You Realize you are Parenting your Parents.
You called from a block away and told her you were on your way and would be there in about 2 minutes. Then you knocked at the door. No answer. Yes, you’d have to ring that bell that could be heard all over the neighborhood. No wait – I hear someone coming. Whirr. Click. The doorknob. Click. The Deadbolt. Bump. She’s hitting against the table with the walker.
The doorknob is turning and finally, the door opens and she’s so glad to see you. You’ve joined that group facing the crazy challenge of parenting your parents.
“Dad. Daughter’s here.” You come in, loaded with the groceries and start putting them away. Meanwhile, Mom has rolled her way down the hall to get your father. She knows you have to make this a rush stop. Must get the #3 son off to Scouts within the next half hour.
Now you’re feeling guilty. You know they aren’t getting out like they used to do. They are both, Mom and Dad, hungry for company. You look around the kitchen. It needs a good cleaning. No time for that today, but you have to put that on the list of things to do. Maybe when your sister comes to visit the two of you can get to it.
Recognizing your new role
This is your life now. The ‘sandwich generation’ they call it. The name is so apt. Parenting children on one side and now – the start of parenting your parents on the other side. And you’re squashed into the middle wondering when your time will come.
They both come back down the hall. Dad’s not walking as well these days. You worry about them both. You are realizing their time here is getting shorter. And you’ll miss those hugs and smiles. They’re so interested in what you’re doing. But today, you’re almost afraid to ask Dad how he’s doing. It’s a week since he had the last surgery and it’s been hard on him. He needs to tell you what’s going on. And yes, you know you need to know, but you really don’t have time today to listen to him.
“I’ll be here tomorrow about 12:30. That should give us time to get to your 1 pm appointment with the doctor. Or do you want to leave earlier than that?” “Maybe we better make it 12:15?” “I have to run right now. Son has to be at Scouts in 20 minutes. I’ll talk tomorrow when I pick you up.” “I put those groceries you needed away.”
Hugs and kisses and you’re out the door. Your head’s in a whirlwind.
You need a breather. Hubby is on another business trip and daughter doesn’t have her driver’s license yet. Everything is falling on your shoulders. Oh yes, must call the a/c guy to find out why that isn’t working. I pray we don’t need a new one, but the house is 17 years old. Can’t think about that now.
Learning to accept this new role of Parenting Your Parents
Yes dear. This is your life. Rejoice in it. God knew just what He was doing when He put you in this spot, with these problems. He picked out someone who could shine out His love in the midst of chaos. And that someone is YOU. You’re so thankful for His presence in your life. It’s so good to know there is someone who understands what’s going on in your life every minute and every hour of each day. Driving home to the next window of ‘rush’, you take time to send Him a prayer asking Him to help you keep going. And you know He will answer and be there with you. “Thank you, God”.
Are you in this situation? Maybe not the same scene as described above, but with enough similarities that you could be right in that scene. Or maybe you read that scene and think “How much longer until that’s me?”
Purpose of this website: Help for you and your parents.
This website is set up for both you and those parents you are caring for or will be caring for. Both of you need encouragement and advice to get through these trying times. And they ARE trying times – for both you and your parents. No one likes to be dependent on others for simple basic needs. And you know your first responsibility is to your husband and children. But your parents are important also. You can see that more and more of the responsibility for their needs is going to come to you. And there are going to be days where they will fight you while they try so hard to remain independent.
Sharing my ‘credentials’ to write advice
I’ve been where you are. Kids in high school and college, and finally able to start my own business when my mom was diagnosed with lung cancer and had surgery. Suddenly, in the midst of all I was trying to do at home, I was now commuting from New York to Florida trying to set up care for her and check to see how she was doing. Of course, she wouldn’t think of leaving her home and moving into my home where there was lots of extra room for her. So, I juggled things around and made the frequent commutes to spend time with her. Now I’m in that older role having to depend on a daughter that lives near-by to help hubby and me. I had learned the importance of making things easier for my children by being sure we lived near to one of them.
What to expect here
I’m working on setting up this blog with two avenues of information. One for you and one for your parents. Both of you need support, information, and encouragement. Many of your parents are already familiar with using the internet. If they aren’t, maybe this is something you could recruit one of the grandchildren to help them teach their grandparents how to use them. (Down the line, I may add a section for grandchildren also.)
They don’t need computers with all the bells and whistles so if they don’t have one, check into getting them a used one in one of the thrift shops or Craig’s list. Often for $25, you can find one that works well for their use. If both parents are living, each of them would benefit from having one of their own. Seniors, both new and those experienced aren’t into blogging, so you may have to bookmark the site for them and show them how to navigate around it. Computers are wonderful distractions in old age, helping to pass the time as well as keeping mental facilities working and learning. The distraction works well on taking their minds off illnesses and infirmities that are besetting them. It will also make your life much easier if they can learn how to use and surf the net.
How you can help get the help you need when Parenting Your Parents
Let me know in the comment box below what are your current problems and joys too. I’ll try to address these from your point of interest as well as writing to your parents to help them accept the changes that happening and how they can make life easier for you and themselves.
Call to Action:
Thank you for reading and I ask you to sign up for Nana’s News below, where I give tidbits of information that aren’t big enough to write a whole post about. I also share some of the happenings in my own life so you’ll know where I am also. Nana’s News isn’t a sales letter. I will have items helpful to you and your parents that I will be selling but they will be advertised in a separate email titled ‘Nana’s Sales’. The newsletter is weekly – usually Friday evenings with a repeat mailing on Saturday evening. So, I’m not overflowing your email boxes.
Help from a Higher Power
Oh yes – for days and times when you need it –
there is a Prayer Page available for you to use. Our Lord listens to both big and little needs and He understands you any way you ask. Don’t hesitate to use it. You can find it in a drop-down box under Prayer info on the top line. If you don’t yet know the Lord, you might want to consider saying the Sinner’s Prayer also located in that area. He really does want to know and help you every day. In fact, if you are parenting your parents, it may be the lifeline you need.
I leave you today with –
Love, Hugs, and Prayers,
“Come unto me, all you that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28
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