When you work full time and also have responsibility for your aging parent, sometimes the two worlds collide.
Work pressures suck your emotional energy until you feel as dry as a shed snake skin. It’s a monumental task to dredge up enough strength to deal with the demands of caregiving. All you want to do is collapse on the sofa after a full day’s work and indulge in a much-needed nap.
Your boss is in your face about a missed deadline. Someone called in sick, so you have to take on her workload. A client yelled at you for something that wasn’t your fault. The last straw is when your computer crashes. Again.
Then you drag yourself home, and it’s time to cook dinner to take to your mom or dad. They wait at their kitchen table as if they’re in a restaurant, waiting for the server.
“Hello, my name is Jane, and I’ll be taking care of your tonight. May I get you something to drink?”
There’s a yellow stickie note with a list of things to do, sitting by your place setting. And a stack of bills to pay. And paperwork to fill out. And letters to mail.
Trash to be emptied, mail to retrieve from the mailbox, fruit to bring in from the garage freezer.
Grace and mercy crash against the desire to lash out.
“Leave me alone, for goodness sake!”
Can’t someone else do this for a while?
Where is the sufficiency of Christ when we need it the most? Dear caregiver, it’s right where you need it. Open your hands and receive it.
I wish I could tell you it’s easy. I wish I could say I have it down perfectly, 100% of the time. I don’t.
It’s a moment by moment walk, a walk of surrender of my will. I pray – a lot – when I face those days of struggling to find grace in my attitude and in my words.
When do you find it most difficult to exhibit the love of Christ?
How do you handle to dual pressures of work and caregiving?
When Your Caregiving World Collides with Life: Jane S. Daly