In this week’s Momspeak column, Tracy Grant writes about her evolving relationship with her aging mother. She is one of an estimated 20 million Americans who are raising children and caring for elderly parents simultaneously.
When I was growing up, I rarely asked Mom for advice because I was a little afraid to show her I needed it. She was always so pulled together and expected so much that I rose to the standard without much question. It’s not that I regret or resent it. She made me who I am; she prepared me for the life I’ve led. That is a legacy any mother should be proud of.
But in our most recent conversations, there has been a shift in the balance of power. She is becoming the daughter I never was. She needs a little mothering now, with gentleness and not judgment, from me.
We are asking readers: “How do you handle the emotional and logistical challenge of caring for an aging parent?”
Commenter Geraldeena wrote: “It was a poignant moment when I found myself listing the new roles I acquired since assuming responsibility for caregiving my then 87 yr. old father (now 94). Added to the role of daughter, I had also become, POA, Health Proxy, and ICE (in case of emergency). I've performed a number of acts of critical importance under each newly assumed title but the child in me will always long for the simple return to daughter. . . . Caregiving with all its challenge and frustration has deepened my love, gratitude and appreciation for my Italian father.”
Let us know your story in the column’s comments section.