I was recently surfing through a Homeschool Facebook group that I belong to and ran across a post written by another homeschool mom who was looking for advice about how to tell her husband that she did not want his parents moving in with them. She gave a lot of information about her in-law’s health, the fact that one of them was a smoker, how messy they were, etc. As I read through the comments there were hundreds of other homeschool moms who encouraged her to put her foot down and refuse to allow them to move in with them, and to be honest I was rather shocked. This truly made me think about my own father and how I would react when the day comes that I need to make a decision about his elderly care and whether or not I would be able to care for him myself. And what if the day comes when my husband’s parents need assistance? Are we capable of caring for our elderly parents?
I have a tendency to want to “fix things” when things need fixed. I have a tendency to want to take care of things that need to be taken care of. So maybe this is why I feel so differently than all those other moms who were stating things like, “It is not your responsibility to care for parents who did not plan for this moment.” Those comments seemed really cruel and heartless if you ask me.
I realize that we all have different parents, different personalities, and different scenarios. But personally I can’t even IMAGINE not being the one to take care of my father when that time comes. When the day comes that my father can no longer care for himself, I will move him in to my home and care for him until it becomes impossible for me to do so. And if my husband asked me to do the same for HIS parents, I would not hesitate. Yes it would be sacrificing our privacy, our comfort, and our normal routine. But these are our parents! And one day they will be gone. I can’t imagine not doing everything I can to help them when they need help just because it might upset our “normal.”
Am I alone here? According to the hundreds of comments on that Facebook thread I am. When I read her post I could hear how uncomfortable she was at the thought of having to become their caregiver due to their lack of income, health problems, etc. But I could not even imagine saying no to my father or my in-laws. What are your thoughts?