Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Care-taking 101


I think I’m flunking Caretaking 101. Most days, I wish that I could clone myself so there are four of me: one for my daughter, one for my mother, one for my husband and one for the animals. Wait, let’s make that five of me. I forgot to include one for me to do what I want and need to do for myself. That’s the part, unfortunately, that I am forgetting most often, and it’s making me really grumpy about doing what I do for everyone else.

There’s very little lip service given around here from anyone about giving Mom a little break. What happened to the foreign concept of time off so she can go out to lunch with a friend or escape entirely for a day or two? Mostly what I hear is barking, meowing or someone calling my name to help them. Not to mention those two horses standing at the gate staring relentlessly at the house waiting for me to come out and do something with or for them.

In the barn this morning, I was reminding myself that someday, the nest will be empty and/or most of the ones, two and four-legged, I care for will have passed away. Then, I realized that with another snowstorm predicted for tonight and tomorrow, I might actually get some down time. When it snows, I don’t have to get a snarling child up, make her breakfast and lunch, and drive her to the end of the insanely icy driveway in the cold and dark to wait for the bus before I go out to feed the horses. If the plows don’t come and clear enough snow, I won’t have to take my mom to her doctor’s appointment. I won’t have to go to the post office to return some things for my husband or to the grocery store or the feed store. Even though we’ll all be stuck in the house, everyone seems to be more cheerful when it’s snowing hard because we’ve been given the gift of “do nothing now until it stops”.

So, I’ve decided that today will be all about preparing for the snow. Tomorrow, even if it doesn’t really dump another five to eight inches on us, I’m going to take my own “snow day”. I need to re-charge my battery badly right now, and one thing is for sure. If I don’t do it myself, no one is going to do it for me.

18 comments:

Mrs Mom said...

Rest up Victoria, and enjoy a few moments of quiet! If there is no you, there is real chaos, so be sure to take care of yourself. ;)

Cactus Jack Splash said...

I think we all have experienced what you are feeling. I know I did, so I went on "strike". Only went to work and took care of the horses...everyone learned how busy I was and now they help out.

AnnL said...

You need to take care of YOURSELF first so that you are able to take care of everyone else. I know it's hard, but, as you said, no one else is going to do it. I hope you get lots of rest tomorrow!

the7msn said...

Sing it with me...let it snow, let it snow, let it snow.

Grey Horse Matters said...

Even though it's none of my business, I think in order for you to have some 'me' time, you'll need to make a few changes around your house. If it were me, I would take everyone on a 'field trip' around the house to show them where everything is, in case they need something they can get it themselves. Next up, hand hubby the car keys and a map to the post office. Get snarling daughter a really annoying alarm clock and show her where the cereal boxes and milk are. When she needs a ride down to the end of the driveway, take turns with hubby doing this. Everyone can help take care of the dog and cat it's not solely your job. Have a sit down with the whole crew and tell them you need them to help themselves for a while you're worn out.
After all to be fair you got married to be an equal partner not a mother/maid. There's an old saying, "I married you for better or worse, not lunch". Even though she may not like it now, your daughter will thank you some day for her self reliance.

Taking care of two horses and an ailing mother is almost a full time job in itself. So after you do so much for the whole family it is time they helped out with their own day to day survival. Doing for themselves should make them appreciate you more.

Take care and take a day or two for relaxing and recharging. You owe it to yourself.

smrp said...

Hoping for a nice moderate snowstorm, just enough to keep you all indoors for a day or two, but not so much that it makes for even more work ;) I like CJS's idea of a strike-though I guess the critters won't be able to hop in and help as a result...

Seriously-I hope you get some rest and down time-being a care taker to so many varied creatures must be exhausting!
Lots of pony snuffles and doggie wiggles,
Sue and the crew

Lori Skoog said...

You are right on the money! Yesterday I backed off. Today I will call someone to see if they will come and plow if we get all the snow they are predicting. Gary won't be here to help and I can't even think about shoveling our gigantic driveway. It may even be a challenge to pull my sled out to the barn. Let's hope it is not going to be as bad as they say. You do have a very full plate.

detroit dog said...

Yikes! I think Grey Horse has it pretty much down pat, though a big snowstorm would make it easier.

One day....

(As the eldest of 5 children that grew up in a semi-rural area, I will say this: your daughter is old enough to do the laundry and walk to school -- we walked a mile-and-a-half one way through the winter, and to help out with her horse Siete.)

You need a break. Snow isn't going to be around all the time. (Please, tell me it won't be....)

Jackie said...

That is not a fun feeling! It gets so frustrating to feel like you are doing everything for everyone and they don't seem to appreciate your efforts or do anything to help out. Sure does build up after a while doesn't it? Just wanted you to know that I appreciate and empathize with this and hope you can work it out and get a little rest soon!

Victoria Cummings said...

Thanks to All of You for your virtual pats on the back and hugs! I thought I needed to add a little cheese to my whine, so I just took a relaxing time out to make myself a delicious omelette. And if anyone needs serious assertiveness training, let's remember to ask Arlene. Meanwhile, I'm going to take a quick 20 minute nap - total for today's time for myself so far will add up to one hour. I'm going for at least two by the time I crawl into bed tonight.

C-ingspots said...

It does sound like you deserve to take a much-needed respite from your daily caretaking duties. Maybe a nice long soak in a warm tub with a glass of wine and some candlelight?? Ask your hubby if he could prepare or order in some dinner and put on your favorite music. What's wrong with taking a little personal time once in a while?? Who knows, maybe hubby would even think it was a good idea? Enjoy the snow.

C-ingspots said...

Okay, as usual I commented before reading the other comments here. I just got a great big old laugh out of grey horse matters' comment! You just gotta love that woman - now there's a real mama!! She knows how to lay down the law!! Might not be a bad idea to take her advice Victoria.

Victoria Cummings said...

So, I do feel the need to go on record admitting that I have one of the most tolerant husbands on the planet - between the horses and my mother, he puts up with a lot. And if he needs a map to get to the post office, it's because he's usually out of town working and has no idea how to go anywhere but from home to the highway. We were just talking about those long lost days before kids and aging parents interrupted our carefree lifestyle. We both had to admit that we wouldn't trade what we have now to go back to the way it used to be.

deejbrown said...

It boils down to one thing, really. We do what we love and sometimes do not love it all the time. But that is the beast, not the beauty.

Tammy said...

I do think the weather has taken its toll on a lot of us that live in cold weather states. Everything is such an effort when there is snow and ice on the grounds & roads and bad weather around the corner. It's given me the blues, too.

Spartacus Jones said...

"Mom."
The toughest, most under-paid, most under-appreciated and most IMPORTANT job in the world.


sj

Esther Garvi said...

I agree with all the above! You need time for yourself in order to give to others! Hope you get a nice little snow storm that allows you to catch your breath and enjoy!!!

Callie said...

Sometimes we all need a snowday!