When does it happen….

This is going to be a bit of a ramble so you’ll have to bear with me as I gather my thoughts together.
What I’m wondering is when do your children decide they are the parents and you are the child?
Did my daughters make a conscious decision to change roles…they were to be my surrogate mothers – I was now their daughter. How long did it take them to consider it. Did they have to think about it or has it been happening slowly …just below the surface ….and I’m only just noticing it.

Before Christmas we drove further east to Woori Yallock, to see a grandson’s ‘new’ house, his first house. One he’s saved hard for since he first started work, in fact right from his first ‘after school job’ in the local supermarket when he decided to deposit some of his pay into a designated ‘house account’ Now aged 25 that decision has paid off.
Anyway there were little ‘remarks’ from one of the girls as I went up to the high part of the back garden with its great view of the Yarra Ranges
“Be careful of the steps Mum, we don’t want you tripping.”

Someone called out to me while we were up…..of course I didn’t catch what they said.
”Mum, I reminded you to put your ‘ears’ in, did you do that.
Have you got your hearing aids in”

Then there were the ‘instructions ‘ on how to care for the lovely little succulent garden given to me at Christmas by the other girl. “They are so easy to look after Mum, especially for people of your age bracket”. “If you like I’ll explain slowly how you can get new plants from the older ones”

I was a little taken aback by that but did have a little smile at her new found hobby – role reversal of daughter talking to mother like you would a child…..didn’t like to remind her I’d been growing them for more years than I can remember and they’re not ‘just succulents’ but have names that I know ……..when I can remember them😊

(Of course, thinking about how hard a year it was for us all, maybe my girls had been good at covering up their feelings but subconsciously became tetchy with everyone …..including me.)

I mentioned the other day I had no ‘word ‘ chosen for this New Year……at the moment I’m seriously thinking about using consider – to think about. Thinking about it there’s lots of things I have to consider this year – so much to deliberate on – talk about- but as it’s only the first Monday of January I’ll reflect on it at another time.
First things first – I feel the need for another cup of tea coming on 😊

Have you come up with a word/ thought/saying to deliberate on…
Or is it all balderdash to you??

Joining Corinne for this weeks  Monday Musings  – sharing thoughts with others. 
Joining Denyse for the latest edition of Life this Week

47 thoughts on “When does it happen….

  1. I am childless, but can remember the horror I felt when I realised that my mother’s and my roles had reversed. I do know that it irritated her (big time) and also that when her safety was threatened I felt I had no choice.
    I suspect though, if I had tried to tell her how to look after her garden she would have told me that I was ‘trying to teach my grandmother to suck eggs’.
    No word for the year here. I suspect that I will, as usual, continue to muddle along.

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    1. Critical but stable. Says a lot but not much at all. The Drs are trying a new combination of antibiotics in the hope they will work – immediate family have been quizzed about a DNR form!

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  2. Thinking to my own parents, I think those roles switched when my mother passed away. I won’t say that caring for my mum through her illness reversed our roles, because I still took a lot of my queues (probably too many) from her. But once she was gone, dad really needed “looking after” more than before. And I do catch myself on video chats with him, admonishing him for things, or explaining how to do things.#LifeThisWeek

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  3. Hi Cathy, I’ve not read your blog before so Happy New Year and Hello to you! I was nodding as I read your post and although my children aren’t quite at the stage of telling me to be careful and treating me as if they are the parent, there are times when I do feel the role reversal. It is something I haven’t really thought about but reading your post I can see examples of where the role reversals are happening. My word of the year is ‘Self’ not from a selfish point of view but rather considering how my actions, thoughts and relationships affect who I am. Asking myself is this something that brings joy and adds value to my life? or do I need to let go of this because it is having a negative affect on my life? Lovely to meet you at Denyse’s #lifethisweek

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    1. Hello Sue, thank you for visiting and for your comment. At the moment I’m putting all this down to circumstances- everybody’s wariness about ‘the virus’ is making us all super sensitive, I may even have contributed with little things like saying‘ I need to write that down before I forget it’

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  4. I enjoyed your Monday Musings. Your daughter is right to warn you. You know what happens to people of your age if they fall and break a hip. Sorry, if that is a poor attempt at humour. I can only think there may have been a behind the scenes discussion about parents not getting any younger, or they have seen some kind of change in the way you move around. Have you had a driving warning too? Mum, maybe not a good idea for you to drive at night? A long distance? In the rain?

