Consciously or subconsciously children, no matter their age, often mimic the behavior of their parents. Given any situation, they typically respond as one of their parents would have. I've been thinking about this phenomena as I struggle with how to handle my aging dad.
My reality is I've had no example of how to handle an 85-year-old father. Both of my parents lost their parents when they were in their 40s and 50s. And my mom's dad lived the longest of their parents, passing quickly at 80 due to an aneurism. Neither of my parents had to care for a geriatric parent. And neither had to deal with such challenges while they were working to accept and manage their own limitations of being in their mid 60s.
My dad is in good health all things considered. But he can no longer properly manage a house and yard. He needs paid help and can easily afford it. My frustration is his unwillingness to get it. I simply have no patience for dad's behavior, especially since my parents have always been so ridiculously and unnecessarily frugal.
This post is me working through some guilt. I sometimes think I should be more understanding and coddling. But I truly feel that wouldn't get dad moving in the right direction. So instead I remain steadfast as the cold-hearted painfully realistic daughter.
But, in doing so, I don't exhaust my own limited energy and resources, which I need for my husband and my own children and grandchildren. That's my (and perhaps today's) new reality.