As I've already written about, my mother's facing issues of loneliness and possible depression as her health gets worse, independence decreases and her social and physical isolation increases.
The challenge for me is taking care of my mother while being a good parent to my own kids. To be frank, my mother could live for another 10 years. Focusing on her, means time away from my children who need and deserve my attention.
Then again, after all the doting, caring and love my mother showered on me, she too deserves to be cared for, without limitations.
That is my dilemma. How to care for the one who cared for me, and care for those who need my care. I love them both. Both are dependent. Both need me. I don't pretend to have the answer. However, my current feeling is that I need my mother and my kids to step up to the plate a little more.
My mother needs to make an effort to socialize more. I can't be her only friend. She also needs to accept help from people other than me. Putting the entire burden of her care on me just isn't sustainable. In the past she's refused to go to the local community centre to go to the gym 3 days a week. There's no excuse for her not to go. She has the time and a bus from the community centre would pick her up and drop her off!
I've also offered to send a house cleaner to her home 3 times a week. Her responsibilities would included cooking. My mother doesn't want any "strangers" in her home. I've got to break through - I just can't convince her and it's driving me nuts.
I also did research and bought her a mobile medical alert system that she can take wherever she goes. She always forgets to put it on, or purposefully doesn't where it outside the house because she finds it ugly.
I need the piece of mind. I need to know she's ok, so I can leave her alone and feel confident she's ok.
My kids need to be a little more independent. Maybe it's all those years of helicopter parenting, but I feel like if they're not playing Fortnight, they have no clue how to entertain themselves. They expect me to come up with their daily agenda and suggest things for them to do. Do you remember ever even wanting your parents within a hundred yards of your social life?
Don't get me wrong, my kids are pretty well rounded, but most of their activities are pretty structured. If there's free time and no screen time, they're lost. Like deer in headlights, no clue what to do L-O-S-T!!! I need them to never use the word "bored" again, and learn how to entertain themselves.
How do you guys create more time for yourself?