By Loretta McNary
So, last week, we dove into the ABCs of Caregiving, and I was blown away by your generous and positive responses. So today, let’s get real about something that’s close to my heart – the crazy, beautiful juggling act of balancing a career or business while being a passionate caregiver. Trust me, it’s not a walk in the park, but it’s a journey well worth taking.
So, picture this: you’re trying to conquer the professional world while ensuring your caregiving game is on point. It’s not just about managing time; it’s about resilience, compliance, compromise, and a whole lot of self-discovery.
First things first – you’ve got to embrace both the career goals and the compassionate caregiver within you. It’s not a battle; it’s a dynamic duo making your life richer. Let’s shift our mindset and own this dual role because, spoiler alert, it’s the key to a more harmonious existence for everyone.
Now, about schedules – flexibility, organization, kindness and patience are your new best friends. However, thanks to technology, hopefully you can work remotely some days, join virtual meetings, and create a schedule that works for both the office and at home. It’s not a compromise; it’s a strategic move for a healthier work-life blend. Prioritization is the secret sauce. Not everything is equally crucial, and being able to distinguish between what’s urgent and what’s important is your new superpower.
Set realistic expectations, communicate openly, and watch the pressures ease up. Building a support network is non-negotiable. Your colleagues, friends, and family are your squad, they are ready to provide emotional backup and maybe even help with the groceries and sit with your loved one while you take time for self-care. And don’t forget your church members – and your staff, having a supportive community can make a world of difference.
One special note, sometimes you will have the help of family members and sometimes you will not, so set your expectations accordingly. Otherwise, this may release a wave of emotions that can cause hurt feelings and unnecessary conflict. Respect their decision with understanding and compassion, without assigning judgment and blame. By committing to this blueprint, a harmonious atmosphere is sustained, thus creating opportunities for countless positive, fun and enjoyable family experiences.
Now, self-care – this one’s for you. Self- care IS not selfish; it’s vitally important. Take daily short walks, indulge in activities that bring you peace, or simply savor a delicious cup of tea while watching a great movie. Your mental well-being is the foundation for excelling in both roles. Don’t neglect celebrating your small victories. Did you handle a work project like a champ while rocking the caregiving tasks? Own it! Recognize and appreciate these wins because, my friend, you absolutely deserve it. Life is so unpredictable, and your adaptability will be your greatest defense.
Learn to expect and embrace change, learn from your challenges, and grow. Imperfections are part of our journey, and that’s perfectly okay. Choose joy in this amazing journey.
Beyond the chaos that sometimes comes with being a caregiver, there’s a deep sense of fulfillment, purpose, and connection. Cherish the small moments, the shared laughter, shared meals and shared tears. These moments will be impactful and significantly affect both your professional and personal spheres.
And here’s the irony – just like a perfectly tossed pebble causes magnificent ripples in a lake, the ripple effect of these challenging moments can create beautiful memories As you navigate this balancing act, you’re not just impacting your life. You’re inspiring others – colleagues, family, friends – to tackle their own challenges with faith, grace, and patience. You’re creating a culture that values the holistic well-being of individuals who are caregivers.
So, my fellow jugglers, as we become proficient in this balancing act, let’s not aim for mere perfection instead let’s aim for measurable and meaningful progress.
Caregiving is a voyage marked by wins and learning, empathy, self-discovery, mutual respect, and a commitment to leading a fulfilling life as we create our own unique balance of excelling in our careers and providing quality care and unconditional love to our loved ones.
On those days when it feels tremendously overwhelming, remember you are stronger than you think, take a deep breath and recenter your thoughts, feel the peace that always surrounds us and say to yourself, “I got this”.
And guess what? Now you are not simply balancing; you are thriving in the dual roles of having a career that provides the finances we need and being a caregiver that gives us the most profound and unforgettable moments of joy. And plus, this newfound joy looks marvelous on you! Cheers and kudos to all caregivers! You and your families are always in our prayers.
Loretta McNary is our Lifestyles contributor. Catch “The Loretta McNary Show” on her channels, including broadcast TV, YouTube, Facebook, her website, and elsewhere.