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To go or not to go?

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To go or not to go?

Post by Krissiemarie on Fri Apr 05, 2013 8:30 pm

So I'm thinking of taking a road trip this summer, take a break from caring for my father, and everything else. But part of me thinks what if something happens when I'm away having a grand old time. Should I plan this or no. and if i do should i bring my paints, and meet up with random painters along the way?

Sorry just bouncing ideas, need some none involved opinions and encouragements.
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Krissiemarie

Number of posts : 622
Age : 33
Location : Otto, North Carolina
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Re: To go or not to go?

Post by veelux on Fri Apr 05, 2013 10:33 pm

Tough question, but I guess you have to consider whether or not you Dad can manage a few days without you, and if you feel good about it. We all need breaks from everyday life and shouldn't feel guilty or selfish for taking some. it can really get to you if you don't. Maybe there is someone else who can step up for you while you take a needed break? If you love painting, take them. Set up some meetings and have a ball. What is it that you do for you Dad? Can he manage a few days alone or does he need constant care?
P.S., your avatar is really creepy - looks too real...lol.
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Re: To go or not to go?

Post by Guest on Fri Apr 05, 2013 10:39 pm

God, I would love to have a break away from mom. I love her, but it is not the life I want thinking I'd have at this point. I have not had a night away from her since she came home from the hospital three years ago...

If you've have someone to take care of him - go!

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Re: To go or not to go?

Post by fesspenter on Sat Apr 06, 2013 7:12 am

Dear Krissiemarie:
If you can arrange for care for your father... GO.
In order to be a better caregiver, you have to take care of the caregiver. You will be a better YOU when you can be yourself for a few minutes, or a few days or weeks.
You may feel guilty when you walk out the door, and that is normal.
You may NOT feel guilty when you walk out the door, and that is normal, too. You may NOT feel guilty when you walk out the door, and then subsequently feel guilty for not feeling guilty, and that can happen, too.
Take a break. If your dad is taken care of.... go.

My job description at SickKids is the following, "Make the child happy". If that means painting Grandma like a jaguar, then that is what I do. An important component in my job is to give the parents a break. To let the parents go and get a coffee and to get away from disease for a little while. To allow the parents to be themselves for a moment. Everybody needs that.

I was sent into a room where the parent had not left the room for 27 days. I went in. I came in and said that I was a face painter. The 4 year old girl growled she didn't want her face painted. I said that I was here for her mommy. The little girl growled "She doesn't want her face painted." I said the the mom, "Mommys need to take coffee breaks in order to be better Mommys". The mom said, "Really?" I said, "Yes, really." The mom picked up her purse and told her child she would be back. The girl growled,"You're NOT leaving me with HER!!!!" I said, "Go, Mommy." The woman walked out the door. The child began to howl. Then shrieking. Then, she stood up in the bed and started screaming. I felt like a deer in the headlights. Nothing prepared me for this, not even having my own children. So... I started to whisper at her. I kept whispering the same kind of thing over and over.
"I have ALWAYS wanted to do this. I would NEVER let my kids do this. If I found my kids doing this, I would be upset. Yet, I still wanna do this. If I caught them doing this, I would think it was a waste, yet I still want to do this..."
The little girl got quieter and quieter to listen to my whispering. When she was silent, I picked up the box of Kleenex and started joyfully ripping the tissues out of the box and flinging them into the air. It was FUN! The little girl looked shocked. I grabbed the second box and put her hand on the tissue and got her to pull it out...then another and another and then she emptied the whole box. We tried to make a giant, fluffy snowman out of the tissues. Not successful. We made it snow by flinging all the tissues into the air. Note to self: tissues are not aerodynamic. I made a big mess with the Kleenex. The mom came back. I suddenly realized the big, wasteful mess I had made. The little girl was still playing in the big mess of Kleenex on her bed. I left. I thought I had not done my job. I did not paint a face in that room. I made a mess. I wasted two boxes of Kleenex.
When I returned the following week, I saw in our KidComm book, that the mom in that room was now regularly taking scheduled breaks. Three years later, her daughter came back for more surgery. I came into the room and the mom recognized me. She told me that "I changed her life that day." She said that she did feel better when she came back from the break. I asked about the mess I left. She said she didn't notice the mess... she only saw that her child was happy. She said that taking and having breaks made her better able to stay in the room and still feel as normal as she was going to get, and, since that day regularly schedules breaks.
It is okay to be yourself.
It is okay to let someone else take care if your father.

