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How I Find Worth in Caretaking

Taking care of someone can be hard and trying. Especially when it is a 24/7 gig. There are days I wish I could get a break. As of right now I am Mike’s only caretaker. This is something we constantly talk about. Both of us know that we will probably need some extra help in the future but for right now, this setup works for us, most days.

The ongoing theme of my articles has been how easygoing Mike tries to be. He and I do a really good job of communicating our needs. Mike probably does a little better job at recognizing my needs before I even have to ask. This makes our situation easier for me. Knowing that Mike understands me and puts my needs first helps me be a better caregiver to him.

My partner and my boss

My caregiving situation is probably a little more unique than most. Mike is my partner. We have been in a committed relationship for years now and he’s also my boss. I earn a salary to take care of him. This salary helps me provide for my daughter and me. Even on days when I’m physically and emotionally exhausted, I wouldn’t trade my job. I find it pretty amazing that I get paid to do something that I really enjoy, taking care of others.

Caring for one I love

It’s also amazing that I’m taking care of the man I love and adore. This is the part of my job that rewards me.  Providing Mike opportunities to get out in the community where he flourishes brings a smile to my face. When Mike was younger he was able to travel a little bit with his friends.

However, as his spinal muscular atrophy progressed it became harder for him to travel. For the past 10 years or so, his Mom and Dad were his main caregivers. They are not big travelers.

Reward of the job is greater than money

Traveling with Mike is a win-win. I’m still working and getting paid to provide him with experiences he would normally not be able to do. Being able to see the joy on Mike’s face brings me pleasure. Being a caregiver is a hard job and quite frankly the pay isn’t the best.

However the reward of the job is greater than money. When you are able to provide care for a loved one and expand their world I don’t think there are too many other greater joys.

Caregiving gives me purpose and emotional support

There is something I haven’t talked about. I’ve been dealing with a terrible ongoing tragedy. It’s a loss that I can’t properly put into words. Being a caregiver has provided me a purpose while I deal with my loss. Mike being my companion also provides me the emotional support that I need to get through this. Finding purpose in in our life can come from multiple ways. By providing Mike’s care it has helped me fill an ongoing void.

Finding self worth is a big part of our identity. It can come in different ways for everyone. Providing care to Mike helps me feel good about myself.  In my opinion you can’t put a price tag on that. Like they say, is it really work if you love what you do? (Most days that is 😀)

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