By: Scattermom aka Stephanie L.
Ha, I’ll bet you thought this would be about food. Nope. Read on.
My mom recently had surgery for a total knee replacement—her right knee to be exact which means no driving for Mom—and would need some adult assistance (her husband is disabled). This means, as her locally living, only child, and a SAHM to small children, that we were going to Nonie’s House for an extended visit. Not a social visit, either, I would be visiting as a caretaker. The phenomenon even has a cute name. My current situation falls under the Club Sandwich Generation definition. I’ll grow up to be a real sandwich someday—maybe even a foot-long submarine.
Down periscope, down periscope. Argh…we’re taking on water.
But I digress.
Being a mother isn’t new to me. I’ve been providing care since my oldest son was born, 3 ½ years ago. I have “slept” in a chair to keep a baby’s stuffy nose draining. I have picked up a crying child and been covered in vomit. I have remained covered in vomit, while I cleaned up my kid first. I have worried, schlepped to doctors, and googled. I have done all of those things—because they are my children, and because I am their mother.
But long before I became a mother, I was daughter. Long before I was caring for and nurturing others, I was being cared for and nurtured. All of those caretaking tasks were being done for me, not by me. But those roles are slowly reversing.
Within my own extended family—on both side of the tree—I’ve already watched the shift of those child/parent roles. Since both of my sets of grandparents live/lived out of state, my participation in their caretaking was limited to brief visits. I was/am not there for the long-haul of it.