BARTER YOUR WAY TO CAREGIVER SUCCESS
In this time of economic turmoil, you may be looking for new ways to construct a successful life as a caregiver. The money for services that once offered you personal time and emotional nutrition may have vanished. Yet, help with errands, cooking, or childcare/eldercare services may mean the difference between sanity and burn-out.
My friend Suzy and I stumbled on a barter arrangement that works so well it feels like we're cheating. I offer some details of our Sunday dinner ritual with the hope that you can create similar magic in your own life as a busy caregiver.
Suzy and I are both single parents of only children. Both of us work full time outside of the home. Our children, who are the same ages, often click like siblings. Suzy is an imaginative parent who brings out the best in kids. Cooking, which is a chore for her, is recreation for me. Each Sunday, Suzy helps the kids cook up some fun as I cook the meal. We eat our dinner and then enjoy the kids' creations.
Sometimes Suzy mutters something about "imposing on me" since I do the cooking. I quickly remind her that the only thing she is imposing is her belief that cooking is burdensome for me. Plus, I'm as grateful for the smiles that she helps put on the kids' faces as she is for the meal.
While caregiving is hard for everybody, it's hard for different people in different ways. Once you know what's easy for you and what's hard for you, you can join forces with others in the same way that Suzy and I do.
Consider pooling resources with neighbors, friends, and family. Barter your way to caregiver success.
Here's what a caregiver swap community listing might look like: I offer you:
In exchange for: