How many of us ever thought that we would be taking care of a loved one besides our children? Taking care of children is the order of how it should be. That is what parents do. But how many of us ever thought that marriage would involve actually taking care of a spouse top to bottom? Head to toe during illness or after a surgery? Yes, the vows say for better or for worse but who really thinks about the worse part during actually saying those words?
I’m care managing a loved one now. My beloved mother of 92 struggles with COPD. I never thought that the roles would be reversed and that as I wailed in the crib looking for attention, that my mother would be doing the same only from a nursing home setting. Actually, she is not wailing but is in need of attention. Caring attention.
It comes to mind, we never take vows toward our parents and never think their journey would involve us toward the end. Aren’t we to have flown the nest? Aren’t we to have gone off to college? Aren’t we to have become a President or an astronaut? A teacher maybe and never to return to care taking our parents?
Now may be a good time to mention, the Sandwich Generation. What is the Sandwich Generation?
a generation of people, typically in their thirties or forties, responsible for bringing up their own children and for the care of their aging parents.
Now why did I mention it? Well, look around and it seems many of us are there in some fashion. Care giving any generation is NOT a course to be taken in high school nor is parenting. Sad but true. At the end of the day, whether we are caring for children or adult ailing parents, we have to look at ourselves and place much care there too.