Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Cranky Reason #7: Lack of Appreciation

Cranky Reason #7: I don't feel appreciated. Thanks to Tricia of Middle-Aged Mania (see blog link to the side, I have no idea how to imbed a link into my posts) for reminding me about this cranky cause. I have to say this one is a frequent cranky reason, but I am very conflicted about the whole need for "appreciation" as a caregiver.

After all, I'm going to be doing more around the house overall because of my physical capabilities in comparison to Skip's. She can't even get dressed without my assistance; it's not too likely that she'll be taking out the trash or folding the laundry. So more is expected of me. I'm doing stuff for Skip all throughout the day along with household activities and work. Do I expect her to say "thank you" every time I do something for her or around the house? Well ... no. But, maybe every other time. :-) And, Skip expresses her appreciation with "thank you's" a lot.

But seriously, appreciation is acknowledgment to me. When Skip lets me know that she notices and acknowledges the work I'm doing for her and around the house, that makes me feel great.

When I get cranky is when I'm feeling like it's been a while since the last acknowledgment. Or, what can make me feel most cranky is feeling taken for granted. I am really good at caregiving tasks and a lot of things are just taken care of seamlessly and easily throughout the day. It'll really get my goat when I've been taking care of all the usual stuff and Skip focuses in on the one item I neglected to take care of. That's when I say something like, "I took care of 99 of 100 things and you only noticed the one that wasn't done! " Crankiness quickly ensues.

De-crank strategy: Let Skip know with humor when I'm not feeling the love and acknowledgment. If I can use a joke, I can keep from getting mad. I also sometimes point out all the great things I've done for her so she can tell me how great I am. Anything to be made to feel special and not taken for granted will go a long way towards keeping the crankiness at bay.


Anonymous said...

Hi Cranky: Caregivers are the hub of our disabled society and it is true that they do not get enough gratitude.

In my house, I put notes around where I know they will see them. Stupid stuff like: I made dinner 5 days out of 7 this week, you are welcome. Your bills are paid and up to date, you are welcome. Little post it notes.

On the other hand, I am a big hugger to my guys (2 sons and hubby) oh (and the male dog too!) and I always tell them I love them and appreciate everything they do for me. Because it is not all one way here. There are times I can DO and times I cannot DO...so I DO for them some of the time and they DO for me some of the time.

If Skip reads your blog, I hope she gives you a big hug and thanks you today.

As an aside, your link to my blog DISABLED NOT DEAD is for the old blog address.

Please update it to be http://disablednotdead-anne3.blogspot.com

Thanks and take care of yourself. Caregivers sometimes forget to do that.


Cranky said...

Anne - thanks very much for your note. You're right, appreciation does flow both ways. And, Skip has thanked me today!

Very strange on the link to your blog. When you mouse over, it shows the "3," but when you click on the link, the 3 is omitted. I will correct it now.

Anonymous said...

I'm telling you Cranky Pants - I feel your pain. Being a wife and mother is a thankless enough task, but throw in these overly needy pets and it's enough to make me CRANKY too. Take my bird. Like being loved and petted through the day isn't enough - NO. SHe insists on MORE. Like sitting on me all day, using me as her big blonde toilet. and WORSE - rummaging through my nose during the most inopportune times!! And don't even get me started on the squawking!! IN my BAD EAR, no less. And she never EVER says thank you. EVER! ALL I get is "wuuuusssssszzzzzzzupppppppppp" HUMPH>! Just think of THAT next time you're being pushed over the edge.

awb said...

I think it's hitting that happy medium? My wife does tons for me, though I'm not to the point where she considers herself a caregiver, she is in my mind. I try to be appreciative, but there is always that little shard of resentment, resentment on both sides.

For me it's the fact that I can't do some of the basic tasks. For her it's probably that she has worked all day and now has to do things that used to be done by me. We deal with most all of the MS issues with humor, humor and a good hug!


Herrad said...

Hi Cranky,

Take care of yourself.



ps thanks for visiting my blog.

Cranky said...

Dish - thanks for the visit and the insight into your bird's habits! Yep, you've got a lot of images planted in my brain to help provide comic relief when I'm feeling edgy. :-)

Andy - humor is key! But I do agree there is some resentment in the mix. Hoping your O's beat the evil empire tonight!

Herrad - thanks for stopping by and the good wishes.

Patrick @ Caregivingly Yours said...

Hey there! Ahhh yes ... humor, often gallows humor, keeps us rolling and pushing along.

Caregivingly Yours, Patrick

Cranky said...

Greetings, Patrick! I've been enjoying your blog. And, I agree, humor is necessary. A big, rolling belly laugh helps chase the cranks away!