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Plant Your Seeds of Transformation Podcast 1

Spousal caregivers suffer from loneliness, which is dangerous when it’s left unaddressed for a long period of time. It can be very unhealthy physically and mentally. Listen to this podcast to learn more on this topic.

Plant Your Seeds of Transformation


https://anchor.fm/s/260aee04/podcast/rss

Summary

Episode 1 of the Plant Your Seeds of Transformation Podcast delves into a sensitive topic: loneliness in leadership … even though this was recorded in 2019, it’s extremely relevant now during the pandemic era.

You can cultivate your own personal growth and enhance your professional development when you make up your mind to do so. Be encouraged, inspired, and motivated by this episode, and…

…to read more on the blog, click here. (Link goes to LeadLikeAQueen.biz)

This episode is sponsored by

· Anchor: The easiest way to make a podcast. https://anchor.fm/app

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The Wife Trap: Unpaid Spousal Caregiving in Georgia

Unfortunately, this is not an upbeat post about how much I love my husband and am grateful to be able to support him. I do love him dearly, and I am grateful that I can support him. Evenso, I am mad as hell that because I live in a state (Georgia) that has laws stating that I cannot be paid for caregiving for my husband, I am trapped in a situation where employers don’t want to hire me because I do unpaid caregiving work for my husband. The state says that I am just doing my wifely duty, and the employers look at my resume time gaps and immediately skip over me, despite my education and past experience.

The State of Georgia Has Created a Wife Trap > Unpaid Spousal Caregiving
The State of Georgia Has Created a Wife Trap > Unpaid Spousal Caregiving

MY HOPE BEYOND THE DRAMA

Yet, I am not without hope… despite my anger. First of all, I believe that Father God is looking out for me. He has proven his loving care for me over and over again. One of the ways He has done this recently is through a beautiful group of Boss Moms.

Donna Marie Johnson was one of the BossMom Atlanta Local Meeting Co-Leaders Featured on the Today Show on 9-18-2021

Also, I have been building my business and educating myself. I have also been blessed to connect with other moms who are doing the same. I was very blessed to be featured on the Today Show alongside some of these moms. If you follow my instagram (@leadlikeaqueen), you may have seen the video or an excerpt.

TODAY SHOW TV SEGMENT ABOUT BOSS MOM LOCAL MEETUP – ATLANTA

Here is the Boss Moms feature video from the Today Show’s YouTube channel.

Giving back by being a co-leader of the Boss Mom Local Meetup – Atlanta is huge for me because it not only gives me more time to connect with my friends and make new friends, but it also helps me get out of my head by helping another mom who really needs to emerge from isolation and make these kind of awesome connections, too.

One of the main folks this has given me an excuse to hang out with more is my very good friend and my rest coach, Deanna Mason (IG: @refreshedmoms). It’s a delight and an honor to serve alongside her.

Deanna K. Mason (@refreshedmoms) was one of the BossMom Atlanta Local Meeting Co-Leaders Featured on the Today Show on 9-18-2021

I am so blessed to be getting business building support from Boss Mom founder, Dana Malstaff, who recently visited us here in Atlanta. She is a beautiful tall smart woman and an amazing mom and a true Boss Mom. She knows what she’s talking about and her support is helping me to continue my learning journey as I re-build my business even though I have a lot of responsibility to take care of my disabled husband and our kids. One of the webinars* she gave was very detailed and helpful so that I can build my business right this time and structure my time wisely. I’d love for you to see her expertise for yourself. Check out the webinar link, if you’re interested.

Dana Malstaff Boss Mom Founder with Donna Marie Johnson a co-leader of local Atlanta group

My hope is that in this “great” state of Georgia, Deanna (a homeschool mom) and I can support and encourage women like us who may be homeschooling or who may feel isolated and marginalized by their circumstances, such as by being a mom who is also a spousal caregiver, while also building viable, profitable businesses.

Deanna Mason and Donna Marie Johnson co-leaders of Boss Mom Local Meetup – Atlanta

Thank you to the Today Show’s Ali Vitali and her producers (especially Maria Pinero) and her camera crew for doing an excellent job putting together this story to keep moms encouraged despite the ravages of the COVID-19 pandemic… and now of the lingering variant/s.

