If you’re reading this – my letter to adult children – you’re on the right track. I know right now, what you need most, is a big hug. So know that Nana is giving you one. I’ve got my arms around you, Hon. Know that whatever you are dealing with, you will get through it. You will survive. Take a moment and stop and look at all you’re already accomplished in your life. You can do this. Get yourself a drink and sit down and relax for a moment. This is a long read and it’s not one where pictures will help break it up. Besides, you deserve a wee break in the day’s activities.
First off – if you have siblings – now is the time for all of you to start talking to one another. Better yet – if you can, get together, that will be even better for all of you. All of you need to set up a phone chain on your phones so that as things happen you can send messages out to the rest of the family with one text or call. There are going to be times on this journey where you need someone to cry with and other times someone to share a good laugh at something your parent(s) have done. They will appreciate these times even more than your spouse will. And the sharing will bring you all closer to one another. The family is good.
You’ve finally reached that point in life where you felt like you were going to be able to take a breather. Maybe take a cruise, explore a hobby, do something with your spouse – just the two of you together. You’ve been independent of your parents for a while now. Visits; calls back and forth; texts; Sunday dinners; but not really involved in their day to day lives.
Now that has changed. They need you more than that now. It is very important that you look at and set up your priorities. First off, make sure you’re in good health. Now is the time to get that check-up with the doctor, dentist, and eye doctor. Your health must come first. Time to eat healthy meals and get that good night’s sleep. Make sure bills are paid, licenses renewed, and laundry is up to date. Make sure you include comfort foods in your shopping trips and menus now.
Second, you and your spouse need to sit down and discuss what you can do to help one another. Right now, you’re dealing with your parent(s), but your spouse has/had/or will have the same responsibilities with their parent(s) also. You both need to be together on who is going to handle what and what each need from one another. Much as you love your parents, your marriage takes priority. But each of you has reached a point where some sacrifices are needed. Little things like picking up a pizza on the way home from work, doing the grocery shopping, fixing a meal, giving a hug or a back rub can help renew you from a day of trials.
Third, is your responsibility to your children. Hopefully, this is now minimal as far as daily care needs. But they still need you to be there for them. It is important to pull them into the discussion of what is happening to their grandparents and what their needs are now. Keeping them out of the loop so as not to worry them will actually increase their worries. They hear more than you think and their minds can create disasters of unbelievable magnitude.
Actually, your children can step in and help with many of their needs and may help out with some of your duties at home. They have a relationship with their grands different from yours but they too are concerned about them. They also will be watching and learning from you at this point. How you handle this is very often how they will deal with you when you reach this stage of life. You are their role model.
Another consideration, as you enter this era, is to take a good look at what is happening with your parents and their needs. Do you want to be in the same boat when you reach this age? What could they have done at your age that would make life easier now? What attitudes do they have that you want to be sure to copy or to avoid? Is there information you wish you had about them now, that is missing? And what information do you wish you already knew that would have saved you time, effort and money?
Now is the time to start a journal of what is happening and what you are doing. Things move faster than you expect and suddenly, you won’t be able to remember what you did and when you did it. This is especially true when it concerns your parents’ needs and health.
Along the way,
Ask them about their early life – who were their parents, grandparents? Aunts, uncles, cousins? Where did they remember living? What about their education? Early marriage? What was important to them when they were raising their children? Discussions of their lives will not only give you new information about them but will hopefully bring back happy memories. And it certainly takes both of your minds off of problems currently being faced.
I will be writing about many of the problems that come with aging and about information that is needed, useful, or helpful. What is your biggest problem or need today? There is no specific order for the items that need to be discussed so if I know what your needs are, I can write about that sooner. Make use of the comment box below each post and let me know.
As I write articles for you, you will find them by going to the top of the page and clicking on the title Adult Children. There will be a drop-down menu there listing different articles for you to choose and read.
I also encourage you to sign up for Nana’s News. There I’ll have hints and helps that aren’t worth a whole post so I write about them in the News. And sometimes I’ll be sharing the hints and helps that others have offered. So, if you have those, include them also in the comment box and I’ll share them to help others too.
Where you are today, is a rough time for you, but you will get through it. At the end of each problem, you will have grown and someday you’ll be able to think back on this period of your life and realize how much you learned. You’ll be amazed at how much you were able to handle.
Oh yes, just a reminder, there is a Prayer Page you can find up at the top of the page. It’s there for a reason. Throughout our journey into aging, God is right there ready to help. Get to know Him and talk to Him all along the way. That’s the source of help and strength to face each day – and sometimes we need His help minute by minute. He is there. But He waits for you to ask Him for help. Don’t be afraid to do that.
And now – one more big hug before you leave.
Love, Hugs, and Prayers,
Scripture for you today:
Some more areas you might want to explore
I Want Nana's News too!
Get your free copy of this important reference guide
10 Clues - It's time for you to step in and help