Caregivers are a busy bunch of people, usually going a million miles a minute, juggling several things at once and often thinking, “If only I had more time I would _____”.
I’ve also noticed that caregivers get wrapped up (and understandably so) in what is right in front of them and what’s next on the to-do list.
As caregiver’s, what we are doing may not seem like such a big deal since we are in it day in and day out. We know that someone we care about needs help, and so we do it.
But you know what? Caregivers are amazing people. Not everyone can be one, and not everyone should be one.
Since we often do not feel like what we are doing is special, it may feel like we have nothing to share, no words of wisdom to impart, and nothing to give. But we do. You do. I do.
Nobody Can Understand What You Are Going Through Like Someone Who Is On The Same Journey
It’s important to be able to share stories, encourage fellow sojourners, and support one another through the stresses, overwhelms, and joys of what it’s like to be a caregiver. Having a support system in place, especially on the hard days, is a gift. Knowing you can reach out and ask for prayer, ask for a kick in the pants, share a sad or funny story can make all the difference. Not only in your life but in the lives of others too.
Because nobody can…
- …empathize about the trials and joys of being a Mom like another Mom.
- …understand the demands of caring for a sick loved one like someone else doing the same.
- …understand what it is like to take care of and sometimes take charge of aging parents then someone else stepping into that same role.
- …understand the pain, and privilege, of watching and caring for someone we love slowly slipping away from us.
It’s easy to think we are alone in the trenches, that no one understands what we are going through and experiencing. While the particular path you are on is unique and filled with its own set of twists and turns, the journey of the caregiver offers compassion, understanding, and many times, an instant bond between strangers. Amazing isn’t it!?
Finding Support & Encouragement for Caregivers
The word caregiver may bring up ideas of someone in nurses scrubs, but it encompasses way more than that. Caregiver’s come in many different shapes and sizes like Moms, Grandmas, Aunts, Uncles, Hospice Workers, Nurses, Sisters, Nannies, and so much more.
My sister Lori and I have been thinking about this special group of people and have been brainstorming ways to serve and support them.
She is a wife, mother to eight, grandmother to one, homeschool teacher to five. I’m single, have moved to help take care of sick friends and family, and travel regularly to take an increasing role in the care of an aging parent. Through our experiences and responsibilities as caregivers, there is a bond, and it’s something we talk about quite a bit.
Together we have a lot of ideas about what a community like this could look like and be, and think that a private group on Facebook might be a great place to start. We have been working on a description of the community we are envisioning, and it goes something like this:
Encouraging women (and guys too!) to build intentional habits into their lives so that they can experience hope, rest, and joy in the midst of life as a caregiver.
While the exact wording and descriptions are still a work in progress, this does convey the mission and the heart of our idea. We would love to see a community offering support and encouragement to those who feel alone, overwhelmed and stressed out. We would be thrilled to see women move from surviving to thriving.
We are excited about this idea and would love to hear from you. Is this something you would be interested in joining?
It would be a free, private Facebook group with a goal of creating a safe, encouraging environment where you can share your story, feel supported, and be encouraged.
If this would be something you would be interested in, please leave a comment below, comment on the Selah Reflections Facebook page, or send an email. Let us know what you think of this idea and let us know what support would you like to have in your role as caregiver?
Coming soon! The next book in the “Be Still & Know” series.
To be one of the first to know when it is ready, click here.
Marta Goertzen is an entrepreneur, writer and nature photographer. She daily explores the trails and beaches of the South Central Oregon Coast with her buddy Bailey. You can follow along on their adventures on Instagram. She is also the author of several books including her newest, “Choosing Gratitude: A Daily Quiet Time Journal”.