There are times I write when I’m in the moment, and this post is being written during one of those times. I decided since my mother was not driving and knowing she wanted to be at church, I asked her earlier today if she wanted to go, and it was agreed I would take her. Even though I had been up since 3am this morning, I decided to sacrifice a quiet evening and take her to church. The church service was nice, and those that were there were happy to see her familiar face. I am usually in bed between 9 and 9:30, and I knew I needed to be in bed no later than 9:45. But my mother wanted to pick up something to eat on the way home. She waited in the car and it took for ever for her order to get done (actually it was about 20- 30 minutes), because she wanted it fixed in a certain way. When I finally got in the car, she wondered what took so long, “they must have a different cook,” and “this is not what I’m used to getting”, and let us not forget (when I told her how much it cost)”oh no, that’s not how much it usually costs.” These were the comments which made me feel not only more tired than I already was, but experiencing another ‘failure as a daughter’ moment. I must admit she did say she didn’t mean to have me wait so long, but by that time I guess the damage had been done.
This post really has nothing to do with being a caregiver, just with being a daughter. During the ride home I stayed quiet as I heard the crunch of her order as she was munching, and wishing I could taste what I ordered. Anyway, the checkpoint is the following:
Whether a caregiver or just a son or daughter, there are times when all of us have to speak up, set boundaries, and just say no: this phrase from the Reagan era is not just for a stance for not taking drugs, it can apply to other situations, like “Mom, I’ve been up since 3am and I’m really tired. Since you just went to the grocery store yesterday, don’t you have something you could fix at home?” Oftentimes, being silent to keep from saying something in an angry tone is not enough. But saying no in an even tone is.
Let’s just say this is something that I need to work on: checkpoint is speaking up in the right way, and not feeling guilty for doing so.
I feel better for letting my fingers do the talking tonight. But it’s 11:02pm and I need at least 5 hours of sleep. So goodnight for now.