When you are caring for an aging loved one and still working full time as well as taking care of your own family there simply aren't enough hours, minutes or seconds ever! It's a guarantee that time is what is in the shortest supply. Second only to sleep.Time to do what needs to be done, time to do what you wish you didn't have to do and seemingly no where is there time for the life you knew before the caregiving took over. No matter their current health, chances are if you are serving in some capacity as caregiver, then your job will only get harder and the demands on your time will become more critical.
How are you doing what you're doing? I get this question all the time. The answer is classic: minute by minute, hour by hour, day by day. For me the challenge is not to give in to the feeling that no matter how I attempt to manage my time I can never do enough, give enough, be enough for my Dad and nephew. There is the nagging wonder: is what we are doing when we do have time together as meaningful as it can be (whatever that is??)
So now the real answer to how you can be a parent or guardian, work full time and care for an aging loved one, LET GO.
Let go of a lot! My apartment will never be as clean or as organized as I'd like it to be. Ditto for my car. Some meals will not be 100% made from scratch or the healthiest. Social Life. Let go of whatever you thought was a predictable reliable routine. This is not to say you can't have some pattern. We have Taco Tuesday which we all cook together and throughly devour. And as soon as I can think of another alliterative day/dinner that we all like we may institute another weekly tradition.
TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF
I write this while doing whatever would be considered the writing version of biting my tongue. People ask me every day "what are you doing for yourself?" And the answer other than trying to make it to a couple of yoga classes a week is "not much". Thanks though to yoga and breath training I can find renewal in the briefest possible moments.Try focusing on what is rather than what is not all the unread books, unheard podcasts, unseen movies and on and on. The feel and sound of warm water in the shower. Walking the dog in the before dawn quiet. Music. Sunlight. You get the idea.
There will be much more on this subject ... when time allows.