Color & Control:

Editor’s Message

Doing double duty…while remembering yourself

Are you part of a new normal where grappling with child and eldercare responsibilities are leaving very little time for anything else?

Combined with the roller coaster of raising complex kids, comes the physical and emotional strain of “no choice” caregiving for adult relatives be it, mum and dad, aunts and uncles, siblings or neighbours and friends, may be more than you bargained for. Indeed, according to a recent report, 45% of “sandwiched” adults felt that they had no choice but to step up, regardless of their circumstances. 

Double duty-ers live with plenty on their plates—the inevitably changed schedules, financial difficulties and work and relationship strains, Self-care gets pushed aside and careers are often reduced to marking time, at best. Sound like you…while you still can think about ways to dig yourself out:

Adjust expectations: Get ahead of need to do everything perfectly. It’s never going to be 100%. Pick you battles. Claim your wins and be ready to accept those 50/60 and 70%’ers as best efforts. Something is always better than nothing.

Reach out for help – now: Often community groups, faith organizations, school guidance departments as well as family members could be willing to contribute if asked and organized. Even if the task is something small, you’ll find its refreshing to find someone who is willing to be on your team.

Be honest: Drop the guilt: Its time to forgo the embarrassment of admitting you’re overwhelmed and need help and support, some type of recognition and time off. At the end of the day…think self-care, me time and opt for a weekly check-in with yourself to see how things are going.

Practically speaking: Know that you’re health is a priority. When you ‘care for yourself” the advice, support and care you give will be the best. When you’re healthy and strong you’ll be invincible. So, be realistic about what’s possible and build in some respite every day. 

And, in the hustle bustle of everyday, don’t feel guilty when little things slip through the cracks. After all, it’s hugs and love some days rather than a clean basket of laundry and a fancy dinner, you’ll still have done more than enough.

Caroline Tapp-McDougall

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