Boomer in the middle.
Colleges warn against helicopter parents swooping in to heroically solve their kid’s problems.
Good counseling tells the whirlybirds to stay on the ground.
Is it the same when your mother calls to say your dad isn’t stable enough to leave the hospital, to go back home, after surgery?
They need twenty four hour care.
Your mom worries.
Where ever you are, you worry too.
The pressure from one side doesn’t balance the other. Your college student will pull through.
They’ll take a few hits, collect their share of bruises, growing stronger like the bones they broke playing football and wrestling in high school.
You know how it works? Maybe.
What you don’t know is how to feel while your mom fades and rallies for your dad.
Do you zoom in the same way you’re advised against doing with kids?
Do you tell one parent to ease up on the twenty five hour a day nursing home vigil; to stop driving home at night in rain that defeats their windshield wipers?
You can talk, but they won’t listen.
The bond between elderly parents is too strong for a kid to loosen. Besides, the old folks paid attention in knot-tying class and you won’t know where to start.
If you must start, then feel free to follow my Rules of Order:
- Ask the folks what they need done and do it. (Don’t feel put off if they need something done but don’t want you doing it and ask a sibling instead. Helping out isn’t a popularity contest.)
- Explain what you did and ask if they need more done. (If you move from one project to the next because it’s what you’d ordinarily do, stop. Let the folks decide what’s next, then add your ideas. Keep them in the game.)
- Communicate with family members. (Tell them what the folks are asking for, and what you’re doing. Invite participation. Make a plan to cover the unexpected.)
Boomerpdx Lesson: If you think you need to give until it hurts, you’re wrong.There’s already enough pain in the house.
Better Boomer says, once you start home care for an aged parent with your kids still in the house, you might wish you weren’t in the middle, but everyone else is glad you are. So Boomer Up!