Although I can’t pinpoint exactly when this happened, at some point over the last few years, it seems that my parenting role has shifted. Some call it the sandwich generation, I just call it getting older.
My days of
bossing giving direction to my children has lessened substantially.
It is no longer my responsibility to make sure they get up in the morning to get to work/school on time or to ensure that they are wearing appropriate clothing. I no longer pack lunches or help with homework. My car is my own & rarely am I called for pickups unless they are home visiting friends. All of those day-to-day parental responsibilities are no longer mine or my husbands.
That is not to say that I won’t get go to my grave worrying about my children in some capacity, but for the most part, they are now responsible young adults making good decisions about their lives.
Our opinion, advice or guidance is only given when
we blurt it out it’s asked for!
Our parental responsibilities have taken on a whole new direction; parenting our parents.
Aging is a funny thing. It seems that just about the time your kids leave the nest, your role shifts to now caring for your parents. I remember watching our own parents go through this phase but never gave any thought to the day I would find myself in this position.
We start asking questions of our parents that quite frankly, in the past, we would have been told were none of our business!
It happens gradually, until one day, you hear yourself asking questions like:
Mom, is it safe for you drive that far?
Are you eating properly?
You assist with doing up buttons, dropping off meals & accompanying them to doctors appointments.
You are seeing body parts that initially you feel incredibly awkward about seeing.
At some point, you find yourself in a public place, hushing your parent for saying something inappropriate or asking them to use their indoor voice.
When did the balance shift?
It seems as natural a progression as raising your children from birth to adulthood. I don’t begrudge this new responsibility. After all, these are the same wonderful people who have nurtured us all of these years, and been there to offer their never-ending guidance & love.
I know our time is coming. My husband jokes with me & our children that at the age of 70, he is going to take up smoking again & jogging at the same time in hopes that he will just keel over one day. Not me, I am going to give them a run for their money….get ready kids:)