Carmen: Taking Time Out

As she has become older, Carmen recognizes the importance of taking care of self and paying attention to a healthy diet and exercise. She noted, “Take time out even though you don’t think you have a spare moment. I might get 30 minutes a day. But at least I have that.” She worries that she does not have her own identity because she has been there for everyone else and did what she was supposed to do. She experiences joy in being able to find meaning in her caregiving but realizes her many caregiving responsibilities have not allowed her to explore her own identity.

I’m okay with that—I’ve done the best I can. I don’t regret doing anything or not doing anything. People are saying only if you would have done or done that [for Lily] but I know it’s in her control. I’m a realist as far as that goes. I think I’ve handled everything as well as I could.

Carmen noted her satisfaction and rewards with work, family roles, and spending time with friends.

I have a really good career, which has given me an identity through that. I’m my kid’s mom. I am that. I’m Ethan’s wife. There might still be something out there that I could do on my own, all by myself. I have friends that I go and have fun with. I don’t stop myself from doing any of those things. More than that, I need those things.