My husband and I have been married for 20 years. We have no children but try to be in our nephews and nieces lives giving them guidance and/or any support. We’ve never had to take care of any child more than a day and had teenagers stay with us but then go back home to their parents after a week.
So at the end of 2015, it became an instant learning experience, when my Mom moved in with us.
For about a year, my sister and I found ourselves in more stress about my mom’s living conditions. She was living in her home along with my 29-year-old nephew. At first, seemed like a great idea since we took him to be reliable in “watching over her”. See my sister and I both live in other cities.
But things started to drastically change.
She was sent to the ER with peculiar symptoms that resulted in liver issues. Her symptoms were slow and/or slurred speech, disoriented, slow movement, and heavy sleeps.
Due to other issues that surrounded her health, my sister and I felt it best to have her move out of her home and move in with my husband and I. My sister who lives in a more rural area, knew Mom would receive better medical help in Arizona.
However, the change for her was quick even though we had been giving her much time to go over what was coming. To us, our minds were able to distinguish, but for her it didn’t come in that same manner.
In the months following, not only were we trying to find out reason for her health symptoms but she was going through depression of not being in her home and her home town. She never lived anywhere else but Tucson, AZ.
I, too, found myself trying to get used to the new life my husband and I now have. What we had before has changed some. For me, more so, since I’m concerned with her day-to-day. It was getting to be much that for a few months, the stress was getting to me. Waking up with clenched teeth/locked jaw. Trying to compensate her day with things I thought could take away the void she had. Missing her home, her grandchildren, her family who all lived in the same city. It was much to let go.
Moreover, not only the change our household living changed, emotional change, but the responsibility of caring for someone was new to me. At 45 years of age, I have never cared for anyone in this way other than for ourselves but we have always lived very simple.
At first, I didn’t think how much it would change our lives. Not in a burden type of way, but our communication, our time alone. There are times when I get nervous or anxious because I fear losing touch with my husband since I’m still learning how to focus on multiple things. It’s like I am concerned for both of them trying to please everyone under our roof.
Part of me finding courage to write this blog is due to this now situation in my life. How my faith is very much of a part of it and praying for God’s will since I thought I was going in a different direction.
I know my Mom is with us for a reason. Not just for a place to stay. Our Lord works in ways that help us confront areas of our lives that we otherwise may not pay attention to. I need to be aware of that. My husband and I can learn much.
I know my prayer life can be better. It always can, right? Not wanting to cause more stress in my marriage or home, I need to be armored up.
So for those of you who are in a similar situation where you are now caring for a parent, reversed roles, share with me your prayers, success to overcome difficulties, your support, etc. It’s all still very new to me and all I want is to have peace in our home and serve God outside of it too! +++