I missed the photo meme this week, and I haven’t been able to blog productively, either. I’m in the midst of one of those life phases that many women find themselves in- and as always mine seems more protracted than most… mostly be cause I am simultaneously a grandmother and a still raising my own children, and I have a parent still living. This is the caregiver squeeze that started for me in the last decade or so, and is coming to the apex at this time in my life.
It is my moral philosophy coming home to roost. I have always seemed to choose, feel lead, impelled ( however you word it) towards personal choices that involve both freedom of choice and taking on personal responsibility. I have home-birthed and home-schooled and been a keeper at home trying to live frugally. I also think that there are certain obligations that we have to one another in families. This mostly stacks up as me wanting to come through for my family members, while coming to grips with personal limitations in doing so. It came to critical mass during my father’s last years, but now – in a different way- is appearing again with the need to care for my mother.
She is no longer able to live independently and yet is not in need of total care. She can’t see very much and can’t drive, but her mind is still pretty sharp, and she enjoys family and gardening on a small scale, and living in her own space.
When you are still raising children and your parents have needs it becomes squeeze-time for you as a woman. Because women are usually the caretakers in situations. Attribute that as you will, that is how reality shakes out. I am actually toward the easier end of it now as my children aren’t all so young, but it is still a great challenge laying ahead for me.
I don’t think nursing homes or assisted living situations have turned out so successfully for many. Maybe because life is not one size fits all. As a society we have removed from family interdependencies, and it is difficult to find the right balance. So what is new about that? It seems that from every new turn of life I have had to re-mark the pathways of balance in marriage, in childraising, in lifestyle. The past generations and my own were so busy erasing the signal posts of life and what was expected that they forgot how confusing it can be to try to work out an all new society that will balance and work properly- with thought and care for individuals within the group, ebb and flow of life and its demands, and the cohesion and health of the group itself.
And so here I am…fumbling along.
And so as I busy myself with the dual tasks of trying to homseschool and move my mother to her new life with us, blogging is less often accomplished and more often simply imagined. Oh the ones that got away!
~edited to rid this post of the immense number of typos! sorry, it is my typing and not my grammar and spelling, really!~