Not quite the plan: Dating and caregiving.Posted: April 21, 2015
In response to the “Not quite the plan’s” post on “Dating and caregiving:”
I refer you to “Marianne’s Story” in my book What to Do about Mama? Marianne opens her story with the comment, “I provided care for both my mother and my father. My mother had multiple sclerosis my entire life, so my caregiving began as early as age 4, when I simply offered my hand to help steady her walking gait.” (WTDAM p. 116) She goes on to describe her caregiving role as her responsibilities grew over a period of 40 years.
Later in her story Marianne states, “My husband, too, has had a lifetime caregiver role both with his sister, and later, his mother.” (WTDAM p. 119) (Sister is a post-polio survivor who must sleep in an iron lung every night. Mother lived to be a centenarian.)
One can conjecture that early on in their relationship, these two individuals were attracted to one another based on their similar life experiences and value systems; and taking that one step further, that their successful multi-decade marriage was built on mutual understanding, cooperation, and commitment.
My point? Keep looking. You, too, may find your diamond in the rough.
So another relationship ended a couple of months ago and I am back to the wilds of dating life. This week I have my first first date in a couple of years and am of course contemplating how to juggle dating and caregiving for Mom.
I find myself staring at the question on the online dating site I frequent: “Would you date someone who still lives with his/her parents?” Answer– from every guy who appears like an interesting date for me: “No.”
And then there is the message from someone who thinks he is being creative by asking me what the movie about my life would be titled. I ponder whether I share one of my possible titles for my memoir about this whole caregiving journey. Not quite the plan?
At what point does one mention, by the way, I live with my mother with rapidly advancing dementia? Is this a topic for…
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