Years ago, before my children were born, I helped take care of Rose, my mother-in-law, during the three weeks before she died.
It was the same year that I started my own business and I was intent on working hard and becoming successful as soon as I could.
I took my assignments for my new clients with me to Rose’s house. I was sure that I could keep Rose company and help take care of her and get plenty of work done while she slept.
I didn’t get much work done for Hart/Hunter Communications. I hadn’t counted on the time it took to give Rose her medicine, to cook food and feed her, to talk to the hospice nurses and visitors, to talk to anxious family members who called and to spend time sitting by Rose’s bedside.
At the end of the day, when Rose was finally asleep, I was exhausted.
I can remember vividly how frustrated I felt. Now I know that those three weeks that I spent taking care of Rose didn’t make any difference in the long-term success of my business.
I wish I had realized then that being a caregiver was my priority and that I didn’t need to worry so much about my business. I wish I had been able to tell myself that it would be okay to take a few weeks off and return to my business as my top priority later.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed, consider your priorities. Some people have young children or jobs that don’t allow them to take a few weeks off for care giving. However, if you can, consider your long-term priorities. What can wait while you are so involved in taking care of someone you love?