Thursday, March 31, 2016
Show me the money for all this fun
Someone close to me has said something to the affect of “caretaking Riley really isn’t very hard.” It was inferred that I am only doing this for the money. The first thing that came to my mind was “What money?”
First of all, I’m not a nurse. I hate doing anything that even resembles nursing. That includes taking care of Riley. There isn’t enough money anywhere to make caretaking him a pleasant experience.
When I was 12 years old, I helped in the caretaking of my grandmother. I loved her dearly. She was my “go to” person and I loved spending time with her. My duties were to take her the bedpan and then empty it. Make sure she has water, snacks and anything else she needed to keep her comfortable. I didn’t mind doing it because it made her happy. But, it awakened me to the fact that I didn’t want a career in nursing. My aunt offered to pay for my entire college education if I went into nursing. I declined the offer in favor of attending fashion design school.
I’ve walked a lot of career paths over the course of my professional years. I have never had a job so taxing as that of caretaker. By the way, it isn’t even really my job. It’s my responsibility as Riley’s wife. I don’t get paid for it. I won’t even end up with a good referral reference because I’ll never do it again.
Being Riley’s caregiver includes getting him food three times a day; bathing him; helping him get in and out of bed; answering him each time he calls for me; changing his soiled underwear and cleaning him up in the process; do his laundry; manage his medications, medical appointments, and other paperwork. I’ve been told I should also make sure he participates in social activities including family functions.
In between all the duties for Riley, I’m supposed to take care of myself and have a real life of my own. I’m not sure where that fits in the time schedule of the day. Somehow I’m just need to make that happen.
Now about the money that I’m making for doing something I hate. Riley and I are a married couple and this is a community property state. In short what’s his is mine and what’s mine is his. The money that goes into the bank account pays for our joint expenses for the business of living in a decent home and have food on the table. The fact that I have control over the money doesn’t mean that it’s being “given” to me to use as I see fit. If I were a really mean woman, I would just divorce him, take half of his income, and let him figure find someone to take care of him. However, he has dementia and would never be able to figure anything out and I have a conscious that tells me I couldn’t do that.
Then I’m asked about the money I make off my books, blog, etc. As every author can tell you, if you want to get rich from writing, you will be very disappointed. I don’t make any money from anything I have done in relation to alcoholism since the blog started in 2010. I see all these ads about making a ton of money from blogging. Well, I just don’t see it and I’ve explored it all.
Let’s face it… no woman ever marries a man and hopes that he becomes an alcoholic in order to fulfill her lifelong dream of cleaning up his vomit, washing his soiled clothing; smelling his stench; or, having conversations that have nothing to do with anything except nonsense. And, unless he’s extremely, extremely wealthy, she won’t be getting any big bucks for her efforts. Trust me on this. No one wants to be married to an alcoholic.
I took Riley back into my home because I didn’t want my daughter to destroy her life by having him be with her. I know my daughter and she would not do well with cleaning up vomit or wiping poop off the walls.
So what do I say to those people who tell me that what I do is easy? I tell them to walk a mile in my shoes and then come back to me and tell me what they think. Don’t judge me or make unfounded accusations. Don’t judge ANYONE who does what I do. We all have our own reasons for doing the hard work. And those reasons really don’t have to make sense to anyone else.
at 8:55 AM