I have a girl's weekend at the beach twice a year. It is a relaxing, wonderful time. We work on photo albums, read, catch up on each other's lives and enjoy too much good food. I'm trying to get my Mother to go with me next time and I may have finally won her over.
I want my Mom to join me for several reasons. Some of them are selfish (I would like the one-on-one time with her), and others are more selfless (I think she deserves a break from her everyday responsibilities). I am not trying to dictate her life, but I recognize that I am pressuring her to join me. (Sorry, Mom!)
Pressuring my Mom is something that I am going to have to look out for. She is by no means old or unable to make decisions for herself. She is a vibrant and amazing woman and I am lucky to have her in my life (thanks, Mom!) I will need to be sensitive to not fall into the trap that so many adult children my age fall into.
Mom, I will try very hard to not make decisions for you as you age. But you've gotta do your part and talk to me.
In this extremely honest article in The Atlantic, aging parents share a range of emotions when it comes to their adult children making decisions for them: Annoyed, grateful, stubborn refusal and patronized. The key point in the article is that communication is paramount. We should learn to ask our parents what they want in life and if we have our own ideas, we should present them and take a step back to let the ideas sink in. And parents - for their part - should tell their children what they want and be open to new ideas.
And that brings me back to another reason why I want my Mom to join me at the beach this year: I want to keep the lines of communication between us wide open.
Do you take care of your older parents? What is the hardest part for you? Tell me in the comments.