We may all crumble if we just keep trying to do everything on our own, but together, we truly can (and do) change the world. Boss Moms really literally do run the world and the leaders that run the world. Just ask somebody… they already know.

~ Donna Marie Johnson @leadlikeaqueen

Helpful Resources for Spousal Caregiving Moms


Disclaimer: I am an affiliate of Boss Mom Dana Malstaff’s Nurture to Convert Business Coaching Community. It’s where I get my help with learning/re-learning business so that I can re-start my business in a way that aligns with my multiple roles as caregiver and mom…. so that I use time & money wisely and don’t burn out and end up back at square one again a year from now. I know that she’s brought a lot of value to me personally and professionally. I recommend her. If you choose to click the link (my referral link), then Dana will know that I referred you and will compensate me, at no additional cost to you, if you choose to enroll in her program.

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What Do You Say When Someone Asks What You “Do”

I am not sure if that title is a question or a statement. When I became a caregiver, I didn’t know what I was. I didn’t know that I could tell people that’s what I “do”.

As the wife of a man with an invisible disability for many years, I could say for sure what I didn’t do: I refused to become his undercover-unpaid work assistant. I had already made up my mind that if he started leaning on me to get up for work and to edit his paperwork, then that was a sign that he shouldn’t be working anymore.

Then it happened. I could see that my handsome husband, Henry, was struggling to go to work daily. I knew that he would eventually need to retire due to his neurodegenerative diagnosis from several years earlier, but didn’t expect it to start so soon. Our oldest children hadn’t even graduated from high school, yet. Also, I began attending graduate school just a year before this and thought I would have time to finish before he would need to leave work.

So, that’s what I “do”. After 18 years of marriage, I became my beloved’s full-time caregiver and went…

…From Bride to Spousal Caregiver.

~ Donna Marie Johnson, via Twitter @Bride2Caregiver

I remember that just after the New Year, I took Henry to see his neurologist because of the changes that I saw in him, and the doctor confirmed that it was time for us to focus more on his health. He also wrote the word “dementia” as part of his diagnosis for his disability paperwork. I had no idea just how much this little word meant for him, for me, and for our relationship. The doctor offered no explanation of what dementia is, nor of the fact that I would need additional support for my husband and for myself. So, for several months I coped as best I could, but I really felt like I was barely treading water.

My church did not have a caregiver support group at that time, but eventually, I located one at another church about an hour away. It was a group specifically for spousal caregivers and has been a wonderful resource for me. They have been helping me to understand what dementia is, what type of dementia he has, and how to best help him.

Fortunately, we have a generous church community and supportive family who helped us during the financial transition from one income to no income. We were able to get all of the disability paperwork submitted fairly quickly, but, of course, there was a wait for everything to be approved. I am so grateful and give all glory to God for using all of the various people and resources to help us over the years.

Having respite caregiver support has also been very important so that I have time to study and to work on reopening my business. My mother and children have all been very helpful, when they’ve been available. We are currently hiring new respite caregivers who are paid through the CCSP-Medicaid program in our state. This is because the window for family availability to help is closing quickly as everyone is getting back into post-pandemic life outside of the house. Also, for my business, I have an internship trainee program so that I can get more help for my business in exchange for providing free training.

So, I also “do” studying and entrepreneurshipping and parenting and daughtering… lol

What I “do” is complex and dynamic. Some days, it’s also unpredictable.

Mostly, I “do” trust the Lord to help me every step of the way with being the best me I can be to bring Him glory in every area of my life and to love and serve the people He has called me to serve. I especially trust Him to help me with taking care of my sweetheart, even though I feel very inadequate at times.

I also “do” a spousal support group because I need support from other spousal caregivers to help keep me encouraged. How about you? If you do, too, please join us on the 2nd Thursday of the month at 8:30pm EST (Atlanta-New York Time). When you register in advance, you’ll be able to add it to your calendar, and you will receive event reminders and updates. You should see the blue registration button on this page below.