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Ruminating on Mother's Day and being a

Monday, May 09, 2011

I don't have children, so I lived for 22 years doing pretty much what I wanted. Those were the years between 17 and 39. I moved when I wanted to; traveled when the urge struck. I hate living where I am. Always did! I left to go out of state for college when I was 17 (didn't finish then), and moved to various parts of the country for jobs and on whims. I have been to every state in the Union except Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire and Hawaii. I always drifted back here for one reason or another. I have lived here longer now than at any other point of my life. I moved back here 20 years ago because my mother had cancer and my grandmother also needed care. I did meet my husband here 19 years ago so that was a good thing.

What has all this have to do with Mother's Day? I deeply love and cherish my mother. She is 84 and has severe osteo arthritis and spinalstenosis. She can no longer live on her own. We moved in with her two years ago. I didn't want to put her through the stress of moving. then and I don't now. I didn't mind because I got out of the city, but I did cry when I saw the new tenants cut down my precious roses and other perennials. I just simply hate it here! Not because of the house or neighborhood, but this area. It's still cold! We have maybe three - four months of really warm weather. We don't get tornadoes or hurricanes but we get snow and lots of it.

I really want to move down south, to be closer to my brother. I want to get to know my great nephews and nieces. I wonder who will look out for me when I'm 84. I know that I'll be happier in a warmer climate. I'll get more exercise because I'll want to be outdoors and walking or gardening. My brother can pitch in and help with Mom, like checking in on her if I want to take a vacation. The state he's living in wouldn't be in my top 5 either but it is much warmer.
The thought of moving just seems so overwhelming right now. I long for the days I could pack up a few belongings and move on a whim. How did I acquire all this stuff? I would never have gone to an antique mall or flea market had I known then what I know now! That's after donating half of it to move in with Mom two years ago. The cost of moving out of state is prohibitive with all this stuff. It's not like a company is paying me to move. We're also on fixed incomes. DYI is out of the question - my DH has had 3 spinal surgeries.

I don't know if I'm up to packing and moving again, let alone putting my mother through it. Of course, she wouldn't have to do anything; but she has a mild case of OCD and wouldn't let anyone pack for her. I offered to hire a maid once to wash windows and do big jobs because I have fibromyalgia but she said she would have to clean before they came over! She also stresses very easily. She can't sleep when she anticpates something not on her usual schedule is going to occur the next day. Then I know that no matter what house I pick out, she won't like as well as hers.

It would be different if my DH and I could go south for the winter or even one month, but she can't be left alone. She won't travel. I worry about leaving her for one week. If we take our RV anywhere this year it will have to be somewhere within a 4 hour drive. That's why I wish that I had a sibling close by.

So the point of this is, there is a lot of stress in being a caretaker. We can't be selfish and just consider ourselves. It takes a lot of patience. It's hard to stick to an eating plan when you have to cook different things for other members of the household. I have always been an emotional eater. I gained all my weight since I have moved back here. 10 lbs. a year for the last 20 years! Can I reverse that process while living under the same stress?

I may have sounded like I was complaining but I wasn't - I am venting. There's a difference I think. I want my mother to live another 20 years. She has always been my best friend and staunchest supporter. She is the sweetest, kindest woman I have ever met. I never heard her say anything bad about anyone. She never gossiped, cussed, or raised her voice. Without her love through the years, as well as being a role model, I wouldn't have turned out to be a compassionate, caring person. I wouldn't give up my role. I would do anything for her. I wouldn't move her to assisted living unless she physically needed help with basic bodily functions.

I think we as caretakers just need an outlet to vent. For me, It's much easier venting to anonymous people on a blog . So I'm grateful for this site. I'm trying to get more in touch with my emotions so that I don't eat mindlessly. For some reason Mother's Day just triggered those emotions.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Can your brother take vacation and come help you with your mom? So you can have a break?

    I wish I could offer more help. Vent any time. But don't let your emotions be your guide. You need to get healthy for you.
    3579 days ago
    Put your dream into action by spending 1 hour a day going through your stuff. Start living as though you're in the process of moving. That's what I am doing. I've got corners, sections, areas of the house that I am focsing in on. And my question is

    WHAT ARE YOU TAKING WITH YOU ON THIS MOVE? What is NOT going with you to your new place down south?

    Now mind you, I'm not moving. But I am acting like I am. So it satisfies many things for me. First it helps me to GET RID of stuff. And once its gone it's like ........ahhhh ahhhhh ahhhh Gooooood RIDdance. And I look at the empty place next to that chair where a stupid lamp table sat that I never used and only dusted it. I put it to the curb on Sunday. It was gone in 5 minutes. Ah see someone took it and it won't fill the landfill. I feel good now.

    Now there is more SPACE in the living room and less to dust.

    I HATE CLUTTER. But my rooms are filled with half done projects, WAY TOO MANY PAPERS, and boxes of vegetable garden seeds I saved, oh and those canning jars for June and July when the cherries are ripe. They are all out in the kitchen with no where to put them. Well where will I put the filled jars? So that is my next project. Making room for the empty jars NOW that will later be filled with cherries, strawberries and raspberries.

    Purge toss and donate. Get rid of stuff. Just having STUFF can make you feel like you want to move because you can't stand the place the way it is. Clear the living it ONE HOUR a day besides your regular stuff. You will be amazed at how 1 hour a day will clean your place up in no time. It won't feel overwhelming.

    Having stuff cleared out of the house - you can focus on your Mom better and having the extra room to move around in will make you like the house alot more.

    How? Trust me. It wil lighten up your thinking and worrying about how and when you can really make your move one day.

    I spent 3 months purging stuff from ,y house and I did move to Florida for 1 month and stayed in 4 areas - NICE areas that are expensive but I had to do it to say that I could have this if I work hard enough. I came home to a clean house and many many garbage cans were filled before I left. I was FREE down there and knew I'd come home to a cleaner house. I didn't even miss any of the things I donated to Good Will or the old love letters I BURNED in the driveay the day before I left. :-)

    When all you have is all you need and the rest is gone into history, you WILL make that physical move and you will be able to do it with very little help. I'm getting this house down to ONLY what I need inside to survive. Oh what a feeling of freedom. My goal is to snow bird in warmer climate.

    Make it yours. Explain to your Mother that she will feel better in a warmer climate. Beg her to go with you.

    I'd like to lock my house up, shut the water main off and the oil burner and just go for 2 - 4 months next year to where it's warmer. There are cheap places to stay in - even trailers. The warmth is WORTH the hassles of getting down there. Your Mom will physically and medically benefit from it. Get your brother to help you find a place for this winter. Do it close to him so you have support for your Mom. If you want it you can do it. Now what box of junk can get sent to Good Will this week? :-) Linda emoticon
    3580 days ago

    Comment edited on: 5/10/2011 11:05:39 AM
    You are absolutely right, and you vent any time! I have been there, and I am sure that I will be again....
    3581 days ago
    You are right! As much as we love our parents, it some times is necessary to vent. So you just come here any time and let it flow.
    3581 days ago
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