It can be difficult to realize that we all make mistakes and it is okay to do so as a caregiver. There is a level of expectation that we often hold over ourselves as we embark on each new adventure. Whether caring for elderly, mentally ill individuals, or other ill loved ones, challenges will rise, and we wonder whether we could do things differently. There are always going to be those moments where we question ourselves, and consider whether our decisions have had negative impacts on the ones we care for, but this needs to stop.
As caregivers, we take on this superhuman quality, and we think we must do everything without fault, but the reality is, we are human. Mistakes happen, and it is expected. We do not receive a handbook, when we become caregivers, that lays out the specific challenges we will face, the personality of the individual we will care for, and the various ways to handle each situation as it arises. As much as I wish that handbook existed at times, I realize the journey without one has its rewards. I have learned how strong I can be, how resilient, and especially how creative I can be with problem resolution. I have also learned to embrace the imperfections that make me who I am.
While there will always be those moments of questioning that follow tragedy or bumps in the road, the more that we can accept our own faults, the more open we will be to caring and loving those we care for, and ourselves. The sooner this understanding happens, the easier it will be to move past the blame, and guilt that can only weigh down any progress of living. Caregiving is difficult enough without us getting in our own way. So, the next time a problem arises, remember to accept any imperfections because they are what make us human.