Wednesday, October 14, 2009

My Other Mom

My mom-in-law, whom I call Mom (she's my dear "other Mom") has had a series of TIAs (transient ischemic attacks) in the last month. It's sad and troublesome news, and requires some changes in our family. Mama lives with my husband and me, and Mom lives about four hours away. My sis-in-law is moving back to Mom's area to help take care of her. We're hoping that Mom will be able to manage on her own sufficiently well that no other changes have to take place. She lives in a great place and we don't want to move her. Mom doesn't respond well to changes, so moving would exacerbate an already difficult situation. Also, Mom is having severe problems with one eye, and that's causing sight problems which add to her worry and tension.

Old age is not for sissies. That saying seems to prove more and more true as I grow older and our parents continue to age.

God gives us the grace to walk each part of this path, but I wish our moms didn't have so many struggles. It's hard to see them not be independent and capable any longer. It's hard for them to be in these situations, much less hard for anyone else to watch.

Good reasons to take care of ourselves. One thing I continually try to do is keep my own stressors at a minimum. Some days I don't have a lot of say-so when the troubles come tumbling our way, but I do try to keep certain standards in my busy day/life to help me respond well.

One standard is to get enough rest. Some days that's more sleep; other days the rest has to wait. But I try to sit down and read, nap briefly, or at least close my eyes and breathe deeply. That helps me much more than it sounds like it would. I've discovered that slow, deep breaths are very helpful in my battle with tiredness, stress, or tension.

Another standard is to try to eat well. I try to get enough fruits and vegetables daily; preferably fresh. I try to incorporate whole grains into our diet, and leaner meats.

These are a couple of things I do.

How about you? What are your best tools for destressing or getting extra rest?

Caregiver at Home

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