Saturday, June 28, 2014

who am I now?

Pee Wee Herman annoys me, really and truly annoys me but this picture says it all:

I have never really considered myself a caregiver to Dennis (since I married him after his accident). For all intense purposes, I am my dad's caregiver in the respect that I am his only child and closest relative. I am the one that the PCH calls when there is trouble, he is sick or needs new anything -- but someone else (many other someone else's) do the actual day to day care of him.
I was Sam's caregiver (and mom) while he was at recourperating for the better part of 5+years...

... but now he lives on his own. Now he makes most of his own meals, pays his own bills and makes his own decisions... for the most part... we still help with things that are needed and work hard to guide him in a direction that should come as second nature to most 18yr olds. (Sam is still basically 2 year behind in most social aspects of development -- so he tends to act more like a 16yr old... a lot)
He calls us when medical issues arise, when there is a legal issue and so on and so forth...

I used to be a caregiver... but now what am I? I feel lost and as if I am floundering. I am trying very hard to not meddle or interfere (I am sure if you ask Sam tho I am failing at that). Am I still considered a caregiver when he is 18 and on his own? I know I will be again if things go sideways with his health.
Have you ever had to switch from caregiver to parent over night!? How did you do it? Which do you consider yourself? Because lets be honest here, lots of people are parents and lots of people are caregivers and sadly it is so freaking hard to be both!

So I ask again "who am I now?"

1 comment:

Marianne's Focus said...

A parent is a caregiver only in a different way. My profession was a caregiver and there were times when I also felt I was parenting with it... there are different levels of care giving. Some are full care, some partial, some only when needed. You are falling into the "only when needed". AND you are STILL needed. As a mom you will always be needed. He may turn to others for "caregiving" but you are needed to be there as a listener. The directing will come to an end - suggesting will take its place. Sometimes strongly suggesting. He will "stumble" in your eyes and you will help pick him up. You will "stumble" in his eyes but he will be there to make sure your ok and to need you emotionally. You are a very important piece to Sams life. Now its time to "just be there" and watch him grow. He will do it and you will cheer him on. He will also cheer on his loving mother and caregiver when he sees her loving and enjoying taking time for herself. You are Jodi ~ a loving, caring daughter,wife, mother & friend that has had a lot of crosses to bare and have done a marvelous job! Just don't forget about Jodi ~ that is truly who you are.