Family...There are no Guarantees

My Mom has 3 children, 7 grandchildren, 7 great-grandchildren, and they are all living over 600 miles away.

She sees some of them maybe once a year. If I wasn't here with her, I don't know where or how she would be living.

I'm not married and I haven't any children. Sometimes I wonder what will happen to me in my old age without children to take care of me. But then I look at my Mom's situation and realize that there are no guarantees that children will be there just because you have them.

My friends and family are surrounded in the security of the families they have created and I am alone with my Mom. Not only am I alone in the caregiving of my Mom, but when it ends, I will take that experience inside me and move forward with it alone on my own.

I realize now that I need some sort of community in my life, since I have no children, no family near me, and I will not have that comfort of family extending out before me.

I won't be able to sit on that porch in a rocking chair with my partner, and view all that we have accomplished together in a long line of generations.

There is a wall in my Mom's house that is completely covered in framed photos of all the children in all their stages as they grew. And yet none of them are here now. Just me. So even with family, there are no guarantees.

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Single and no kids too
by: Anonymous

I am single, no kids, and took care of my ailing mother for almost 10 years. Probably 18 if you count the years after my father died when she was still fairly independent but needed assistance with car maintenance and insurance.

My sibling really didn't help at all. My opinion about social life is that it depends on the individual. For me, social life is mainly a burden, doing things that I don't want to do with people that I don't really feel close to.

It's largely people sitting around drinking wine and talking about superficial stuff like what restaurant they ate at, or what movie they just saw. You know what? I enjoyed my time with my mother a hundred times more.

We spent time reminiscing, talking about spiritual matters, current events, I could tell her deep things going on in my mind and she would understand. It was a close bond. I don't agree with most of the people on this board who seem to disdain their ailing parents.

They criticize them and complain about helping them. Well, once the parent is gone, that's it. I am terribly mourning my mother, no matter how many times we fought or how much "burden" she was. I would give up a million times with friends and a million "get aways" to be with her just one hour and take care of her again.

I think people overrate social activities. Social activities leave me COLD. I have no interest in what wine people want to drink, what restaurant they go to, what kind of scallop dish they ate, their latest trip or movie. You know what? That is all dust in the wind. Pointless, meaningless, and superficial.

You have to figure out for yourself what your priorities are, and be a bigger person and take care of your mother if that is what you decide is important.

For me, I decided to prioritize 3 things: #1-my mother; #2-my faith, and #3-my health and well being. I put aside social activities when my mother was alive.

Once my mother died, I found people coming out of the woodwork to try to get me to do things with them. Suddenly people appeared. I have more events and parties than ever before. i can take them or leave them.

Trust me, you will never be lonely. If you choose, you can find many things to do after she is gone. Even now, if you want to go to a church event, or call a friend once in a while, do it. But I didn't do a lot of stuff, just once in a while.

High Blood Pressure/Stressed Out
by: wingkmat

Thanks for anonymous parish priest consoles me and through confession made me understand God's message to me.

That this is the role I had agreed to(this part of my life) before birth to this world. It is God's plan and live it through. There are rewards money cannot buy: my grand kids visit and show respect and compassion towards their elderly grandpa.. these are traits you cannot buy. My payback will come in the next life.

High Blood Pressure/Stressed Out
by: Wingit Kamat

I have been taking care of my 98 year old father for 7 years now 24/7. Dad is so stubborn and refusing to use his hearing aid says I am yelling at him.

Since my surgery for lungs collapse/blood clots, I retired from work to care for my father at his home; my two other doctor brothers do not offer their help at all but for a few days off a year for me and my family to go on vacation...

They like to offer advice or buy things for dad, like a walker or cane but they always like to be critical of how to do things for dad(which I am doing) but offer no help.

Now the other brothers have set things up good for is now his executor to the will and also has power of attorney for dad's affairs...I know what all this will come down to and am not willing to lose my dignity....after dad passes, after receiving my share of the estate, I will move away from here and will live a happy life.

Thus, no more stress for my kids and wife....what comes around go around.

You deserve to cultivate a new family of friends.
by: Anonymous

This is unsolicited advice, but do you go to church? If you do go to church and they do not embrace you like a family, it is time to start church shopping so that you can find a "family" in your church or in any other community group.

I also have isolated myself in the care of my father which is totally thankless. A book club, ladies club, service club, card club can help you make some faithful friends......

I have a distant sibling who is of no help, and I have good friends that have been my mentors and helpers thru this.

Hang in there and learn to look forward to things that will enrich your own life....sounds like you deserve it.

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