Do you get trapped in child mode when providing elder care?

One way to tell you’re still in Child Mode with your parents is when you want to impress them, even when you’re thirty or forty or fifty years old.

Roz Chast

I couldn’t escape getting trapped in child mode when providing elder care for my parents last month. Does that happen to you?

Our family has owned the Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant since its first publication in 2014. It is a graphic memoir by New Yorker cartoonist Roz Chast. I admit, however, that while my family thoroughly enjoyed it, I couldn’t bring myself to read it until yesterday.

I’m still jet-lagged having spent 3 weeks in Seoul, checking in on my parents. I got a lot done–from setting up more services through Korea’s national Long Term Care Insurance program to getting a new refrigerator and a/c units.

When I came across this quote, I had to laugh. I’m in my fifties and I still want the approval of my parents.

Knowing this helps me remember that my own teenage daughters want my approval and there is no sense of withholding it when they have certainly earned it.

Watching my parents become physically weaker while also becoming more like their inner selves has been interesting. I have learned not to treat them as invalids or children. My parents are struggling to accept the reversal of roles just as I am. I think about how I would like my daughters to treat me. They also won’t want to get trapped in child mode when providing elder care for me.

Gardening Notes

The bok choy on my balcony garden is doing well thanks to my daughters who watered all of my plants while I was away. They kept everything alive! I think I’ll chop some up and add it to some ramen for lunch!

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