Wow – another great Self-Care Workshop! These brilliant people looked hard at how they are handling the financial aspects of added caregiving elder parents and ailing spouses! What tremendous devotion, mingled with a ton of emotions.
The biggest thrill was watching each of the participants “getting it” when their beliefs and perceptions were challenged.
Here’s a powerful example.
Adam the Angry (not his real name, of course) was literally and figuratively falling apart with anger and frustration that his financial situation was being jeopardized. His own body was aching and he needed a hip replacement. But he continued to postpone his own self-care because he was taking his role so seriously. He still believes his ailing wife’s needs come first, and his don’t’ count!
What’s more, although he has plenty of money, he had it designated for he and his wife to travel, take care of the home, fix a vehicle or two… you know, the normal stuff.
But due to his wife’s deteriorating ailments, mentally and physically, Adam was challenged with adding extra support, respite, medical and appointment headaches.
Plus, the biggest obstacle for Adam was he was tapping into his invested reserves much too early and wondered if he could sustain the leak long enough to live out his life.
Be started to believe he was a failure as a husband and provider. But what he forgot was he was a success as a businessman!
He’s not alone!
I know many of you are entrepreneurs or have jobs while handling added caregiving duties on the side. And you’re good at your jobs! Then caregiving intervenes and stuff happens.
If you want your caregving to reduce or stop sucking the life out of your bank account, then you must educate yourself about who you are and what you believe about money and care!
What I’m about to suggest may seem like I just dropped a giant boulder in your pond and it’ll take some time for the ripples to work their way out, especially about overcoming fear, anxiety and disbelief this could be an idea to consider. But it is:
Treat your Loved One’s Care Like a Business!
Put another way, consider the added responsibility not only from the heart, but with a consciousness as if they were your client!
If I’m being totally honest here, without looking differently at the short and long term consequences, and looking into your own self-awareness, it’s really difficult to keep a handle on your bank account and theirs as well (if it’s a separate family member).
You see, if you’re not running your business or household successfully, and if it doesn’t support you monetarily and emotionally, this means people (your clients) (your loved ones) will be deprived of your gifts and services. And let’s face it, you want to have your household to experience financial, emotional and time freedom!
In the workshop, we talked a lot with Adam the Angry about what were his underlying fears. Why was he so angry?
What it boiled down to was that he felt jipped living out his life like he anticipated. He didn’t like the surprise illnesses that took away his control!
Yes, that dreaded control monger!
More on that later. What Adam also wanted was to contribute to his family long after he was gone.
He couldn’t see this as an option. Life sucked! And he was mad about it! He’s not alone.
So we discussed the possibility of treating his responsibility as the primary caregiver to his wife as a client and business opportunity.
This took a bit of mind twisting and bending, but he could see the benefits once he realized he was already skilled in business.
So why not apply what he already knew to this next phase of his life?
The light bulbs came on and he “got it”!
I want you to check in and see if you could shift mentally enough to consider handling added caregiving responsibilities as part of your business, budget, and even client-like! You really want to thrive, so here are some ideas I would love for you think about.
- Be authentic about your own money beliefs. If you’re worried or feel the vague about what you need to sustain you and your loved one, this could indicate an internal confusion. That means that you must learn to understand the emotional triggers that cause you to take certain actions with money, good and not so good.
- You want to ask tough questions of your loved one – when they are outside of your immediate family, like your parent(s) or siblings – if they can afford to pay you to caregive. There is a direct correlation between the amount of money you spend for yourself for your own self care and education including medical research, coaches, books, and time away from your own work, to the amount of money you can ask from your parent.
It makes sense that once you have spent $1,000 on travel, research, time away from your work for a particular month developing added skills to deal with caregiving, you can then confidently turn around and ask for the same back.
To expect someone to hire you (especially your loved one) at a rate that you have not happily paid yourself is unrealistic. Why? Because your own resistance will be conveyed through your asking. If you begrudgingly ask to be paid for your support, they pick up on the begrudging energy. Maybe they will pick up on your discomfort by the way you deliver the answer to their question, “How much do you want and why?” You will not feel authentic and your loved ones will sense that.
I know from experience, that asking my mother to pay for my gas and meals travelling to take her to her appointments was a tough decision at first. However, as long as I felt uncomfortable, I couldn’t ask. And if I did as feeling uncomfortable, she’d look at me quizzically and ask, “Why?” It wasn’t until I felt confident to ask, that she just gladly gave me the money!
If you don’t have a comfortable answer – just like being asking in business, “What’s your fee?” you won’t get it!
- Know exactly how much is going in and out of your bank account! I know that as an entrepreneur there are lots of times, especially when it seems like you are fighting your heart and emotions to do all you possibly can to help your aging parents, ailing spouse or child, that the money just seems to pour away! And when you look at your credit card bills or bank balance, you gasp!
However, the point of keeping track of your money flow is not to prevent you from spending money, but to keep your mental clarity and stability at ALL times. Clarity is clarity and what I have found is that the best entrepreneurs know where every cent is going (and yes, you do have to be strong enough to weather those tides!)
Add the responsibility of caregiving into the same business mix, and you get clarity AND stability knowing what it’s costing, where, and why!
- Set up your accounts (and theirs) in a way that money flows seamlessly in and out as you get paid for your caregiving role! Make it easy on yourself because as much as you don’t want to waste money, you REALLY don’t want to waste time searching for information and slips that you paid on their behalf, or didn’t budget in, or charged unnecessarily, and so on. Keep your financial information about your caregiving responsibilities in one place (file) so you can find it instantly as support documentation for tax purposes and emotional satisfaction.
If you take this notion – treat your loved ones as a business – you harness your mind and emotions around money, their needs, your needs and you cannot help but experience more financial, energetic and physical ease.
YOU are in absolute control of your financial destiny! Oh yes, and that for many includes having to take on unexpected responsibilities in the form of caregiving!
Let me know your thoughts here and have a wonderful day.