If you're going to take care of someone else, make sure you take care of yourself first. It's sort of like when a flight attendant tells you about the oxygen masks on the plane: secure your own mask first before helping others - even children.
Did I listen? Not in the beginning.
You see, I have a tendency to think of myself as Superwoman. I can do it all... and then some. I probably would have been dumb enough to think that I could get my child's mask on before my own if we were on a depressurizing airplane. I heard on a TV show recently that it only takes 20 seconds to lose consciousness. Seriously... 20 seconds.
My parents rely on me every day. I make their meals, do their laundry, take them to appointments, do all the shopping. It seems like there is always something more that needs to be done. And like a good Superwoman, I try to do it all.
After a lot of trial and a while bunch of errors, I've learned that two weeks is the longest I can go without a break (though it's far better if I get some time away once or twice a week). If I don't, it's not a pretty sight.
In other words, I've learned the hard way to make sure I secure my own mask before assisting others - even the elderly.
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