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    1. Now you just stop that Andrew – I’m perfectly capable of driving at night, in the rain, with all those bright headlights shining in my eyes….I’ll be the one to decide not to do it. No haven’t had that suggestion yet 😊

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    1. Lol you’re still a young one – just don’t lose your gasses or keys or ask someone to repeat something or they’ll be ‘mothering you’ before you know it😊
      Happy New Year to you and the family….I missed your posts about family life and trips up to the wild seaside garden in the north

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  5. I’m finding that I’m worrying more about my parents now. My mother, in particular, would be mortified if she knew – she’s almost 79 but still very fit – so I read this with interest. I have chosen a word of the year – Imagine.

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    1. It’s good you worry Jo – shows your love – just don’t get too carried away with it. Your mum’s still young (says she who shares a birth year with her) I know that mortified feeling 😊

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  6. Cathy you have reminded me of when I first noticed this. I was 50 and visited my daughter in London. I was super for at the time, but I hadn’t see her for two years. You can imagine my horror as she took my arm to go upstairs or cross the street. It was a dreadful feeling. My word for the year is Health

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    1. Jennifer I think that’s a Brit thing – my mother and sisters did that all the time. I left well before I fell into the habit. It would come as a shock to have someone (apart from The Golfer) do it to me as well. Now as well as if I was much younger

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  7. I dont have a word for the year and if I did I’d probably change my mind before February!

    Yea, I’m not sure about the whole parent/ child thing. I don’t really want to become the parent and mum resists it. In August I offered to make face masks for her. She’s always been a fabulous seamstress so offering to make face masks was probably insulting but I knew she wouldn’t get to it and now we have mandatory mask wearing and she hasn’t got any. Disposables will be fine but the point is, she thought she would do it and resisted help.

    When mum spent a couple of nights in hospital, Dad was ringing me four times a day so I think in the case of my family i will step up only at the last moment or probably too late.

    I’m coming up 50 and mum and dad are 78 and 80

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    1. You’ve probably got enough to keep you going at home what with the girls returning. . If you’re making some for them maybe offer some to Mum and Dad at the same time

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  8. I’m a bit like this with my mother but try really hard not to be patronising or anything. I do get frustrated with her at times though. Although my mother still also ‘mothers’ me and I realised years ago she also took on the same role with her mother because she’s that sort of person. Overly organised and practical. So she’d visit me armed with spare toilet paper, washing detergent, underwear, frozen meals and so forth. (And still does quite often!)

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      1. Well, she doesn’t wear them, so…. we did have an incident today however where she thought she’d checked something, but hadn’t.

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    1. Lol Vanessa….my mother would have called you‘Independent Annie’ and helped you pack your bag….then ignored you when you came back in the door 😊

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  9. Simplify is our wrd for this year. Maybe it’s not parenting so much as loving, expressing concern according to perceived risk. xxx F & Mr T

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    1. That thought did cross my mind…and I may have given false impression of need by asking for help with a few things ….but it still stung all the same

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  10. This was an interesting read Cathy! Now that I’ve just turned 60 I will keep an eye out for the types of things you mention. I can imagine how you feel about it and wonder if you should say something, or would that just inflame the situation? I have chosen the word BOLD as my word of the year, it’s now or never I reckon!! #lifethisweek

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    1. No Debbie I’ll leave it be for the moment- as I mentioned to someone else maybe by asking for help with something I’d been giving a false impression of ageing/needing extra help

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  11. Yes I know what you are talking about and I am sure maybe we did it also to our
    parents – watch out for this or watch out for that – etc. etc. We are lucky we have
    someone to care about us especially in these days people choose not to have
    children. A word I would choose is caring as in caring for one another.

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  12. I found this really ramped up with the virus. My daughter is super alert about exposing “someone your age” to the disease. She is right, of course, but it does seem to reinforce that I am old and she isn’t!

