Oftentimes caregivers view their lives with tunnel vision. Questions like “Who are you?” is met with the common response of “I’m a caregiver of a special needs child.”
While that statement is true, it’s also incomplete. Just because you have the huge responsibility of meeting and supporting the special needs of another, does not mean that’s what defines you.
Caregivers have dreams too. Sometimes those dreams are related to being a caregiver. Many times, they are not.
Being a caregiver birthed a dream of me becoming a physical therapist. I wanted to help children like my child to become more mobile. That dream has since fizzled out. Not because I’m no longer interested but because I allowed situations and circumstances to stifle it.
What is it that you are allowing to kill your personal dreams? Are you allowing circumstances unique to care giving, stop you from fulfilling them?
There are four enemies to your dream becoming a reality. They will stifle hault, thwart or whatever you want to call it.
Lack of Self Confidence
Just because you are caregiver, doesn’t mean that’s the only thing you can or should do well. What were you passionate about before you became a caregiver? Reach back to that point in time and refocus on what it was that made you good enough back then to accomplish those goals.
Lack of Resources
Don’t allow money to be the determining factor for not pursuing a dream. There are a ton of resources at your disposal. You just may not be aware of them. It will take some research but you CAN find financial help. As a matter of fact, you may find help that others are not privy to BECAUSE you are a caregiver.
Allowing Other People’s Opinions to Matter
Sure, you don’t want to disregard others around you – especially those close to you. Yet, you don’t want to allow other people’s opinions to weigh in heavier than your own (unless their name is 3 letters, begins with G and ends with D 🙂
Sometimes people can’t catch your vision. That’s OK. Just don’t allow their negativity or ignorance to stop you from doing what you know in your heart you were born to do.
This is a powerful word and can stop anybody cold in their tracks. If you find that you are not following your dreams because you fear the outcome or even fear success, you must find a way to push on – even in the face of fear. Otherwise, your dreams will die.
Being a caregiver doesn’t have to be the be all and end all of your existence. If you have dreams, don’t let these 4 things keep you from reaching them. Do what you are good at, have passion for and long to do. You just may change someone else’s life.
About Michelle: Michelle H Smith is a mom of a child with multiple special needs. She helps other caregivers find ways to balance their lives by sharing stress reduction tips and resources on her blog Stress Relief for Caregivers. She also offers a line of pain and stress management products in her online store, http://www.antistressandpain.com
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