Recently there have been number of scolding posts that imply selfishness and ingratitude on the part of tired, worn-out, strung-out caregivers. The argument is: your mama took care of you and now you have the nerve to complain about taking care of her?

So, I ask you: is this really a parallel?

Of course, there are similarities: the physical care, the trips to the doctor, the worrying, the medications, the sleepless nights, the responsibility that goes on for a decade or two-ish.

But I would argue this as well:

When my mom took care of me, she was in her twenties and, at the time she needed to lift me up, I weighted about 10-15 pounds.

She changed my diapers but only for a couple of years and I was still pretty light to lift.

As a child I could eat, drink, dress myself, move objects, make phone calls, and leave the house for many hours a day on my own.

I was pretty cheeky at the age of twelve but i did not have a driver's license, a check book and a credit card. I was not in a position to spend all of the family fortune/college/retirement money on clothes, jewelry and records.

Also and significantly, I was getting ready to go out into the word to have a life, which brought much joy and, ultimately, travel into my parents' lives.

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terry, thank you for saying that. When someone tells me how rewarding it is to care for my mother, all I want to say is "Bite me."
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What about doctor appointments. I never had children but assumed a child would have just one doctor, two at the most.

With an elder it is usually the primary doctor, ophthalmology, audiologist, podiatrist, gynecologist, urologist, cardiologist, dermatologist, oncologist, gastroenterologist, pulmonologist, rheumatologist.... etc.
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No comparison whatsoever. When I was taking care of three unreasonable under the age of 4, no one was telling me that they had the right to decide where they wanted to live. They would have all been in the in the Elephant House at the Prospect Park Zoo.
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My 3 year old grandson's day care center here in NYC costs $30,000 a year. My mom's nh in suburban CT costs $15,000 per month.
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It's apples and oranges in my mind. To me, raising my children and caring for my parents are completely different situations. I love my parents and will be there for them but I will never feel the same sense of responsibility I did for my children. If others see it as the same then that would be their view, not the right view or the wrong one but their view. We all come from different circumstances.

It does irritate me though when the scolders feel entitled to judge. Those posts I just try to ignore.
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Hi, 1st time posting on this site, I wish I had found it during the passing of my parents in the last 3 years. I agree No comparison whats so ever. A Child breathes new life into your life, taking care of your parents is watching that life fade away. I took care of my Mom & Dad, but was also fortunate to have the help of caregivers. Being a Parent to a Parent for me is/was the Biggest Challenge God has given me. \o/
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Boy is there a difference! my child was not a 160 lb angry man who wants to grab Mom or I, and is strong as an Ox. She was not someone I could not pick up when she fell down, or who fought me when I tried to dress her and could literaly knock me off my feet! My toddler daughter did not try to take the car!
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I know exactly what you mean. I remember back when I was grumbling about driving my parents, a co-worker said that I should remember all the times that my parents drive me around when I was a child..... I reminded her that "my parents weren't senior citizens when I was a child, big difference". Now at my age I have only half the energy of someone in their 30's. I can be found napping in front of the TV, too :P

Plus young people look forward to that new bundle of joy, who's mind wasn't already set, the child evolves into an adult with all new skills so they can go out on their own... we can be proud and very happy. An elderly parent who has age decline or memory issues is going backwards... it breaks our heart.
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I agree that taking care of children is not at all like taking care of older adults. If it were, then elder care centers would cost about the same as child care centers.

Sometimes we hear of people in the 40-70 age group as the sandwich generation. I started thinking the other day that elders are also caught in a sandwich. When they were our age, their parents tended to die when they were 70-early 80s. They didn't have to invest huge parts of their lives to elder care. But now people live longer, though not always healthier lives. The elders are caught in a time where medications keep the heart going, but aren't able to keep the mind and other body parts from deteriorating. So we have elders on blood pressure medications and other drugs to preserve life if they can remember to take them. Quality of life has a way to go to catch up. Maybe increase in quality can be increased by something besides medicine, e.g. dance and yoga. There is some answer out there we haven't discovered yet.
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Spg210 said: "It's unfortunate that in this country the elderly are throwaways. Senior facilities are jam packed with parents whose children decided to give them to strangers to raise because the children couldn't be inconvenienced."

Now wait just a minute, buddy. Them's fightin' words.

First of all, parents do not need "raising." They are all ready all grown up, for better or for worse. They need care. Sometimes more specialized care than their children have skill for. Sometimes more exhaustive care than their children have energy for. My mother has never been an "inconvenience" in my life. She is a two-person transfer with a PAL machine. She hates the idea of being a "burden" to her children and is much happier to have paid staff change her than to have her adult children do it. [This is not my theory. She talked about it long before she became disabled.] She has no money for the round-the-clock assistance she would need at home. I have no money after spending ten years taking care of my husband with dementia, including through the hospice journey. How dare you call her a throwaway! What do you know of the elders in those senior facilities you so despise?

You certainly are entitled to make any sacrifices you care to for your mother. But where to do you get off saying that placing a parent in a care center is throwing them away? I assure that my siblings and I have NOT thrown our mother away.

How nice for you that your mother was loving and nurturing. Unfortunately that is not universal. How lucky that you have other relatives to help out emotionally and even financially. That is not as common as you would expect.

I am glad for you that you get to make a decision that makes you feel good. Just please do not come here spouting how superior your decision is and that people who make other decisions just "couldn't be inconvenienced."

Baloney, buddy. Baloney.

(Can anyone tell this is a hot button for me?)
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