Wednesday 26 November 2014

The Ups and Downs of being a Carer and Home Educator

For sometime, I have been both a carer and home educator. One of the children's Grandparents lives with us. Our three generational household has given the children an opportunity to get to know and spend time with their Grandmother in a way that would not otherwise have happened. As time passes though, the caring side does get more complex and time consuming.

This is a reflection on a complicated day! Thankfully, they aren't all this complex.

First down or maybe it was an up: I remember that I haven't arranged for the careworker to come early before a hospital appointment. Probably really an up, as there is more time for me to work with the children. Amazingly, we manage to get through Bible time, reading, spelling and maths.

Second down: Middle Son's science class starts before I have to get Grandma out. The teacher and equipment have to be moved to get a zimmer frame through.

Second up: We have Veritas self-paced history and Reading Eggs for the two younger children.

Third up: My husband works from home so the younger children don't have to come to the hospital.

Fourth up: the day is cold but sunny.

Fourth down: the wrong wheelchair has been put in the car. This wheelchair has tyres that have been known to slip off. We have a spare to use until it is repaired but when I park, it becomes obvious that the wrong chair is in the car. I pray and move the chair very cautiously. Putting the tyres back on with someone in a wheelchair is complicated and not good for backs.

Major up: At the hospital, no one seems to mind or notice that we are late! Phew.

Should have expected down: the appointment takes longer than expected. Go back to feed the meter. Why haven't I got round to reapplying for a blue badge?

Major praise: we get back to the car with the tyres still on the wheelchair.

Get home and my husband and children have got lunch. Another praise.

Expected downpoint: I don't finish lunch in time to start the afternoon's activities at the time I had planned. Tired! Read aloud time takes over. Finish Theras goes to the play and start A bear called Paddington.

Swimming lessons: out again.
Down point: realise that the main meal has to be early. Last week, I had a long discussion with the agency who can't get care workers out at the preferred time so now they are sometimes going to come early. In my ignorance, I thought that the carers had to come when Grandma wanted but practically, this doesn't work out so we have to have an early meal.

Up: Middle Son phones me while I'm out to volunteer to do the meal. Yes, please!

Up: we just about manage to get through the meal before the care worker arrives.

Down: I try to be clever and order a book on my phone before going to the prayer meeting. Something wrong with ordering on the phone so a bit of a fail.

Down: housework was a bit lacking.

Up: managed to get to the prayer meeting and stay awake.

Down: bed at 1am again!

Overall, there were more positives than negatives and I'm a born pessimist. I am grateful for strength. It isn't glamorous being a carer and not appreciated. I've often sat in church and felt bad that I can't do useful Christian service. Occasionally, not often, to be honest, I wonder about my relinquished career. Yet, this is, for now what God has called me to do. 

I will bless the Lord at all times and His praise shall continually be in my mouth. 
Psalm 34v1

Do you have days like this? Perhaps you are another carer. Please share about how you manage the complicated days.

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  1. The work you are doing as a carer to another human being who is dependent on you for the majority of all her physical needs is an incredibly useful form of Christian service. It may not be noticed or rewarded in this life, but the Lord will have many crowns for your selfless service in Glory. Reading about your typical days is so humbling. There are very few Christian women who could cope with all that you have to do. Praying for you

    1. Thank you for your encouraging comment and for your prayers. The Lord gives sufficient grace for the day. It is easy to try to do this in my strength which fails but those of us who are carers need to rely on His strength which is sufficient.

  2. I agree with the above comment...I believe that the Lord will reward you in heaven for the good works you do today. The Lord calls us to do His will and that is exactly what you are doing. Praise God for your willingness to obey. I will pray for you and your family!
    Kelli...from Oregon

    1. Kelli-thank you. I am an unprofitable servant and even my best is tainted with bad attitudes. My Heaven will be through the blood and righteousness of the Lord Jesus. I thank God for that.

  3. I always read your blogs with interest, especially the parts that deal with being a caregiver. I "care" for my semi-invalid daughter (who still lives in her own home) and homeschool her three daughters. I am a senior myself and my husband is a stroke survivor, with very limited vision and balance. I try to live each day with cheerfulness as I know this is the life God planned for me. I am sorry to say that there are days that I am "sharp" with my daughter when I exhibit more of me and less of God. Thanks for your encouraging words and cheerful attitude. Even in the times of deepest sorrow, I can honestly say - God is good, all the time.
    Myra, from Winnipeg, Canada where winter has set in with a vengeance and the temps are minus 15C or worse.

    1. Myra, thank you so much for commenting. I hadn't realised quite how busy you are. One of my favourite verses is 2 Corinthians 12v9 "My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness."
      I love your summary "I try to live each day with cheerfulness as I know this is the life God planned for me."

  4. Hi Sarah, what you are doing is the most important part of "useful Christian service". You implied that you wished to do it and this is EXACTLY what you are doing! Taking care of the elderly, raising future servants of the Most High God and being a Help Meet to your husband is doing just that! :)

    When my schedule is over-loaded, I cut back on weekday programs and that really helps. We stay home most of the week and go to church on Sunday as a family. Cutting out activities can be beneficial and blessings at times. Thank you for sharing at the Art of Home-Making Mondays. Balancing homemaking and homeschooling is challenging but God will see you through it :) Hope to see you at our link up this week!