Respite

Mom has been depressed the past week on and off. We’ve had some… difficult emotional moments… between us as well. What I thought would help in January – home health aides – has in some ways become a source of stress for all of us at times.

When the agency called and asked if I’d mind if they cut the hours on Saturday to 2, I decided I’d just as soon not have anyone. And when mom had a particularly low time on Saturday, I decided to cancel Sunday’s worker as well. It was such a peaceful weekend. I didn’t have to rush around to get myself ready before the aide got here, or hurry to get things ready so they’d have what they needed while I was gone, or soothe mom’s nerves at the prospect of someone besides me caring for her and me leaving.

I also didn’t have someone “straightening” the things on my counter tops or running the dishwasher at half-full or putting things away in strange places. Last time an aide was here, Friday, she left dirty dishes in the sink but “straightened” up my counter-top, piling all the papers in one stack (including bills I had set out to pay) and throwing things into the box that is supposed only contain my father’s medicines and supplements. This aide is only 20, just out of school, and although she is not doing a bad job, she irks my parents and me for some reason. An aide is supposed to relieve my stress, not cause more, right?

Sometimes I just need to be able to do my own housework. (Did that come from my mouth???) Really, the thing that gets me down is only in small part the housework. Most of it is spending 24/7 with two people I love, who are sometimes demanding…. okay, often demanding.

So, respite comes in strange forms…

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