‘We’re out of tricks.’ This is the phrase I used when talking to my two out-of-town sisters about the need to find a better living situation for mom…again. Mom has been in two different assisted living communities in the past year and half, since my dad has passed. Neither place has been a fit and frankly I don’t think any of them will.
Profound, right? I thought so. This simple statement slapped me upside the head when I heard this from Dawn, the owner and creator of a nonprofit organization called ALOHA (A Life Of Healthy Aging). Dawn’s organization visits my mom’s new assisted living community monthly to offer support to resident’s families.
Dawn followed this statement with a question: ‘who is your mom?’ and challenged me to find out. I definitely know who I want her to be – I want her to be me! But, even though she has been my mom for 44 years, I still have some detective work to do in order to answer this question. (more…)
Growing up, I never pictured myself as a working mom. I knew I would work before having kids but figured I’d be a stay home mom, just like my mom was for us. I know my husband may feel somewhat responsible for me not being a stay home mom but frankly he’s not the reason I am still working.
What is a sequencing mom?
A “sequencing” mom typically earns a college degree, starts a career, and decides to take a planned break
from the workforce in order to raise young children and then returns to their careers years later.(more…)
When people ask me how I’m really doing (not just a drive by how you doin’) it’s hard to put into words what this season of my life feels like. This season where I’m being sandwiched between being the encouraging, present, and fun mom I want to be for my kids AND being the caring, respectful, and motivating daughter I want to be for my mom. Oh, yeah and somewhere in this mix I want to be a romantic, loving, and supportive wife and a fit and healthy woman who successfully juggles a full time rewarding career and builds a mission rich profitable business on the side! Feels crazy just writing it all out. Like you, I want it all and I want life to feel harmonious. It’s a big order to fill.
If you give a bird a worm
Since it’s difficult to describe a sandwiched life, I thought I’d try an analogy. I often tell people that life is like a puzzle and you just have to figure out how all the pieces connect but reflecting on this now, this analogy is just way too simple. After all, when you are putting together a jigsaw puzzle you have the luxury of evaluating one piece at a time. What I feel, and probably many of you do, is the constant pulling of different important and competing priorities that frankly are never satiated. A better analogy for a mom in the sandwich generation is to think of a nest of hungry baby robins with mom flying back and forth to keep everyone well fed. (more…)
August 4th was the one year anniversary of my dad’s death. Rather than focusing on his last day, I am choosing to focus this post on the Saturday just prior to his passing, where we threw a party in the hospice room to celebrate his life. When I reflect on this memory, I feel so grateful that we had this opportunity to tell dad how much he meant to us, share memories, and prepare as a family to say good-bye. I know that many families have not had this opportunity.
My family has two lake homes in Hubbard Lake, Michigan. For health reasons, my mom hasn’t been able to visit Michigan in a few years. My siblings and I were determined to get her there this year. We have dangled this trip in front of her as an incentive for her to take better care of her health and we wanted her to be around the extended family as many have not seen her since my dad’s memorial last fall. Thankfully, she was able to go. It took much preparation, and patience but I know in the end we are all glad we went. (more…)
You just never know what the day will bring. Each one is a new adventure. Here’s a diary of what happened today:
5:55 am – Rise and shine! Got up after one snooze even though I wanted two…my dog Shadow was ready to get up so he jumped from the bed when I turned to snooze the second time. Got up since he’ll just bug me until I do. Put workout clothes on that I had set out night before. Swallowed morning prescriptions and vitamins. Gave hubby a quick smooch and headed downstairs.
6:10 am – Chugged pre-made morning cleanse juice and took my Shih Tzu Shadow for a quick ‘squirt’ (the kids walk him when they get up).
6:30 am – Listened to Chalene Johnson’s Build Your Tribe podcast while I drove to my trainer’s facility for our scheduled workout. (more…)
2014 will always be remembered for me as a rough year. Both of my parents have been chronically ill for at least the past decade and there have been many ups and downs but in 2014 their lives started to spiral. In the spring of 2014, my mom has hospitalized with pneumonia and incubated due to breathing complications with her COPD and thankfully surprised us all when she bounced back. We truly thought we were going to lose her. It took weeks in a hospital and a rehab facility and lots of support and prayer. During these difficult months, my family was introduced to an amazing site called caringbridge.org. (more…)
Growing up the month of June was all about my dad. He was the only one in my immediate family with a June birthday and we celebrated Father’s day, too. Needless to say, I’ve been thinking and talking about him a lot this week. This August it will be a year since his passing so we have almost made it through all the ‘firsts’ without him.
We miss him
I know my mom misses him the most. She is so lonely without him and her life has completely changed since he passed. Within two weeks of his death, we had packed her up from their Florida condo and moved her into an assisted living six hours away so she could be near me and my three brothers. So many new changes for my 77 year old mom in one year and she spends a majority of her time all alone which she hasn’t really ever done in her entire lifetime. She went from her parent’s home, to nursing school, to marriage. Mom and I talked this week about how we thought dad would want us to feel about Father’s Day and his birthday. We knew he’d want us to be happy but also remember him. He loved a bit of a fuss on his special days. We both recognized that it is OK to miss him, shed a tear or two and then focus on what all we had with him…not what we no longer have. Falling into a pit of depression definitely won’t bring him back and would just hurt those that we love still living around us. My dad was too practical and productive to have us sit around in a dark pit. (more…)