Okay, I know you’re a really good cook and no one can do it better, but is it worth it to do it all yourself? Trying to fix the whole dinner for Thanksgiving or Christmas is like trying to take care of an older loved one single-handedly. The results of the food may be good but then there’s the clean-up, the stress, the exhaustion. It’s the same for caregiving alone!
I’m a pretty independent person. I get that from my mother. I’m also a good cook. That’s something else I got from my mother. But after years of trying to do it alone, I’ve learned to delegate. There are hidden blessings to delegation but you won’t experience those blessings until you learn to share the cooking and the caregiving!
Bringing Your Loved Ones Together – Blessing #1
Whether you realize it or not, by not asking for help you are alienating those you love. With cooking and with caregiving, including others in the tasks that need to be done invests them in the experience and makes them feel needed. When all is said and done, it relieves the guilt anyone might feel if they did not help out.
This Thanksgiving, my daughter-in-law brought the green bean casserole. My daughter brought all the cups and drinks we’ll need and a salad. It’s not a lot but boy, does it help. It’s just two less things for me or mama to remember. When we get there, my daughter will set the table and my son will gather up all the chairs we need. My son-in-law is always ready to pitch in and I really appreciate him when I arrive with a lot of food. Even my grandsons help out toting the food from the truck to the kitchen. I try to include all the kids in one way or another. It makes them feel good to help, even if at first they do a little whining.
Sharing the Care Giving
It’s the same with caregiving. Including your loved ones, neighbors and friends can relieve you of a lot of stress and make them feel good about helping. I’m not saying all your loved ones will jump at the chance to help, but ask anyway. Remember it’s not what you say but how you say it. Remind them of how much you love them and appreciate the “giving” people that they are. Tell them you need them and your older loved one would be thrilled to see them. Lay it on thick. I’m telling you it can work!
Remember the “Thank You’s”
After all, this is the time of year we really look to all we’re thankful for. Remember to thank your loved ones for helping. If you have a holdout who just couldn’t seem to muster up some help, try to thank the others in front of them. Okay, I’m just kidding.
I really hope you all are blessed with lots of help this year, both in cooking the meals and caring for your loved one. Gratitude is the secret to happiness, so no matter what comes, remember to be truly thankful and take time to smell the roses.