This post is in honour of the upcoming Mother’s Day
What goes around, comes around.
I learned this valuable and painful lesson in my early 20s. Yup, I got bitten in the ass for the exact same thing I did to someone else. It hurt. Bad! And from that moment on, this motto guides me on my path as wife, mother, friend, sister – and more recently, as daughter too.
A few years ago, my incredibly strong, healthy and independent 80-something year old mother fell and broke her hip. It wasn’t something that I (and perhaps my siblings) thought would ever happen. But it did. And we knew, her 3 story townhouse was no longer going to be an option (Or, putting her into a home, for that matter!). My mother wanted – needed – demanded her independence. And with my Mom, this was NOT open for negotiation.
Over the next 4 months, it somehow became my job to take care of her: Find her a new home, sell the old home, pack-up her stuff, move her stuff, visit her in the hospital, bring her home from the hospital, wash her, get her food, get her meds, pay her bills… and yes, all of this while working and caring for my husband and 2 kids.
It was a lot of work. And sometimes, the things I had to do were not that pretty. But I didn’t have a choice.
My mother needed me.
My Mother needs me?
It was a brand new consciousness. It was the circle of life. It was my motto in all of it’s glory: I (the child) was now the caregiver.
Despite the ups & downs in my daughter-mother relationship, my mother did her round: She birthed me. She fed me. She changed my diapers, and cleaned up my vomit. She gave up sleep to drive me to 6am skating lessons. She worried when I stayed out late. She cared for me. And now, it was my turn; my round to pay it back.
It’s easy to be a mouthpiece, simply telling kids how they should behave. But, as we all know, the best way to teach is to lead by example. How I treated their Bubby spoke volumes. No guilt. No threats. I didn’t have to say “I hope you will be there for me if I need you.” It was unsaid, but loud and clear.
Were my actions a little self-serving? Perhaps. But at least I’m not a hypocrite. I walk the walk.
This Mother’s Day, are you “walking the walk”?