When I made the decision to not only have children but also to raise them myself, I took a lot of criticism from people who had no qualms about letting others raise their own kids. I never voiced my opinion about their decision to work full time and hire strangers to look after their children and I expected at least that much in return.
It’s funny how people view the same situation in such different ways.
Be that as it may, I consider myself lucky to have been able to devote all my attention to my sons and I never regretted that choice.
When I decided to take care of my aging parents I could do no less than that. My parents gave me life just as I gave life to my children. The choice was a no brainier. I am fortunate that, even in their eighties, both my parents are still in my life.
Loving and caring for someone is not a part time job – it’s a lifetime commitment.
Not that it’s been easy, by any means, but the benefits of this unique living arrangement far outweigh the difficulties we’ve endured. Living with and caring for elderly parents is not a choice to be made lightly. It may not be the right choice for everyone. It takes a lot of hard work and a ton of patience but it can also be one of the most rewarding and selfless things you will ever do!
It seems like such a simple and obvious notion – to make time for yourself. But how many of us remember to do it or make the effort to rearrange our busy schedules?
I often find myself, at day’s end, not having completed my mental ‘to do’ list. It’s partly my fault by becoming distracted by other obligations. But there are, after all, only 24 hours in a day. Moreover, 6-8 of those hours (if we’re lucky) are spent asleep so that leaves…
See? I almost did it again. I certainly don’t have the time it takes to do math. What matters most is the quality of our time spent – even with family and friends, it’s not so much the minutes or the hours but the actual together time – without preoccupation or interference from any outside sources.
So: “note to self” – I will always be at my best, for others, when I am at my best for my own self. And, sometimes, that means having to take a moment to look up at the stars or to smell the roses or to hear my sons voices on the telephone. Then, and only then, can I be my very best ME!
I can’t speak for everyone but, for as long as I can remember, Mom and I always had a very special way that we ended our conversations:
ME: “Love you.”
MOM: “Love you more.”
It’s asimple statement that speaks volumes. It’s not something I say to just anyone and it’s not necessarily a measure of the amount of love I feel for a person. It just happened one day and then continued to be a ‘thing’ forever after.
To this day, I always end both my phone calls and (now) my texts with my sons by telling them I love them. It’s not that they need reminding – it’s just something I do. The best part about it is, as old as they are, they still say it back. And you can’t put a price tag on that!
#NameThatTune challenge… name 3 Love songs (with the word ‘love’ in the title) that have a special meaning to you. Mine are: