Thursday, July 30, 2009

Parenting and helplessness

We feel helpless at times when we have children. It's just part of the packaged deal. We do what we can, but there are things that are out of our hands. I expected that when I had children.

What I did not expect, however, was to feel so helpless in regards to my PARENTS. They are the adults. They are the ones who look out for me. Now, suddenly, it's the other way around and that's terrifying.

My parents are elderly and they are far away. My mother, however worked full-time until she lost her job fairly recently. My father still works full-time. They have never been the frail types that come to mind when one pictures an older couple.

So it was a particular shock when my mother had surgery recently and she found herself in a number of very dangerous situations--all of which could have been avoided if someone was there to help. If I could have been with her, there was so much I could have done for her. They live much too far away, though, so that wasn't an option.

My mother is making ridiculous decisions which are costing them a lot of money. No, she doesn't suffer from dementia of any sort. So I didn't expect it and don't understand it. She's wasting money due to stupid decisions. Yes, among other things, my mother fell prey to that stupid Acai berry scam. I thought everyone knew to avoid it. My mother, however, did not, and was charged several hundred dollars. She recently got it in her head that she MUST do something RIGHT NOW in a manner which would obviously waste money. I tried giving her suggestions for another way to go about it and she agreed I was right, but refused to change her plans. What I thought would waste a few hundred dollars wound up actually costing her THREE THOUSAND. She does NOT have the money to pull this.

I should pause here to offer my gratitude to decent people. She tried to hire someone to do something (that doesn't need to be done and will cost about $10,000). One person gave her a ridiculous bid. The next, though, came out and actually told her that doing what she wanted would be a waste of money. That meant that this man did NOT get an easy job where he could have bilked her for quite a bit of money. Instead, he was honest and put her welfare before his own income. She actually listened to him and canceled those costly plans. Thank you, kind sir. You will never know how much we appreciate what you've done.

Most people, however, are not like that. And so, here I sit, far away, wringing my hands and yelling into the phone when trying to talk sense into my mother doesn't work.


Phyllis Sommer said...

i just finished Kelly Corrigan's book "The Middle Place." The middle place refers to the place between being a parent to our own children and a child to our own parents...I think it's part of the deal, unfortunately.


Krissy said...

I'm very much right there with ya. Now it's a bit easier since my mom is living near me, but for many years I struggled with the same issues of being far away and feeling helpless. (((hugs)))