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An Open Letter to the Mom who is also a Caregiver

An Open Letter to the Mom who is also a Caregiver | Columbia SC Moms BlogHey Mama,  

Let me start off by saying that you are awesome. You love your family and will provide for all of them (young and old) until you physically cannot do it anymore. Thank God for women like you!! And me. We make the world go round! 

But this is hard. This is really hard. Maybe you have a toddler and an aging grandparent. You might have teens and a sick parent. Are you caring for a sibling with special needs while trying to navigate the world of preteens? I see you. I hear you. I’m right there with you. Being a mom and a caregiver is the best and worst thing I have ever done. 

Here is a story that may sound familiar to you…

My son and I have gone to visit my grandmother every Monday since he was born. We would spend a couple hours in the afternoon with her. One Monday, she told me that she had a sore throat and couldn’t really talk. I didn’t think too much of it. The next day, she called and said she couldn’t breathe. The next few hours were a whirlwind of the Urgent Care nurse calling another nurse who called the doctor that called CT, X-ray, and a tech to bring an oxygen tank. She was admitted immediately because she had fluid pouring into her lungs. A chain reaction began that landed us in Palmetto Health Richland Heart Hospital. The amazing staff there performed triple bypass open heart surgery on my 74-year-old grandmother and had her well enough to come home in a week. Did I say they were amazing?

Although she was allowed to go home, it would not be to her home. She would be coming to my home. My home with my 2-year-old. Let the whirlwind begin again. This is how I ended up in the same boat as you; the mom/caregiver. 

I see you. You are in the store late at night because you can’t leave your grandmother alone. I see you standing in the pharmacy line trying your best to figure out their prescription routine. You are meeting with the home health nurse to figure out where to buy a potty chair and how to work an external defibrillator, just in case

I hear you. You are talking to your sister about air fresheners because your toddler is still in diapers and you are trying to help your parent maintain some dignity. I hear you on the phone with physical therapy for your mom and the pediatrician for your little one. You are crying to your spouse because dad’s incision isn’t healing due to his diabetes, and he may have to be readmitted. 

Our thoughts are the same. Am I neglecting my child’s needs? Am I giving enough to my parent/grandparent that gave so much to me? How is this affecting my marriage? What if something happens on my watch? How in the world will I ever get it all done?

I think about you. Do you know how strong you are? Do you know how amazing you are? You can make lunch, schedule doctor’s appointments, and change two diapers before you blink an eye. This season of your life is difficult, but it won’t last forever. When it is over, won’t you be glad you were able to spend all of these moments right in the middle of the wonderful, terrible chaos?

Mama, we got this!

Sincerely, 

Someone who’s right there with you

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