Caring For An Elderly Parent: Thank Goodness for Sports Cars

Blog - Pic 70“This is supposed to be the time of my life – the nest is empty; but now Mom needs me.”

This was a day I was going to spend with my husband – have some “us” time. I (unfortunately) mentioned to Mom that we were thinking of going to Denny’s knowing full well that she wouldn’t want to go because “that place that always makes me sick” couldn’t possibly be where she’d want to eat. WRONG!  Funny thing tho, every time she goes there she orders so much food and takes home all the leftovers.

When we got home I knew my husband was ready to spend some “alone” time with me, so I got Mom settle into her place, made sure the Denny’s leftovers were in sight, and then (unfortunately again) mentioned that I was going to ask my husband if he wanted to go for a drive in the Porsche. Earlier I was telling Mom how much he loves that car but doesn’t drive it much, so I figured she’d understand. Funny Mom…. she sit’s on the bench in her kitchen (still holding her 5 lb purse) and says, “OK, I’ll just wait here to see if he wants to go – I’m coming, right?” Sorry Mom, the Porsche is a 2-seater. Right about now I’m thanking my husband for buying that car!

So off we went for our nice drive, just the two of us. I told my mom we were going for a short drive – BIG mistake… Ring, Ring! “Where are you? You said you were going for a short drive and it’s been a while – I was worried. Maybe you can just call me every time you’re going to be late, that way I won’t worry.” Aarrgh! What am I…. 12?!! 

After that incident stressed me out, my husband told me that I shouldn’t be reporting to my mom every time we go out, or come home late, or basically anything. Just because she’s living next to us shouldn’t mean we have to start reporting to her. We never called her and told her our itinerary when she lived in Florida, why would we start now? That’s when I knew I had to have a talk with my mom – you know, “strike while the iron is hot” sort of thing.

So when we got home I stopped at my mom’s to have a little chat. I basically told her that I wasn’t comfortable having to report to her my whereabouts – I’ve never done that before and I was afraid that if I start doing that and then forget one time it would make things worse. I’ve never had to think about letting someone know what I’m up to and I just didn’t want to start. (Obviously if she were expecting us and we were going to be late or something, that would be different, but just normal day to day events is something that doesn’t need to be shared).  

Sure it was difficult having that talk with her- she wasn’t a happy camper – but it had to be done. And yes, it probably came across nasty, but boundaries have to be set right from the start. I know from past experience that it’s harder to change something if you’ve started it than to not start it at all.

What I Learned: For you own sanity, tell it like it is – even if they don’t like it.


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