Saturday, February 25, 2012

Sad Mom = Sad Son

I had a talk with my mom yesterday. She seemed down. I asked her what was bothering her. She said it's been hard to adapt to losing some of her independence. She doesn't miss driving so much as she misses being able to drive when and where she wanted to go when she wanted to go there. She feels like her children are always telling her what to do and when to do it, and she misses the control she used to feel over her own life.

She's grateful her kids care about her and are concerned for her welfare and is glad they are able to drive her places or visit her, but she just misses her independence. I think she gets a little stir-crazy to, like she's trapped in her home. She walks a lot, and I think it's good for her.

As she was talking to me about all of this, I really could see things from her point-of-view. I know for a fact that if I were in her place, I would feel the same way. In fact, Jonah and I worry that if I ever get dementia, I will behave with the same stubbornness and fierce independence that my mom does. I'm sure I will.

Mom and I are very alike in that respect: we both highly value our independence, and we can both be very stubborn about it.

I really felt for her because, on one hand, I completely get where she is coming from and would likely feel the same way, but on the other hand, on her bad days Mom can be very disoriented, confused, and exercise bad judgment, and that is what is worrisome to us kids. We want to protect her, but at the same time not treat her like a child and allow her her freedom. It's a hard line to walk sometimes. And it's made worse by the fact that Mom often doesn't recognize that she has a problem and needs us to protect her.

It's just frustrating and hard sometimes. In a perfect world, Mom would be free to do anything she wished without us kids looking over her shoulder to make sure she's not endangering herself or others. But it is not a perfect world.

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