Spreading the peanut butter on my toast becomes a very necessary task. Maybe you should see someone. A doctor or something. BALANCING WORK AND CARE Don't be surprised if one day you need to consider discussing your caregiving responsibilities with your employer and perhaps agree on certain adjustments in your work pattern such as changing your hourly schedule or shifting from full- to part-time employment. It could mean that you need to leave work early on occasion or arrive late. These can be difficult discussions to have with your supervisor or manager, especially if you think that they may not be particularly understanding or willing to accommodate your needs. Employers very often do not comprehend that their male employees need family time. Other men, because of male pride, may not want to admit that they are finding it difficult to juggle the competing demands that exist in their work and personal lives and elect instead to hide this from their work colleagues. Either way, there is little to be gained by not making the effort to negotiate a healthier balance between work and your caregiving responsibilities. Stoic pride and/or hesitation to make every effort to plan a more manageable work/family arrangement can easily backfire on you, leading to consequences that include poor performance, lower productivity, and more distress over the caregiving responsibilities awaiting you at home. These two-pronged, snake-bite consequences could ultimately lead to a negative performance evaluation at work and premature burnout as a caregiver at home. The majority of men who make the effort to adjust aspects of their work life to meet the demands of caregiving are able to do that. Take a few moments to stay with this memory. Notice and re-experience the sensation of feeling compassion and care for another. See if you can just be with this feeling of lovingkindness. When you are ready, you can let go of this memory. By being aware of feeling compassion flowing to another person, we activate our experience of compassion throughout our mind and body, here and now. In the preceding practice, you may have noticed how the experience of compassion for another changed your state of mind and attention, and how it may even have prepared you to act with greater compassionate courage and commitment. COMPASSION IN ACTION

Forgiving & Connecting with Others Terrance described his early experiences in his family as caring and supportive. after his father died from a heart attack, Terrance's mother became very depressed and began drinking heavily. Resolving disputes over differing emotional realities requires soul-searching to understand who is speaking for our personal committee, and why. Modern consciousness researchers tell us that the human personality is composed of different ego states, parts, or selves. Ego states are sets of feelings, accompanied by related sets of behavior patterns. Other therapists go further, describing these parts of the personality as distinct personalities, each with a full range of emotion and desire, and of different ages, temperaments, talents, and even genders. Psychologists' understanding of these subpersonalities has evolved over time. Sigmund Freud saw the psyche as consisting of three parts: the id, ego, and superego. The id is the impulsive (and unconscious) part of our psyche that contains sexual and aggressive drives and hidden memories -- all of our most basic animal and primitive impulses. According to Freud, we are born with the id intact. The ego develops early in childhood to mediate between the unrealistic id and the external real world. It is the decision-making component of personality, mediating between the desires of the id and the moral constraints of the superego. I told her my side of the story. Which was really rather simple. I had spent at least four times as much time on this project as Andre. I had pushed everything else aside. I told the therapist that, when writing our previous article, the same thing had happened. scheduled meetings on Skype that he missed. he promised to send articles, which he didn't.

And when he finally did, they were often in terrible shape. When I pointed these things out, he would become defensive and evasive, blaming me for making him feel bad. Did you take the lead when writing your previous article? Then someone close to me who knew my flaws well said incredulously, What? You can't write a article! He confirmed out loud what the voice inside my head was telling me--that someone with my background doesn't write a article. As a special-ed student, I was behind every grade level in reading and writing. How could I write a article? But then I'd remind myself that a article is about thought and content. I've never struggled with that, and I knew I had worthwhile ideas. While I might be challenged with the technical side of writing, I could look my fear in the eye. I could enlist the help of people who had the writing skills I lacked, share my ideas with them, and move forward from there. The mere fact that you're reading this article right now makes facing this fear worth it. This not only allows me to attack important creative problems before the stresses and logistics of the day have zapped my energy, it also starts my week off with new ideas that I can share with the team. If you don't think your manager will allow you to set aside time for generating ideas, you may need to make a case for why it's a good practice. Share the projects you're working on, the kinds of ideas you need to generate right now, and then show how you think this will benefit the organization. If you can show that the output of your Idea Time will ultimately make your manager look good, you're likely to get the go-ahead. If not, you can always plan time early in the morning or at the end of the day, or get permission to adjust your schedule to accommodate an hour a week of uninterrupted thinking. What do you do in your Idea Time? The most critical thing is to begin with a clearly defined problem, preferably in the form of a question.

For example, Find new markets for XYZ can easily be rephrased as How can we expose more potential customers to XYZ? Once you've established the Challenge, use a large piece of paper or a whiteboard to record your ideas. Future. I know all this . I glance up at him. What kind of doctor? Someone you can talk to about everything. He's serious. I have you to talk to, I say, even though I can't remember the last time we've spoken one-on-one like this. By the way, I add, knowing this change of subject will distract him, can you take me to the DMV for my driver's license test? I say it all in a rush so he doesn't have time to say no right away. If I get a license, it'll really help Mom to not have to drive me . The truth is Mom hasn't driven anywhere since Miranda's death. Over 8 in 10 men caregivers in the United States were employed full- or part-time when they were caregiving in 2009, and among these employed caregivers, two-thirds report that they have gone in late, left early, or taken time off during the day to deal with caregiving issues; In 1993 an important piece of federal legislation was enacted that supports the efforts of family caregivers. The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) requires that covered employers provide up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave for eligible employees who have family and medical obligations requiring that they devote time at home to care for a family member in need, be with them during a medical emergency, or arrange for services provided by others. Department of Labor website (www. States have also enacted similar such laws extending the coverage to a more broad range of employees, as well as, in some cases, allowing for partial paid leave for family-related needs. You should inquire into what caregiver information and resources might be available through your employer's human resources or employee assistance departments. Some employers will also work with you to modify your work schedule in order that you can more easily tend to the needs of those you are helping at home.

You can find information on workplace programs, legal/financial issues, online discussion groups, and more from the Work and Elder Care section of the Family Caregiver Alliance's National Center on Caregiving. CAREGIVING IS HARD WORK--REMEMBER TO TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF Caregiving can be taxing work--physically, mentally, and financially. His sisters started arguing constantly, and after a particularly vicious conflict over their late father's car, both moved away and never spoke to one another again. Terrance felt abandoned, left to pick up the pieces and care for his mother who had become quite angry and abusive. As an adult, he had difficulty both receiving and giving compassion. He felt that showing compassion let others off the hook for mistakes or bad behavior, and that they would never learn their lesson. He also felt that compassion made him look weak and more likely to be taken advantage of or have his trust broken. While in therapy, Terrance learned that he can be strong and protect himself and others, assert his needs, and set appropriate boundaries with people while still being sensitive to both his and other people's suffering. He started by practicing extending compassion and sending lovingkindness to the people he found easiest, such as his young nieces and nephew, his best friend, and strangers. He practiced forgiveness of others and made commitments to embody his values as a friend and family member in a way that felt right for him and allowed him to become more aware of himself and others in a compassionate way. Giving and receiving compassion allowed Terrance to deepen his connections with those he cared about and let go of long-held pain. Bring Compassion to Your Family The superego is like a conscience, reflecting social standards learned from adults important to us during childhood. Freud's theory is just that, a theory. Except in psychoanalytic circles, Freud's theory is no longer considered central to psychology. However, Freudian thinking underlies much subsequent psychological thought. Among the most influential ideas are the following: Transactional Analysis Probably the best-known theory about the composition of the psyche is transactional analysis, which was very popular in the 1960s and 1970s.