Caregiving is challenging on an ordinary day. On an extraordinary day, like today, the challenges increase. Regardless of your political leanings, there is no denying this presidential election has been incredibly stressful. And regardless of how you feel about the outcome, there is no denying we are a country with much work to do. And all of us still need to go about our business today – perhaps discouraged, or disillusioned, most likely exhausted from a very late night (any time now New Hampshire!).
I am tired today. I finally gave in to sleep around 2:45 this morning. I was awake at 3, at 4, at 5, at 6, and then finally up at 7. I am overwhelmed, trying to process what the results mean for me, for my children, for women, for minorities and immigrants, for our country, and for the world. And still I had to take a call mid-morning from the assisted living facility where my father lives and deal with a very tricky issue.
I have talked to other caregivers this morning: who have recently lost a parent and whose grief is fresh and raw, who are grappling with sad and scary diagnoses, who are not only trying to find the words to discuss the election with their children, but with their elderly parents too.
So please, handle with care. The caregivers you encounter today may be fragile. And still they must carry out their caregiving duties, and show up at their paying jobs, and parent their children, and do everything else they do.
And you, Working Daughter: I am talking to you too. Just for today, leave the errands and the laundry. Order take out. Go to bed early if possible. Please, be kind to yourself today.