The difficult shift in parental responsibilities.

Please, I do not want any tea and sympathy from today’s blog. I’m simply using it to voice my frustrations. All I’ve ever wanted my blog to do is share my thoughts on the struggles with ageing Parents. We all have Parents who will get old. We have the responsibility to take care of them. Nobody is immune from this. My blog is a cathartic process for me. When I feel crap, writing about it seems to help. I also hope that someone else, on a similar journey, will identify with the complexities of all the mixed emotions you feel.

Our cousin, Bonnie, is a total inspiration to me. She is certainly one person who could allow herself those ‘poor me’ moments, but she doesn’t. Whilst she’s waiting for results from a CT scan, post yet more Chemo, her attitude is as courageous as ever…

“So many things with cancer are out of my control… My hair is mine though, so I didn’t really care what everyone else thought I should do.”

Even Bonnie’s attitude to deciding, for herself, when the right time was to cut her thinning hair, was forthright. She is such a brave example of not letting things beat you. I have nothing but complete love and admiration for this woman. When life throws you a curveball, you just have to keep dusting yourself off and renew your fight. Just like our incredible Bonnie xxxxx

So this isn’t a poor me blog, it’s a frustrated scream, in a hope to kickstart my optimism.

One week on from Mum’s memory tests and I’m still awaiting the results and a date for the CT scan. The Occupational Therapist made noises about enabling services to allow me to get my own life back on track. Again, it’s all just talk right now. Clear diagnosis for Mum is all I bloody need!! I’m not a person who is very good at treading water, I need momentum. Lately, treading water is all I have been able to do, and it’s doing my bloody head in!

My Dad still continues to make progress. Whilst it has been incredible to see this during the last two weeks, I’m ashamed to admit I’m too exhausted to fully appreciate and celebrate this. The last four months have been mentally gruelling, leaving me with very little energy to focus on anything else. It’s amazing to see Dad become more aware, however, it does not solve the problem which lead to him becoming ill in the first place. He had become totally exhausted being Mum’s unofficial Carer, and I have no doubt that this played a huge part in his stroke.

During a conversation with a Practitioner this week, she made me aware of the fact that I might feel overwhelmed once help is in place. She discussed adrenaline being a resource that gets us through tough times, when we finally get chance to take the pressure off, we can often crash and burn. To be honest, I feel I’m already at this crash and burn stage. When you’re constantly told that things will be put in place and they just don’t deliver, you cannot help but feel completely despondent.

You reach an age where your children are becoming independent and self-sufficient. Suddenly the shift goes from being Parent to your children, to being Parent to your Parents. I have a family member who visits my Parents for a few hours every 5-6 weeks. They don’t appear to feel the responsibility to take care of my Parents as I do. I’m unsure how their conscience allows them to be like this, but that’s their issue, not mine.

My Hubby and I were meant to be having a night away in Dartmoor today, courtesy of our amazing kids. Unfortunately, Evie, our dog, has been really unwell this week. Sleep hasn’t been on the agenda and we don’t feel like we can leave her with the kids. Regardless of them insisting we go. It’s possibly a long term kidney problem. So Evie has to be our priority. It would have been lovely to get away, but sadly the timing isn’t right. Dartmoor will always wait for us.

Xxxxxx

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2 thoughts on “The difficult shift in parental responsibilities.

  1. Oh Lovely, I’m sorry that you’re not getting away this weekend, but I’m 100% with you on your reasons for postponing: our 4-legged family members are so very important and, like you, I wouldn’t be happy to be away from one of ours if there was an issue with them.

    I’m very glad to read that your Dad is still making progress – that’s very encouraging – but its hardly surprising that you haven’t got the energy to really absorb the changes. There are still so many things that need to happen to ensure that he and your Mum are properly catered for and I would be screaming with the frustration if it all, just as you are. We are both ‘do-ers’ and to have to wait for others to do what they need to do/should do/are paid to do is very hard on the blood pressure! Please try and find little spaces every day when you can just stop and take a deep breath (which may or may not be accompanied by ice cream, chocolate or biscuits 😁) – even Tigers need to rest and relax sometimes! You’re a tremendous ‘giver’, Soph, so don’t forget to give yourself a little TLC too, so that crashing and burning (which is inevitable, to some extent) only singes the outer edges of you and doesn’t melt the core. Sending you so much love and positive energy – hope it reaches you! ❤❤❤xxxxxxx💪🏋️‍♀️🏋️‍♀️xxxxxxx

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