So Mom has been living with us for about 3 months now and I have to admit that it has been a little stressful. My husband and I are having a tough time adjusting to our new living arrangement and we’ve had more “discussions” about Mom than anything else. One good thing is that my husband and I have always been open and honest with each other and always tell each other what is on our minds. Maybe some of what was on our minds should have stayed there.
When I look back, I realize we truly didn’t understand what we were getting into. Everyone we talked to said “Don’t do it!”, and now I understand that those are the people that DID do it. They know how much of a strain it can have on a relationship and how much stress can come from caring for an elderly parent.
This is all so new to us and I can’t stress enough how important it is to talk with your significant other about how you feel, but most importantly about how they feel. When it all comes down to it, who is going to be there for you – not your ageing parent. So my theory – find the needs of my ageing parent without losing the needs of my spouse.
One of the hardest things I find to deal with is the fact that if I tell my mom the truth she turns it against me and makes me feel guilty. For example, one evening I told her my husband and I were going to go for a drive and have dinner. Well… wasn’t I a selfish person for not wanting to include her and why wouldn’t I think about taking her with us. That made me feel bad even though I really didn’t want to include her – I just wanted a nice outing with my husband – that made me feel guilty. How do you explain to your mom that you don’t want to be with her without hurting her feelings?
So from here on in, my husband and I decided to handle situations so they worked for us. Yes, sometimes it involved not quite telling the truth, and some of the things we do may seem juvenile to some, but it works for us. I don’t feel guilty about doing it either because I am taking control of my life and this is the only way it will work having Mom live with us.
What I Learned: Get creative in the way you handle situations with an ageing, elderly parent.