Are you taking care of "You?" Have you ever asked yourself that question? I know I didn't. But, I've started thinking about it more and more. Especially, since I became a caregiver to my mom.
I always say my life changed in the matter of three hours on December 20, 2010. That's the day my father died, and my mom came to live with my sister and I. I went immediately into super saver caregiver mode, and I've never looked back. The next five years would go on to be filled with cursing, crying, depression, stress, laughter, hope, and love. That's quite a cycle isn't it? But, that's a caregiver life. We give so much of ourselves to others; that you sometimes forget about the most important person in this, you.
Mother is defined by Webster’s dictionary as a “woman who has given birth to a child or children.” Mother is also defined as an "elderly woman, someone who looks after someone kindly and protectively, sometime excessively so." There are so many different definitions, and yet they all go back to mothers being the givers and caretakers in life.
So, I guess that helps me explain why I’m celebrating Mother’s Day, even though I don’t have children. Yep, today is my day too, and I don’t feel bad about it. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to say I’m a “mother” in the truest sense of the world. But, I do have a “mother” and “sister” that rely on me every day to make it happen. I give them “life” by being a constant source of love and support for them. I would lay down my life with no question to ensure their happiness. I will be their loudest cheerleader, and their biggest “bodyguard”. Yes, this five foot tall woman can become a “giant” when it comes to taking care of my “divas .”
It’s almost summertime, and it’s the perfect time to see some new places. Now, I know the first thing you’re going to say is, “Aren’t you a caregiver?” Yep, and I love to travel . So, this year I’m not letting the grass grow under my feet. I’m taking every opportunity to pack up the ladies and hit the road.
We just came back from Ft. Lauderdale for mom’s birthday in early April, and I wasn’t about to let the month end without going to see Beyoncé’ in Tampa. Who wants to miss a “Queen B” show? Tracey and I weren’t about to let that happen. So, it was time to strategize the best way to get there affordably with mom.
Recently, I had the opportunity to attend a meet and greet with Ford Motor Company and their innovative program, Ford Driving Skills For Life. It was amazing to see all of the great things that Ford does to help ensure that teenagers are safe on the road, along with some insights into how they take in to consideration the needs of expectant mothers, the elderly, and individuals with disabilities when they’re building cars.
I started my session with an overview of the Ford Driving Skills For Life Program from Kate Dennis. Kate explained how this program was established by Ford to provide teens an opportunity to learn safe driving tips. As newly licensed drivers, it’s imperative they learn how to navigate in challenging environments (e.g. Large Trucks, Rain, etc.). But, they also are taught how to recognize these challenges, and handle their vehicle more effectively. Check out this video about the program.
It’s been a crazy social April for us. The “travel bug” has bitten me, and I’m determined to make the most of it. Travel can be so challenging when you’re a caregiver. There’s so much planning that has to go into putting a trip together.
It’s a great chance to recharge, and you’ll be surprised how it can make everyone in your household happy. It was the perfect dose of “happiness” for my mom’s birthday.