Over the last couple of days I have had a break. Fantastic right? Well…maybe. I’m not relaxed. I still feel tired. I have tried to do some of all-the-things-I-think-I-want-to-do-when-I-have-time, and have managed a couple of them. “Why are you not taking full advantage?” you ask. I’m asking that too. So what makes a break effective? Maybe it’s time away, rather than time out.
You see while my kid is in respite, I am here too. I visit a few times a day and wonder how she’s going most of the rest of the time. It’s an unusual situation. She had a difficult break away from us a while ago, so we are helping her to become comfortable again and own the power of her independence when she is away from us. I am having a break from the body-tiring aspects of caring for her but my mind is not resting. I’m still thinking and worrying and answering questions when I pop over there. It seems that although feeding and rolling and hoisting and changing are all tiring, the most wearying aspect of care is mental and emotional.
The year so far has involved more paperwork and management than a small company. This kid deserves the very best out of life, yet bureaucracy determines a huge amount of work is needed just to hope for a level playing field for her. I can feel the energy draining with every call/email/complaint/form. Some prefer not to use the term carer but I use it to differentiate between “mum stuff” and the rest. Being her mum is a pleasure…the rest can be exhausting. Even while having a physical break the mental work continues. To really rest I need to be able to hand it all over. To trust she is cared for and comfortable is a challenge. But she, the sassy teenager, needs time away from me. And I need time to switch off. So this is a start.