One of my mother’s biggest worries about getting older is becoming a burden. She is really concerned that my brothers and I will have to look after her in her old age. I often don’t know what to say when she says this but after thinking it over here are my thoughts.
My parents have four kids. We had a wonderful childhood. Mum worked part-time, she managed my dad’s practice and then got a ‘real job’ when I was in year 11 and my youngest brothers were in year 7. Because of this sacrifice she was home every afternoon when we got home and while she doesn’t think she is a ‘natural’ mother (whatever that is) she is loving, fair, quite strict and she took wonderful care of us. Dad was working so hard to provide a fantastic education for us all (4 kids in private schools – the school fees were eye-watering…) so when he got some time off he would take us boating or camping or skiing and we had so much fun.
Everything my brothers and I have achieved is because of the love, support and faith my parents showed us (not to mention the financial investment…). I still rely on my parents heavily and never make a major life decision without first getting their advice.
So I suppose when my mum (or dad) worries about being a burden what I really want to say is: should you need care in your older years I will do whatever I can to make you feel safe, happy and comfortable. This is a chance for me to return the love and support you have shown me all these years and I will show up for you.
For me – to care for my aging parents is not a burden – it is just love, reciprocated.