Caregiving

Standard

Caregiving
By Bernadette A. Moyer

Flowers

Caregiving begins with self-care; we have to care for ourselves before we can care for others. Just like when we are on an airplane and instructed that if necessary administer the oxygen mask to you first even before administering to an infant child.

For many of us mothers our natural inclination is to look out for the infant first. But in this case, in an emergency situation we are no good in caregiving to others if we haven’t first taken care of ourselves.

We have to know our limits in handling the care of others. It can be exhausting it can run us down; it might not be what we are good at or intended to do. Not every person is a nurse, or a doctor or social worker. When we don’t have the care to give, when our own cup is empty and we have nothing else to offer others we ourselves run into trouble.

There is no shame in knowing what you are capable of and what you indeed can and cannot handle. If you don’t have the money, you would acknowledge you can’t afford it. The same is true for caregiving. If you don’t have it to give, you don’t have it to give, period.

prayer

Anger and frustrations are often born out of trying to do something that is beyond our ability to do for someone else. Protect your boundaries; protect your sanity say “no” with compassion. Know your limits!

Some people will drain the life out of you, but only if you let them, if you do, you are a participant too. If a loved ones needs something and you don’t have it to give to them, help by pointing them in the right direction. Perhaps they just need encouragement to do it for themselves or maybe they needed a larger support system.

Many years ago a very dear friend was anxious and running around after his father became ill and was hospitalized. He was so worked up that he had a heart attack and died. His father who was already in the hospital was receiving the care that he needed. Sometimes others who are trying to help and be supportive are operating with less than necessary.

My mother was a masters educated registered nurse, I witnessed while growing up what that profession took out of her. She worked in the acute units of a hospital in ACU, ICU and CCU. By the time her work day ended she was flat out exhausted. She excelled at her job and most often gave it her all.

There are others in the “helping” professions who don’t have much to give or haven’t taken the time to fill their own cup. Beware of them as they too are out there with the good ones.

Today I want to hold up prayers for all the caregivers that seem to do it so well and effortlessly and knowing that they also need care and that care starts with self-care and appropriate boundary setting.

Bernadette on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/bernadetteamoyer

Along The Way and Another Way on Amazon and Barnes & Noble

Enablers

Standard

Enablers
By Bernadette A. Moyer

"Hello, my name is Roberto, and I will be your enabler this evening."

There are all kinds of enablers some may be knowingly enabling and others unknowingly. My father was an alcoholic and my mother the classic enabler. It was a typical co-dependent relationship. I am sure she thought she was helping him. She was a registered nurse and in a “helping” profession. She loved him and supported him and stayed with him even when his behaviors dictated that she shouldn’t have.

As a parent I am sure we enabled some behaviors that we would not have accepted from any others. We loved our children and often thought we were helping them. If we had it we wanted to share what we had with them even after they became adults. This often showed itself in “arrested development” the more we did for them, the less they did for themselves. This often leads to resentment on their side and our side too.

There is often a fine line between helping and enabling. What I have learned as a parent is that as hard as it is to watch your child fall and fail you have to step back and let them pick themselves up. Trust that they will figure it out, it is part of learning and growing up. Once they learn to pick themselves up they start to build their own confidence and become successful in life.

I hear about “enablers” quite often in my estranged parents support group. This is usually a person or a family that supports the “victim” the “co-dependent” and helps them to go against their parents. The “enablers” support them in making decisions they might otherwise never have made without the assistance of these “enablers.”

enabler1

A friend’s daughter recently was married and mom and dad were not invited, to make matters worse the grandfather gave the bride away. The grandparents took the young daughter in and supported her in estranging from her mother and father. What were they thinking and why? These are life altering decisions that will last forever. Dad is not only feeling betrayed by his own daughter but by his father too. Would the grandparents want this to have been done to them?

What should they have said and done? How about go home and work it out, all teenagers and young adults have struggles with their parents, you only have one mother and father, we love you but you have to go home and work it out.

