Conflict within carers. Caring can be a compromise between your life and facilitating for another. This post addresses the conflict that can exist in carers.
Conflict within carers
Family life usually runs harmoniously because we all share similar goals, for example at Christmas, birthdays and holidays, we are all committed to a happy group celebration. When we are united in our plans there is togetherness. It is when we acknowledge our own separate aspirations that there can be conflict. I’ll give you an example. I want to write which takes time and concentration, but I also need to work, care, and meet the needs of my family.
I have ordinary family errands (grocery shopping, laundry etc) and so although I want to shut myself in a Roald Dahl shed and scribe for 8 hours – that lifestyle choice is not feasible. I am compromised between writing and working, feeding the family and ensuring everyone has matched socks! A carers time is limited and we rightly prioritise others because we have strong bonds of responsibility, commitment and love but this can lead to personal discord.
Can there be accord in a carers existence?
When I’m conflicted I find some middle ground and strike a balance. Each decision as a carer is weighted between the needs of others and myself. I maneuver, as a tightrope walker, between family demands realising my own physical and time limitations. It is important to acknowledge any struggles within yourself so you can negotiate a resolution allowing balance to exist.
Where am I going with these thoughts…I wanted to share that conflict and compromise are completely normal and can be managed in a caring role. Carers are not asked to be servants or slaves, no-one is asked to loose themselves totally in the service of others.
Ideally balance is achieved by not managing everything for everyone, all the time. It maybe impossible and doomed to failure or at least personal exhaustion. Balance comes from sensitive use of resources provided. Caring is a shared commitment through family and friends, community and society.
The hardest conflict
The hardest part of caring is having some ‘time-out’, leaving your loved one to tackle a day, a week or an hour independently. It’s the hardest conflict as guilt readily introduces its self. A short organised break can be ideal, not only to nurture independence, but to promote individuality so that separate lives remains established.
We are all unique and that is our attraction. Never loose the significance of your self. I have found kindness is achieved by stepping away. Leaving Emily reveals her functional independence that is crucial as it instills self belief and confidence in us both. Respite from each other should be viewed as part of the rehabilitation process towards separateness and self-sufficiency.
Conflict within carers
Leaving for a period of time is positively worthwhile as Emily and I benefit from some freedom for self-determination and a can-do rational that’s empowering. Time apart ensues there’s plenty of chatter over tea when we are back home together!
Matron is always in charge while I’m away.