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Family first, or me first?

I’ve been off grid this month. My Dads been sick, like, intensive care on a ventilator for weeks kind of sick. I honestly thought we’d lose him. It felt like someone pressed stop on my world. He’s not out of the woods yet, but I’m feeling a bit more human and my brain is firing up better!

I’m writing here because family trumps work, hands down. I’m truly thankful to my boss (also me) who quickly recognised I needed time out, to relieve myself of pressures that could wait.

I focused on ME. My “energy”; eating well, getting rest, sleep and keeping up with exercise, so I was in the best shape to “be there” for Dad. I'm no use to anyone if I am malnourished, tired or exhausted.

Many thanks sent out...people either offered help or normalised my need to step back. Above that; incredible staff at the Queen Elizabeth, Kings Lynn - all who make that hospital work like clockwork, particularly the expert Intensive Care Unit teams and Tilney ward; I owe Dads life to all of them.

We’re beginning to think part of the cause was that Dad was under too much pressure. He’s retired and enjoys so many things, but had ended up taking on too much.

It’s a stark reminder that no matter how much we love what we do, it’s still possible to overdo it.

Pressure comes in different forms to what we traditionally see as "work", and we can't just put is aside to "go to work".

I’m certainly not the only person facing this, I am sure many people have family issues going on, or other things taking your focus. Self-care is not selfish, its a necessity. Give yourself permission to put yourself first, so you are in the best place to help others that need you.

Parkstone, Dorset