And, bring him a couple of boxes of Kleenex. It makes a truly terrible snowman. And, it is a LOT OF FUN.
Take the break. You need it.

And, Krissiemarie, on a note that has NOTHING to do with the above... you have the most gorgeous cheekbones I have ever seen.

xoxo
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fesspenter

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Re: To go or not to go?

Post by JJJJJ on Sat Apr 06, 2013 10:12 am

Fess - You are one of the angels incarnate. I mean that. I do. sunny

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Re: To go or not to go?

Post by Krissiemarie on Sat Apr 06, 2013 10:46 am

Awe thanx Fess that made me cry a little. And yes, I love my cheek bones.

and thank you everyone else it made me realize I do need a break. I have other people who could come, but will they? My brothers are in different states working 40+ hour weeks, my sister, I wont get into that but she hasnt called in 3 months, or came to seem in 3 years. So thats a lost cause, my mom can take care of him, its just hard on her doing it 24/7 which is why I'm here. But she told me if this is what I want to do, then go do it, because they can survive for a few weeks without me, but I still feel guilty for wanting to do it.

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Krissiemarie

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Re: To go or not to go?

Post by artyfacesbyluz on Sat Apr 06, 2013 11:23 am

Do it!! do you realize you are their strength? you can't cry in front on your father, you can't do tantrums, you are the youngest and you suposse to be a joy to be with, I took care of my father when he was at the hospital for 2 months, I was there from 5 in the morning to 8 at nigth but I refuse to sleep there, that would kill my back, I was always so scare to arrive in the morning and find him gone... that happened he died at 7:00 am and I was late, but I never felt guilty I gave him so much love when he was alive and the last day we spent togheter... so get a break to be able to be a better you for him.
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Re: To go or not to go?

Post by fesspenter on Sat Apr 06, 2013 4:42 pm

Dear Krissiemarie:
You may feel guilty for wanting to go.
And you may regret NOT going.
Guilt is a useless emotion that we all carry, and gift to our children.
It is important to live without regret.

Go.
You will come back rejuvenated and ready to assist your Mom.
Your dad would probably want you, above all to be happy.
Being happy is something that doesn't just happen TO you... we all have to actively pursue happiness. This is your time. Pursue happiness. If only for a short time.
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fesspenter

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Re: To go or not to go?

Post by veelux on Sat Apr 06, 2013 8:07 pm

yes Krissiemarie, go, live a little , don't take the guilt with you, leave it on the step, it doesn't get to go for the ride- you are OK!

Fess, your story is amazing. You are a beautiful caring person who makes a huge difference in the lives of others. I feel blessed to be able to read your posts.

Shannon, OMG -you need a break too sweetheart- find a way to take one so you can regenerate a little. You do so much for others and balance so much in your life, but who will take care of you if you burn out. My oldest sister is in your place and now its got to the point where my Mom isn't ok without her there. Even if one of us wanted to stay with Mom, and let Sis go for few days, Mom would panic and my sister would't be able to relax knowing Mom was suffering....Find a way to go,even if just for a day. - Just my 2 cents... Very Happy You guys Rock!!
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veelux

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Re: To go or not to go?

Post by TinafromNY on Sun Apr 07, 2013 10:41 am

I think you absolutely should go and NOT feel guilty. I see you're only 28 and that's a HUGE responsibility for someone so young. I'll guess your Mom can't be more than in her 50's, so unless she's ill too, she should be able to handle things for a few weeks, no problem...perhaps she is just used to YOU taking over and is happy to let you shoulder most of it. I don't know how ill your Dad is or what care is required, but a few more suggestions....Perhaps, if your family has any funds, INCLUDING your brothers in another state, they all can pitch in and you can go on Care.com and find someone licensed who can come in for an hour a day to check on things and report back to you. OR, if you have several friends, explain to them that you need a break badly and ask if they'd each be willing to come for an hour one once a week, just to check on things. I would do that for a friend. Remember, you always have the option of returning home early and some vacation is better than none. But honestly, I don't think that'll be needed. I think your Mom will get along fine and actually, I think, if she's able to with her own health, it actually SHOULD be her shared responsibility...a 28 yr old should not be having to hold everything together. You've earned a vacation...go have fun, set some check-up plans in place and don't feel guilty!!!
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