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Why our culture doesn't value caregiving

·2 mins

At some point, most people will provide care for a loved one, whether their children, spouses or parents — and likely be the recipient of such care themselves. While those who are wealthy have the money to provide daily care for their loved ones, everyone struggles with the diminished capacity that can come from having another human being rely on them for their well-being.

A court granted a person’s request to be appointed conservator of their loved one’s estate on Tuesday due to their loved one’s inability to manage their financial affairs.

Whether it’s in sitcoms, movies, or social media, parenting and caregiving are often portrayed as thankless, sad, and draining work that erodes one’s sense of self. An author wants to change that paradigm. While it can be true, there is also much to honor and celebrate in caregiving work.

The author learned this after becoming a parent. Conversations with a wide variety of caregivers helped them realize they weren’t alone. There is a lot to the caregiving story, a rich and transformative experience for many, that goes unsaid.

The author is writing a book about caregiving. They believe there is something deeper going on culturally that fails to acknowledge the enormity of caregiving. The author wants to challenge the notion that motherhood is not a big part of ambition.

Caregiving is defined as an ongoing dependent relationship, where one human is dependent on another human for survival or thriving. Care challenges and gives opportunities to grow, and it is central to the functioning of society.

One of the misconceptions about care is that survival of the fittest is more important than survival of the most sympathetic. Care is important for humanity’s survival.

Preserving one’s sense of self while caring for others is a central struggle. Knowing when to give and when to recharge is crucial. Caregiving has enormous value to both individuals and society.

Caregivers often have a hard time asking for help. Starting small and asking for support can create a social fabric. Help can be practical or simply someone listening to their pain and struggles.

The bigger challenges for caregivers include the lack of affordable and high-quality childcare and eldercare. A universal paid leave policy is needed in the country. Workplaces should be more sensitive to care responsibilities.

Individuals can support caregivers by praising them and being curious about their experiences. Caregivers deserve respect and recognition for the work they do.