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    1. The dreaded C has struck again😊. I have to admit the girls never voiced their concerns/spoke to me like that before last year so possibly it is the result of their worrying about me and The Golfer. Hopefully when this is all over and done with (one year’s time maybe) we’ll be allowed to live our lives as before (risks and all)

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  13. HI Cathy, I am not sure but this might be the first post of yours that I have read. I will sign up to follow, eager to hear what comes next. Our kids are far away, so we are not there yet, btu we are in our early 70’s and they are mid-40’s so I can see the writing on the wall. The closest I have come is a few years back, maybe 5, my daughter told me she would not take me to Disneyworld unless I agreed to a motorized cart. I was miffed, but it’s okay. Blessings for the New Year nd Happy Writing! Congratulations to your grandson on the purchase of his first home. Beautiful view! Michele (The Beach Girl Chronicles)

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    1. Hello Michele Lovely to hear from you. Yes you’re right, after the initial shock of knowing your children think you are becoming ‘old’ and need various forms of help (even if they don’t quite word it the way you’d like) it becomes ok. If they became too overbearing/condescending I’ll be nipping it in the bud quick smart

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  14. Ha! I am at the age also where my kids think they must parent me. I know exactly what you mean! 🙂

    I did choose a word this year. It is “empty”. But empty in a good way, like blank pages, fresh starts, possibilities. I like the word “consider”. Glad to read you are considering it!

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    1. Ooh I also like the word ‘empty’ Laurie and your reasoning behind your choice.
      Here’s to filling a lot of those empty pages!

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  15. It’s not family that are on2me (they threw me out with the bathwater) but a friend who somehow got a bee in bonnet that I need to be “straightened out” – some of her advice is like a parent talking to a child, even though she is about 5 years older than me!
    Just today long phone call explaining all kinds of things…not believing I had the correct information and then telling me I HAD TO HAVE her with me at the specialists appointment coming up as “another pair of ears” and me thinking “nope you will interfere and make it worse” but I’d already got ahead of that and booked the health shuttle…

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    1. Oh dear Cathy I do hope you are able to her down gently. Obviously her need to ‘mother’ you has overtaken her need to just be your friend.

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  16. This is the first time I’m visiting your site. Happy New Year to you Cathy. I found your post interesting because I suppose I did the same things with dad as your daughters are doing. I suppose it comes naturally when you see a change in a person’s walk. It comes from a place of love and concern. But I understand how you feel. Dad didn’t like it too- being told. I lost my dad in November. And reading your post and all the comments here brought back memories.

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    1. Hello ‘Smitha’ and thank you for visiting Still Waters.
      I am sorry for the loss of your father and such a short time ago. I do hope he passed peacefully and not in pain,
      This parent/child thing is a challenge, I can understand where the girls were coming from or rather where I thought they were coming from (in fact they could have been half joking) but I wonder if their words ‘hit a nerve’ and I’m not liking the idea of getting older.
      It may not happen again and I’ve got myself all wound up about nothing….but if it does there might be a few words of advice given to them about respecting their elders lol 😉😊
      I’ll pop over a look at your blog when I get a few spare minutes.

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      1. Lol…your comment made me smile. Its not about ‘respecting elders.’ I guess we get carried away🙂.
        Thank you for your warm words. Dad died peacefully but it did come as a shock for all of us. Though he did become feeble he was mentally strong and that’s why I think its hard to accept that he’s gone.
        I’d like that – you visiting my blog would be nice. I’m glad I found yours.

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  17. Wow. I kept thinking ‘wow’. This would upset me greatly and my husband but let me tell you, it is unlikely!! We are 71 and almost 72 and have been independent retirees for some time. We now live away from our grown kids and grandkids. However, there might have been some opportunity to offer help to us when I had cancer but in fact, no. I was actually OK with just my husband’s help. Fast forward to now and we are taking our own precautions with adhering to COVID guidelines re travel to and from our family (we stayed put on Christmas Day – our choice). But for us, the big factor in our family that my Dad is 97 (next Mon) and as independent as they come and between me and my brothers we each do what we can to support him in ways he asks. We did a little bit of ‘advising’ on a couple of occasions in past 3 years but generally he is well and we are OK with that too. It must have some bearing on how families see each other in the generations. Both sides of ours have been about independent living in retirement too. Interesting post…very!! Welcome back to Life This Week in 2021 on my blog each Monday. Thank you for linking up this week. Next week the optional prompt is 2/51 Announcement on Mon11 Jan. Hope to see you back here then too. Take care, Denyse.

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