There is a big responsibility that comes along with taking care of another person, whether it's an ageing parent or a child. Since I've not had any children to raise, I wonder if taking care of a parent is on the same scale? Is there more to raising one than another? Maybe it depends on the age of the child (or adult).
I've just begun to help take care of my mother, and I am realizing every day just what is involved. I need to make sure she eats (and eats enough), takes her pills, gets ready for the day, and has her bills paid - just to name a few things. I don't mind though. My mom took care of me and my two brothers when we were children, so now it's our turn to take care of her.
One thing that was pointed out to me, by my loving fiancé, is that I also need to remember to take care of myself. To me that is harder than taking care of my mom. For example, I will get her lunch or supper ready, and unless it's a meal that I make for both of us, sometimes I don't feel like getting something for me. At supper tonight, I reheated leftovers from yesterday for mom (there wasn't enough for both of us and I wanted to make sure she had a good supper). I had to decide what to make myself. Honestly, I wasn't all that hungry and didn't feel like eating anything, but I knew I had to. What good will I be to her if I am unwell from not taking care of myself?
I also need to remember I have a network of supporters to help me - people I can call on to pray, someone to go out for coffee with (when I have someone coming in to help mom), a friend to call, etc. This is an important part as well. If I isolate myself, the stress can still build up and be damaging. But, relying on others for support will definitely help.
There have been moments when I've felt rather stressed lately, but I've been trying to remember at these times to pray and ask God for His strength and help during those times, and to trust him. I can't do this on my own, and I need to remember that. When I do remember to pray (and even ask others to pray for me at those times), I feel more of a sense of peace, more strength, and able to get through the difficult times.
The next however long is not going to be easy, but with God's help I can do this!