It Takes a Village
We have to give up the idea that we can do it all ourselves. We can't. One person cannot live life for two people. We get stretched so thin, that neither life is good.
I have a home business, which makes me very available for all my mom's needs. Just this week alone, she had a funeral out of town to attend, a medical appointment out of town, and two local appointments.
The two out-of-town events took two days away from my job. The other two are interruptions. When my work gets crunched, I have no days off for myself. I work seven days a week.
On Monday of next week, she has yet another local medical appointment. She offered to call dial-a-ride. At first I balked at the idea. The appointment is five minutes across town. I can take her, drop her off, and pick her up when she is done.
The dial-a-ride is a lengthy ordeal and not convenient. But she insisted, and for some bizarre reason, I found myself arguing against the idea. When suddenly I realized what I was doing. I felt guilty that I was letting her down.
And I was worried about what people would think if they saw my mom waiting for dial-a-ride when I'm at home. And I said to myself, I don't care what they think. And I can't feel guilty for not doing everything myself. She can go ahead and take the ride.
Because this is more than just the ride. This is me letting go of the control of everything.
I can't do it all. And if I don't learn that now, it's only going to get worse. She is getting so used to me jumping at every call. I have never once said no to her. She is getting so dependent on that level of care.
It's on me to let go. It's on me to bring in the village. Let the community in. Last night when I dropped her off at her church, she said, someday you'll have to go with me because I'll need help. I didn't say anything, but I thought, no, someday when you need help I'll call the church community and someone can come get you.
And if they think I'm a bad person because of this, I can't worry about it. I'm already giving up my life for my mom. I have to accept that I'm not a perfectionist, I can't do it all, and I'm going to have to admit that to myself and let go of the control.
I think when I come to accept that, I'll be able to express it to mom, and she will come to accept it too.