I experienced this twice now myself with both my teenage daughters who found women to take them in and go against mom and dad. And it was always over a boy. One woman I never met even though I asked to meet with her. She “enabled” the behaviors of a struggling teenager. This woman has now raised my grandson who recently turned 18, my grandson who has no real relationship with his birth mother and who never met his maternal grandmother. So who won here? And I am left to wonder what kind of woman involves herself in another woman’s family without even meeting them for yourself and making your own opinion? Who has a better life because of her “enabling?”

Second daughter returned home seven years later, she sees now in her own words that she was “young and dumb” she got used by people that “enabled” her poor teenage behaviors. She admits to being a “defiant teenager” sadly the “enablers” used her for their own gain.

I think a lot of “enabling” points back to ego, thinking they know better or are better. Today I don’t question the young teenager who naturally rebels against her parents as part of growing up but I do question the real and true motives of the people that have enabled them. What was in it for them?

Motives, agenda and egos all play a role in the type personality that enables, ask yourself what is your true motivation and agenda and what part does your ego play? Are you helping or are you hurting? If you are doing things to impact another family that you would not want anyone to do to your family that is probably a good litmus test.

If you really want to love others and help others, stop enabling and start trusting that the people that you think you are helping will figure it out for themselves, they will! And they will love you and appreciate you all the more for not stunting their growth and allowing them to develop into their own mature and successful selves!

Bernadette on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/bernadetteamoyer
All books by Bernadette A. Moyer on Amazon and Barnes & Noble

Let Me Take Care of You

Standard

Let Me Take Care of You
By Bernadette A. Moyer

letmetakecare

“Let me take care of you!” he said. It was a father to his son, a son who was struggling with mental health issues. It was probably the sweetest thing I ever heard him say. But he says it wasn’t the first time he said it. The first time was when his almost 19 year old daughter wanted to leave home to be with her boyfriend. He tried like only a father can to get her to come home and finish her education.

This time his son took his father up on his offer because at age 24 he is struggling, struggling in ways that we could never conceive of, but what does a loving father do but jump in and take care of the one that is most needy and most vulnerable. It’s called love, real genuine love when all you want is to help and to care for the one child that needs you.

Even as a strong woman who has been handling her life for most all her life the sounds of “let me take care of you” sounds so loving and so good and so genuine, when in fact it comes from such a God-loving place with no agenda and no ulterior motives.

That’s all we really have, how we treat one another and what we do in a crisis says a lot about our depth of love and of caring. The ability to be selfless and the desire to put another person’s needs above all else is the highest form of giving and of love.

Helping someone else just because we can is what sets us apart from being civilized to uncivilized people. We all need love, we all need care, and we may need it in different times during different periods of our lives but having family or friends that genuinely love and care for you is the greatest gift in life.

And the capacity and ability to be that person who comes from a position of strength and genuine caring reflects so beautifully on the one who has it to give. Selfless giving is truly our highest ideal.

In life there are times when we are the caretakers and caregivers and other times when we may need to hear, “let me take care of you.” It feels good to hear someone say, “take care” but it feels so much better to hear someone say, “I will take care of you.”

Prayers for all those in need and prayers for all those that are willing and able to provide genuine heartfelt love and care.

Bernadette on Facebook at http://www.Facebook.com/bernadetteamoyer
All books by Bernadette A. Moyer on Amazon and Barnes & Noble

Trust Your Wife, Dear!

Standard

Trust Your Wife, Dear!
By Bernadette A. Moyer

trust

It is being reported that Presidential Candidate Bernie Sanders wife is one of his most trusted advisors and that Presidential Candidate Donald Trump is often advised by his wife “to act more Presidential.”

For years when I suggested something new to my husband it was often met with comments like “did I ask for that” and “I don’t want that” and today we laugh about it because he knows it is true. When I wanted to hook him up to social media he was giving me such a hard time that I just set him up and then forgot about it. Today he has more followers on Twitter than I do and he is much better versed in Twitter too!

