more ways relax and find calm amid everyday chaos?

Jim Brickman’s Soothe has ideas and music to help you de-stress.