Do you know how many mistakes I made as one of my mom’s caregivers?
Too many to count.
I snapped at her. Got impatient with her. Got frustrated when she couldn’t do something I thought she should be able to do.
I tested her memory. Showed her pictures of people and asked her to tell me who it was. Corrected her when she told me something that I knew wasn’t true.
I tried to rationalize with her. Went on and on trying to explain something to her. Used too many words and talked too fast for her to understand me.
I tried to teach her how to do things. Told myself that if she did it enough times she might remember how. Thought that if I made her do it herself then she just might get it.
I didn’t always want to call her. I didn’t always want to visit her. I didn’t always want to take care of her. And I didn’t always do any of those things.
I resented putting my life on hold. I couldn’t wait for that shit to be over. I longed for the day I could move on with my life.
I was not perfect. No one is.
But you know what?
I loved my mom. I showed up for her and my dad. And when I knew better, I did better.
I didn’t have to be perfect to be a good daughter.
Neither do you.
There’s a lot of advice and people sharing their stories out there. I’m not sure how many of them also admit to all the mistakes they have made, but I hope you know they have made plenty.
Social media can be a highlight reel. Everyone shares their good and maybe even their bad, but so few are willing to share their ugly.
Just know that in the confines of their own homes and their own lives, that shit gets ugly.
No one is perfect.
I’ve messed up everything I could possibly mess up and you probably will, too. But that’s ok. You have to learn somehow.
You don’t have to be perfect to care.
You don’t have to be perfect to love your person.
You don’t have to be perfect to be a good daughter, son, husband, wife, or whatever.
Stop comparing your journey to others. Stop beating yourself up for not doing enough. Stop telling yourself that you are the only one who feels this way.
You are doing something incredibly hard. You are figuring it out as you go. You are trying your best.
That has to be enough.
And someday you will look back and be so damn proud of yourself for all that you did and all that you overcame.
Why not be proud now?
You got this.
I believe in your ability to figure it out.
Now go believe in yourself, too.
*If this post resonated with you, you should consider joining the Alzheimer’s Daughters Club!
**If you liked this post, you would love my book “When Only Love Remains: Surviving My Mom’s Battle with Early Onset Alzheimer’s.” It’s available on all Amazon marketplaces.