We may have different ways of showing it, but most of us want our parents to be happy and well cared for in their golden years. Some of us want to rush in and set things up for Mom or Dad so that we know that they are well provided for. Others believe “if Mom needs my help, she’ll ask me.” So we’re all over the map.
But what about Mom? Everything we’re thinking, everything we’re trying to work out is from our point of view. What does it look like from her point of view? In my own story, you know that my brothers and I are doing our best to care for our mom. She is content living in her own home, taking care of her self. She is mobile, alert and loves being in the home she has known for most of her adult life. (I was six when we moved into the house and I’m on the other side of 50 today.) So we thought that we had a great plan to help Mom stay in the house.
“Let’s start paying some of Mom’s monthly bills.”
“Yeah. I’ll pay the electric and you pay the water and sewer and I’ll pay the trash bill. We were so happy with ourselves. “What great sons we are. Taking this load off of Mom’s back.”
Then the idea was raised. . .”but what if Mom likes taking care of herself. In fact, Mom is really good at taking care of these few expenses. She manages her modest income, and carefully logs everything in a ledger book . She takes pride in taking care of these bills. She’s done it since dad passed almost 30 years ago.
“Oh my God!! We’ve taken away the last vestige of dignity that mom possesses” (Perhaps we were a little overboard, but you get the idea).
So we had already divided up the monthly utility bills and were bracing for mom’s slow decline as a result of our now seemingly heartless act of taking away her responsibilities . How would she react. Would she be upset? Depressed?
We’ll continue more with this line of thought the next time. The answer isn’t as important as the question…What is best for Mom? If what you are doing to care for your parent is all about you, perhaps you better take the time to rethink your point of view.
“Keep sharing your comments, . . .we enjoy hearing your stories.