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I've had quite the awakening in the two weeks since I've moved Dad in with me. It has been challenging to say the least, but he seems much happier and we've gotten a lot of the "issues" (translation: negiligence) he was dealing with at the AL under control. The incontinence, though still there, has balanced out and he's getting on a bathroom schedule to help. He's even put on three pounds!!


...but I'm in a situation in which I thought I'd never find myself. I knew in my 20's that motherhood wasn't on my list of "must do's". I was going to be the corporate gal and take girls trips and sip mimosas with my other unwed and unbred girlfriends and live the life of the urban chic.


Hello caregiving. At 41, I'm changing diapers, not getting much sleep, doing massive amounts of laundry... I even carry a "diaper bag" with a change of clothes, wet-wipes, fresh incontinence briefs and spill proof cups with straws for my Dad.


I never wanted to be a mother... but I AM one. It's interesting that someone overhearing my challenges could easily assume that I'm talking about caring for a child. It just made me think... which is easier?


They both have their challenges, but I'm led to believe that at least a parent knows that a child will eventually grow out of some of the challenging behaviors (potty training, dressing self, etc.) whereas a senior most likely will grow INTO more issues as time presses on.


It truly is a very sad state of existence. I don't even call my Dad's current state LIVING. He doesn't feel well most of the time. He's in a constant state of confusion. He needs help with EVERYTHING (which is hard for the proud sailor he used to be) and it takes 22 pills a day and 24-hour oxygen just to keep his feeble body functioning.


Watching him makes me sincerely hope that I leave this world before I end up like that. It breaks my heart.

Toddler - who loved me unconditionally. Not my elder who takes his anger out on me. Toddler who gave me little baby kisses on my cheek. Not my elder who broke  my arm and gave me a black eye when he didn't know who I was and fought me. Toddler - who loved to draw pictures for me. Not my elder who was a shi$$y parent, but then expected me to stop my life to cater to his, including sacrificing what I needed to do for toddler. Elder is now in a NH and I visit maybe twice a year - he has no idea who I am.

my toddler is now ten and a joy.
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Reply to Kimber166
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When I had toddlers, I was naive, innocent, and a h**l of a lot younger so I had much much more energy. It was a walk in the park compared to now...but if I was having to do 24/7 care for an endless supply of energy, mischief and germs at this point in my life, I’m sure I would struggle just as much as the constant repeating, incontinence, grumpiness (to name a few). I just wouldn’t complain of exactly the same strife. But for sure would complain 😉
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Reply to Longhaul
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To me both is hard to care, they also kind of same properties!
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Reply to AimeeRM
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An interesting subject.  I have had to revert back to when my kids were little in dealing with my dad.  I think of where we were 2-3 years ago and this is so different.  Roles totally reversed now.   He used to be soooo respectful of my time.  Now he thinks the world revolves around him.  Back to parenting 101:  No, the world does not revolve around you.  I have a life.  Yes, you are going to go get a hair cut because your hair is waaayyy too long and you look like a homeless person. I don't care if you don't want to pay over $10. A haircut is $15 and that is what you will pay.  Yes, you are going to urgent care today while I can be at your house.  No, you will not call me tonight after I've gone home and THEN decide you want to go to urgent care (currently dealing with cellulitis of the eye.  Under a doctor's care but his anxiety was amped up about it and wanted to go to urgent care).  And on it goes..................... I have actually found having a firm hand works for him.  He called and left me a voice mail before I got home Saturday to thank me for all of the help I gave him (I go there every Saturday afternoon for 3-4 hours).
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Reply to Babs75
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of course for toddler, because you see the future of it, this is the first and bright part, and second, toddler usually obey your demands, yes he can be stubborn, but in the end he will...and he loves you unconditionally and did not blame you in all negatives that happen in his life:(
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Rainmom Sep 20, 2018
Lol, poetry!

No, the toddler doesn’t blame you for all the negativity in their life - that comes later when they’ve become a grown adult!
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Interesting insights here...

And I agree that it is harder with a strong willed adult that, due to health issues and cognitive decline, are unfortunately and reluctantly pushed back into a second childhood...

... and I hear you on the pressure washing thing. How does it get... EVERYWHERE?!?!

