Do we care as much for our parents as we do for our kids?

caring your parent

They did the best they could for us and we precisely know what that means as we strive day in and day out to do the same for our kids. Yet we and by ‘we’ I mean myself very much included always put them on the back burner of our lives.

I visited a few old school teachers in an old age home and although they all greeted us with smiles, I sensed a very strong hidden sadness in their eyes. Some of their kids had left fictitious contact details with the old age home officials so that they could never be traced by their parents. I was instantly guilty. I tend to disappear and become untraceable sometimes in my own world shutting out my parents to run my daily share of errands too. I realised that I call my boys often during the day to inquire if they have reached on time or had their lunch but when it’s my parents calling me more than once why do I get irritated and demand space? I have all the time in the world for the social media, the telephonic chats, the unnecessary pampering of my kids but I somehow always am busy when my folks want to talk or share something with me. I can see it in their eyes that it is important for them but my reaction is to roll over my eyes and trivialise the whole issue. And then I have the audacity to complain that they prefer talking to people they ought not be talking to.

The sadness in the eyes of the inmates haunted me and to my dismay I saw the same in the eyes of my parents on that day. How could I have not seen it before? But that was it. Things had to change. My parents needed me and my attention as much as my kids did and i was not going to neglect them anymore to fend for themselves.

  • I decided to put aside a specific amount of time for them during the day or maybe every alternate day .It would be their time and I would share this time with them to do whatever they wanted to do. In fact I think I would coax them to step out and do a little out of the usual activities like watching a movie or going to a theme park.
  • I would not ignore their calls anymore and would try to not get irritated if they called me often. I call my kids out of concern and they are doing the same.
  • I would shop for them and surprise them with small gifts. They just love that and treasure them for a life time.
  • I would not trivialise their problems. They never ignored even a small little scratch I used to get and would pamper me even if I ran up to them repeatedly. That was because that little scratch for big for me and their issues however silly or repetitive they appear are important for them.
  • They would be more of a part of my life from now on. Every small joy or dilemma I would share with them, include them and not leave them conveniently out. They being more experienced, why should I not tap into their resources of wisdom for some solutions?
  • And last but definitely not the least, I would hug them more letting them know every single day how much I love them and how grateful I am to them for making me the way I am.

Of course all will not be as simple as it sounds and there may be some trying moments where I just won’t be able to take things in. But those difficult moments will be MY problem and not theirs. I will take time off, go scream in a pillow or cry if I have to but I will make sure I don’t vent it out on them and land up saying things that I may regret later and then hold it against  my life for never giving me a chance to turn things around……

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