He balked initially at the iPad I gave him for Christmas several years ago and yet today I don’t think he could live without it. He uses it multiple times each day, the same can be said for the electric tooth that he balked at using and now readily uses every single day.

So what is it? Is it that it is my idea? Or that male thing that is so afraid of being cared for and supported by a woman? In his words he doesn’t want to be “whipped” by a woman. That just makes me laugh!

And here is why, when you enter into a partnership like a marriage, to be successful, you support each other. That’s just how it works. Their success is your success and your success is their success. I don’t try to control him and he makes that easy by being so committed and dependable. Trust is a natural byproduct when someone stands by you through all the events in life, the good events and the not so good ones. Through time and tests you learn that they are there for you.

My husband is a tough guy who knows who he is and even though we spend a lot of our time together, he is an individual. We are a traditional couple. He has his jobs and I have mine.

Learning to trust takes time, for me it took a really long time because I had only ever experienced close family relationships that really could not be trusted. That was all I knew. My husband being who he is that regular guy, who just never lets me down, allowed me to learn that I could and that I should trust him.

His resistance to trusting in me was rooted in something completely different. For him it felt like giving in or yielding. It was like I was asking him to give up his manhood. I wasn’t. I wanted to share with him the things I liked and I wanted to support him. Now he knows that and we laugh at how often he tried to resist.

At almost 25 years together, I know that he knows that he can “Trust your wife, dear.” And that any good marriage is one that has been battle tested and through those battles you do learn that you can trust one another and that in the right relationship/marriage you will have mutual trust, love and support.

Bernadette on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/bernadetteamoyer

New books! Along The Way and Another Way on Amazon and Barnes & Noble

You Are Not Alone

Standard

You Are Not Alone
By Bernadette A. Moyer

not alone

Life is tough, let’s face it; we all experience so many challenges. When I am faced with life challenges I always think that I am not the first person to ever go through this, others have triumphed and so will I.

What new experience is there that someone else has not already experienced and made it through to the other side?

No matter what we are facing it always helps to know, “you are not alone.” We know that we come into this world alone and one day we will be called home to our maker. As simplistic as it is every single person has a birth date and a death date. What we do in between is up to us.

When I am faced with upset and conflict, I typically retreat and pray on it and if it is something that is making me feel bad, I go through my list of affirmations. That list usually begins with “you are a child of God and you have a right to be here” then I pray about what am I supposed to learn by this current situation? What message is there in the take away?

Retreat is really underestimated as it can be the very tool necessary to help us regain our center and our sense and place of peace. Withdrawal for the sake of contemplation is not a bad thing but often a necessary exercise that helps energize us and gives us the tools that are required to move forward.

Our answers are within and often in the noise of life we lose our center but we can take the time to reflect and to calm the waters within then our next steps become clear to us.

“Every failure, obstacle or hardship is an opportunity in disguise. Success in many cases is failure turned inside out.” Mary Kay Ash

There are many things in life that we can’t change or do anything about; they are above and beyond our control. And when I can accept this and if it truly is something that I can’t change I have learned wholeheartedly to let them go. I can share my stories and I can connect to so many others who may be struggling as I have struggled too.

As I age I no longer see things as black and white or as good and bad but rather as me learning to live peacefully in any situation that I may find myself. It took some time but when I could finally learn that I wasn’t alone and that I should not take things other people do personally, I was free.

Not only was I free but I was also at peace … and in that free and peaceful state of being, I was able to give and to receive so much more genuine love.  Finding that perfect balance between sharing time with people that love us and support us and also taking the time to pause and to reflect and retreat is to me the answer to most all that ails us.

(The following is part of a poem called Desiderata that I have enjoyed for decades and story has it that these words were copied from an inscription found in Old Saint Paul’s Church, Baltimore dated 1692 but was actually written by an Indiana poet named Max Ehrmann and is registered with the Library of Congress in 1927)

Desiderata
You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.
Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be.
And whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace in your soul.
With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.

Bernadette on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/bernadetteamoyer
New Books! Along The Way and Another Way on Amazon and Barnes & Noble