I had surgery Nov. 28 on my foot. That means close to 8 weeks of no pressure on my foot and stepping back to let others do stuff for me. It has been 2 weeks now, and yes, I am healing well. But it has also been a hard 2 weeks. I am so use to doing simple stuff without issues.. going to the bathroom, taking a shower, getting something to eat or drink.
Not only have I had to step back on caring for mom, I have had to step back from taking care of the house as I have. It has been an experience for sure. I have had a few break downs of just getting frustrated with myself. Falling from just turning around, losing my balance (36 yrs old and crutches don’t mix). It takes me so much longer to get stuff done. I am just now able to go to the bathroom pretty quickly, and that is lifting myself up from the floor up off the step. I have had to have my amazing husband cook all meals, and for the first week, make all my drinks. Of course when my son is home from school, he does quite a bit too. But, for me to have to ask for simple stuff is really hard. My husband has also washed dishes, been my mental and physical support, medicine picker upper. My son has been doing the laundry, putting it away, vacuuming, and a lot of the extra cleaning. I hate to say it, but it took me stepping back to see that they (especially our son) are able to do a lot.
In all this stepping back, I have had to step back from taking care of mom. We have Visiting Angels coming in for 4 hours a day, Mon-Thurs, while dad is at work. He has been working half days at work so mom isn’t left alone. Me taking a step back from mom has been hard. I know that it was hard for dad to accept the extra help, but the lady we have coming has been an absolute godsend. She has done some cleaning for mom and dad that I know unless I did it, wouldn’t get done. But, what dad doesn’t know, its been hard on me not to be in there with her. I want to help her. I really do. But my lack of mobility and the amount of stuff I have to do, its just not possible. I hate that I can’t be in there.
But there is something that I have learned these last couple of weeks. Stepping back is not always a bad thing. It has been a learning experience for all of us. My husband has learned he can do so much more if he puts his mind to it. My son has learned what I do in a day. And it has taught me patience. Patience is not my virtue. I have learned to take that deep breath because I am getting frustrated with my son not doing chores at my pace. I have learned that as long as things get done, it doesn’t matter how long it takes. Now, of course I have learned it pertaining to myself too. Deep cleaned the kitchen and with breaks it took me close to 2 hours with my son’s help. But, its done.
Stepping back has already been a hard thing to do. To me, its always meant failure. It means giving up. Stepping back doesn’t mean bad things anymore. It means that you need help, help is not bad. We are not able to do it all. We are not meant to either. I can say that these last two weeks have been a very big eye opener. Next time someone says they are willing to help you, take it. Take it. You are not a failure to step back. You are not a failure to let someone take over for you. You cannot do it all. You need to refuel, recharge. And the only way to do that… is to step back.