... and understand, I didn't ask this with any derogatory intentions.

Please do not punch me in the nose or give me a tongue lashing.

NUFF SAID!!!!!!!!

(Sorry... I got a bit ticked off)
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Rainmom Sep 20, 2018
How does it get EVERYWHERE?

That, just where the hell is D.B. Cooper and how the pyramids where constructed remains a mystery for the ages.

Rainman goes to bed in a heavy duty night time adult pull-up. Yet when he wets the bed EVERYTHING gets soaked from the protective mattress pad, every blanket, the comforter and occasionally- even his pillow.

YET - after I’ve stripped off his soaked. buttoned in the back, one piece pajamas - I find a bone dry pull-up.

Seriously??? Explain that one.
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Toddlers have never had the experiences, freedom, power and independence that our parents have had during the majority of their lives.

When you take the car keys away from a toddler you know they aren’t gonna go off and find their spare set, get in the car and put their and others life in danger.

A toddler isn’t going to order more checks by phone after you’ve hidden their checkbook and write thousands of dollars worth of checks to bogus sweepstakes and charities.

Cleaning diarrhea off the sweet
little bottom of a two-year old is a job that takes one minute and six baby wipes. Cleaning dried on diarrhea out of the pubic hair of a grown man can take 20 minutes - and a pressure washer.

A toddler wont call you every night for a month at 3am and ask you if it’s 3:00 in the morning or 3:00 in the afternoon.

When a toddler manipulates you its likely so they they can get you to give them a toy or a cookie. When your elderly parent manipulates you it’s so they can get you to give up your life to prop them up - so they can continue on living “independently”.

Shall I continue?!!

No comparison. No - I mean that in all seriousness. It’s an impossible comparison.
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Ahmijoy Sep 20, 2018
I agree. If we had wanted a baby, we would have given birth to one or hounded our married kids to make us one. I’m still trying to figure out the dry pull up thing you posted. My husband is Mr. Niagara Falls and will be soaked through including sheets, underpad, et. al. 15 minutes after I change and wash him.
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With children, there's a joy in the interaction/care giving that is completely missing when taking care of an elder. When my nearly 4 year old grand-nephew comes through the front door and announces "I'm here to eat" or "I want Grandma to read to me" he brings a little piece of sunshine. There is positive feedback and good moments with an elder too. But there's also many difficult moments when Mom doesn't remember her great-grandson has visited her today or that the newspaper is sitting on her chair-side table.
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Reply to TNtechie
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I’ve raised four children, one of whom is now an adult with a brain injury from infancy. It’s funny, but though there were tantrums, sleepless nights, all manner of sicknesses, potty issues, and the usual plethora of childhood problems my husband and I mostly remember the fun things and the good times with our children. With my parents it’s more like I have to make a conscious effort to grasp onto the good memories and fun times. After watching my mom go through hell after a stroke and now my dad getting more frail by the day, just seeing them not being the people I once knew, there’s no joy in it like there is when raising children
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Reply to Daughterof1930
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Toddlers usually aren’t hallucinatory or have age and health-related physical decline. Most don’t have to be medicated to keep them from going off the deep end. It’s s lot easier to pick up a toddler and put them on the toilet than an adult. Ditto with baths and showers. On some level, toddlers know the adult is in charge and eventually they’ll have to do as told. Adults with dementia can go to war with their caregiver. An adult knows the toddler will eventually grow up and out of the Terrible Twos. But we know with our elders there’s the inevitable and sad end to their behavior.
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Reply to Ahmijoy
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People who compare the two are likely to get a punch in the nose from elder caregivers (and have often gotten a tongue lashing here on the forum). Nuff said.
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Reply to cwillie
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anonymous262233 Sep 20, 2018
Oh cwillie... so negative... so consistent. Put away your boxing gloves. I didn't mean it in a derogatory way...

Guess what... I AM an elder caregiver like the others on this forum that had constructive responses.

Your silence is greatly appreciated in this instance!!! GOOD GRIEF!!!
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I would say taking care of toddlers is easier. Kids are learning life skills and remember the skills they learn and the elderly are forgetting, and they regress to children. I agree, it’s a terrible way to live and I pray my mother leaves this world before she gets to being a shell of a person.
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