Caroline M's blog: Another dimension of my life

For almost 5 years now, I have struggled to reconcile being the mother my daughters deserve, and the daughter my aging parents deserve. Not to mention everything else on my little life's spectrum- the wife, the colleague, the friend.

It never crossed my mind not to continue to entertain a career when my girls were born. 

My mother, a French teacher, worked while raising 7 children. A real-life role model. So many ways to describe her love of knowledge and learning- A humdinger at the Crosaire. A bookworm. Maybe even a bibliomaniac. A fountain of knowledge. A woman of wit. A conversationalist. A wordsmith. 

Until one day, in recent years when I noticed she scrambled for a word -"bassinet" and I genuinely felt my temperature rise and my heart race. 

Her decline was not rapid. It has taken years. The 'new norm' might happen on every second or third visit, and then a plateau, and then the 'new new norm', and so on and so forth. 

Conversation dried up. Recognition evaporated, and the roles reversed. Dementia accelerated her undoing.

As a family, we weaved into our lives trips home to cover the weekends these last few years- to provide my dad some respite, and provided my mom with care and company. How lucky I have been to be part of a team that has supported me throughout, and where my colleagues sat with me debriefing over a Monday morning coffee. Yet another dimension of my life they have considered.

The COVID crisis finally unveiled the wounds of what our sticking plaster care plan was masking. And the inevitable decision was made for her to move to a nursing home. Nothing prepared me, or my siblings, or my father for this. It was akin to bereavement with additional complexities. At the forefront of our anguish was the thought she doesn't DESERVE  this. 

Until it was pointed out, that I should focus on emphasising 'deserve' in a positive light, as I had with my own want for my children. 

She deserves this calm, consistency, routine, and care.

She deserves this renaissance for the final years of her life. 

Caroline M is a Risk Analyst at an asset manager in the city working with 4 immensely supportive colleagues and friends. She and her husband have two wonderful girls, age 4 and 2 and together all four try to manage their puppy!

Category: A Citymother's Diary

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