When and how do we learn to become a mom? I can’t believe it’s been almost sixteen years since I became a mom for the first time. And in another blink of an eye I was a mom of three. There was trial and error and good days and bad days. But at the end of the day I had become a mom.
Learning to care for those who cared for me…
I was the eldest daughter from a family of three daughters. My healthcare background turned me into the reference source for my parents healthcare questions and concerns. Luckily, my previous life has given me numerous friends to refer to in multiple specialties which has been a godsend. But the tricky part becomes having the patient as your mom too. When the person who was your go to when you weren’t feeling well needing your care, the dynamic changes drastically.
To say that I come from a long line of stubborn people is an understatement. And as I have gotten older my mom’s stubborn tendencies have become more and more apparent. Probably because I am seeing a lot more of these tendencies in myself. She tends to challenge us all when it comes to her care and loathes hearing my opinion since I am a daughter. My years of education mean nothing when it comes to her health. And luckily I have accepted that for my own mental health.
As my sisters and I were busy being mom’s to our own children, life for own mother was changing. I had noticed changes in her health and general well-being over the past several years but struggled conveying my concerns to her. Stubborn tendencies on both parts made any progress on changing her ways nearly impossible and life just continued on.
I woke up from a dead sleep one morning feeling as though something was wrong. As I roamed through the house checking on the kids and looking outside the feeling of impending doom just couldn’t be shook. Within minutes my phone rang and it was my dad. My mom had fallen during the night and required medical attention and had been taken to the hospital. Thinking back over the past several months there had been a couple of falls and other problems that should have been a red flag to me. But how could we be here now?
A hospital admission followed by a stay at a rehab facility was eye opening to me. The woman that had been my go to was now looking so very frail. The body that had taken care of my dad and us girls was barely able to care for herself. But how did this happen? Watching her in a healthcare setting looking to me and my sisters for answers was another level of sadness. Why did her mind seem so cloudy and when did she lose her ability to command her own care? Guiding a patient through medical decisions was easy but helping your own mother in that same way was so very hard.
The dynamic has forever changed…
Thankfully she is now home and we are all adjusting to the change. Therapy sessions are helping to make her body and mind stronger. There has been a change in the dynamic of our family. Instead of relying on our mother for help she needs to now rely on us. It was always easy for me to talk to the adult children of patients and watch the natural progression of children caring for aging parents. And now that has become my reality as a mom mothering my own mom.