Ursula so wanted to have a home delivery. She prepared for it for months. But eventually, she had to stop and accept more help. She had to go to the hospital and finally, after a spinal block, she relaxed and went to sleep. “I should have come here sooner, but I felt so guilty—like I was failing.” she said. Later, when they brought the baby to her, even though, she’d gone though surgery, she was rested. She could focus on this new being. She could BE THERE for her little son.
How many caregivers have said “I should have done this sooner” after they finally put their loved one in residential care?” One caregiver told me, “If I’d only known how much I needed help, or what a better caregiver I’d be when I could be rested and able to really be there for my loved one, I wouldn’t have waited so long.” But, like Ursula, she felt she was failing to even consider it. Of course, once she’d made the move, she found she was still her loved one’s caregiver. They’d simply moved to a different venue. Now, with someone else responsible for all the physical care, she had the energy to pay more attention to her loved one’s emotional needs. “Of course, he’d rather be home," she said. "But he’s really doing better here and a lot of it is because I’m not so worn out.”
We all want to be the best mom, wife, daughter, husband, caregiver, etc. that we can be. And sometimes, like Ursula, we don’t realize that we need to ask for more help until we are well past when we really needed to do so. We don’t realize how tired, cranky, frustrated, and even scared we are, until we finally do ask for help. Then we look back with 20/20 hindsight and say, “I should have done that sooner.” There’s no sense feeling bad about that either. Just share your insight with someone else and hope they can use your experience.