I remember when I was a teen my aunt told me that if you are a parent of a toddler, it takes remarkable patience. You need to repeat everything over and over again so the toddler learns and remembers things. You need to be constantly cleaning up after them and so forth.
She told me that towards the end of a persons life, if you are a caregiver, you need to do the same thing.
As a caregiver of a senior, you may find yourself treating that individual as you would a toddler.
You may need to feed, bathe, repeat yourself and clean up after him or her on a daily basis. Oddly, our parents fulfill this job when we are young, and we repeat it when they are old.
It makes us stop to think how we would like to be treated in later life.
This very aunt who I spent more time with then my own mom, use to tell me that not every one is meant to be a mother. Some, simply don’t have a maternal ounce in their whole body, yet they feel an obligation to do so.
As a Christian , I have always thought we were all called to be mothers. I know I was. No regrets there. But I do feel differently in my beliefs that all women should be mothers.
At my age I have seen first hand what someone who perhaps should not have had any kids looks like. I know selfish streak is probably not the right word, but it’s the first one that I can think of at the moment so I will use it.
I won’t say that selfish people should not have children. But selfish people from my experience do not make very good parents. I hope that sounds right.
Of course you can learn to not be selfish, but that takes spiritual growth and oftentimes therapy. And usually selfish people go no see how selfish they are.
Putting your children’s needs above your own wants. This describes a unselfish person. But this needs to come from a good mental place, otherwise you will end up bitter and resentful as you age and become an empty nester.
I believe this is what I have experienced with both of my parents. One is still living a teenage style life, while the other is angry and bitter. I feel sad about it and I wish I could change it but I know that it’s nothing I can do. The easy selfish route is to disown then both. And I did go through that period. But then God changed me. We do not get to choose who are parents are/were in life. But we do get to choose how to respond, act, cope, and love. We can choose to love them anyways. Just like Christ loves us at our worse. Never giving up on us. Today’s cancel generation stems from pure selfishness. Once your eyes have been opened to this, you can’t partake in it.
My father never claimed to be an unselfish person. He owns it. He has always thought of himself first. I think this is why I have a better relationship with him then my mother. He has never claimed to be something that he’s not. Sure I wish! I wish! I wish… he was different. But he has his own issues that have nothing to do with me. I wish I could count on him, but I learned from the start that I couldn’t count on him. My parents divorced when I was five and it was a mess.
My mother never sugar coated the reasons why she had to take my brother and I and leave my father in the middle of the night while he was working.
My father is what I now call, the Peter Pan parent . Always off to the next adventure. Perhaps we all have a Peter Pan relative. I think my brother is Peter Pan too. Never settling down. I also think I was Peter Pan up until I married. Maybe it’s a learned trait.
Not to say it’s any better then my mother who feels like the entire world owes her something because she worked her ass off and never received a government handout as my brother and I were kids and under her care. She was always working. I saw her for maybe a hour a day.
That said, She didn’t ask to be a single mom, so I understand that she had to work around the clock to support my brother and I. Or, be on welfare. She was a stay at home wife and mom right until the divorce.
Both of my parents are seniors now. My father is still living life as an eighteen year old and my mother is ready for someone to take care of her. On her terms.
She is very demanding.
Wants her own way.
Blames everyone else.
Forgets things constantly.
And to be blunt, not a loving person.
Much like a toddler. And I do not mean any disrespect here. These things happen to people around the globe.
I am not sure what’s next.
I have reached out to my father for help, but he tells me that my mom is my brothers and my responsibility. Not his. Not helpful.
I reached out to my brother, and he tells me that the ball is in my mothers court. She was living with him but left a few months ago because she didn’t like the living courters that were offered.
She didn’t like the bathroom set up.
She didn’t like the blinds.
She didn’t like the way the windows opened and shut.
She didn’t like the locks on the front door. There wasn’t enough.
She didn’t like that she had to drive 15 minutes away, to get to the city.
You get the point.
These are the same reasons she left my house years ago.
She hates the country. She’s a city girl.
She wants to live by herself, but on the same property. This is not feasible.
She also wants to choose the state and the property. Again. Not feasible.
I am not sure what the next five to ten years will hold. Whose to say any of us will even be here. Only time will tell.