Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Sometimes, Caregivers Need Care Too...

I've read the blogs of several friends in the last few weeks and it seems that the caregivers out there are all stressed out. It's summer and it's miserable here in the Northern Hemisphere (I don't think I have any readers from the Southern Hemisphere, but if there are any, just take my word for it). For the record, I hate summer; I haven't like summer since I stopped going to sleep away camp in 1989. When the summer of 1990 rolled around and I had to put my big girl undies on and go to work I realized, with a quickness, that I would have loved to have been a camp counselor for the rest of my life. Yeah, I know it's hard to earn a good living as a camp counselor, but I digress.

Anyway, back to the topic. I decided to try a different camp for The Kid this summer. Cost me a bloody fortune, and I truly expected her to come home exclaiming about what a great time she's having. She's not. I soooooo want to send her to work so I can go to camp in her place.

I just get tired of taking care of everyone all the time. I'm a single parent and as I've stated in previous posts, Ex is useless. He thinks The Kid's clothes are magically laundered by fairies and than Rumpelstiltskin cobbles her shoes for free. He has no idea what it takes to keep a child healthy, safe, fed properly and happy. He thinks it's perfectly ok to feed her something she hates because he was forced to eat stuff he hated as a child.I have to wash all the towels this camp demands The Kid pack everyday and I wash all those swimsuits by hand because the washer will ruin the material.. I have to pack a lunch that I know The Kid will eat and I have to make sure she packs enough to drink on those scorching days. I have to make sure she gets enough rest even though I haven't been fully rested in over 9 years myself.

I also "care" for about 14 people at work. I'm the administrative assistant in a clinical unit in a hospital and I constantly have someone barking their needs at me. Who needs to have a check cut for the publication fee for a journal article they've written, who needs a place to sleep when they are here in the middle of the night  for emergencies, who needs me to un-jam the printer, who needs me to organize meetings, who needs me to make the MD's do things we all know full well they are never going to do, who need me to be both a pee-on and an administrator...the list goes on and on. I'm really good at prioritizing and problem solving, but I'm not a miracle worker.

I need to run away for a while. I want to escape, to quote a beloved movie, "I want to be unattached."

But I know, deep in my heart, I'll never be unattached. I am the kind of person who is the rock for others, but who has a hard time asking for help. I have friends who really want to spend time with me, but things come up, and as a single parent, I don't always have a Plan B. These gals stick by me, they check on me, they genuinely enjoy my company and I'm thankful for them.

Love and respect come in many forms. I just wish that it sometimes came in the form of a housekeeper or a junior assistant...

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