The last week has been pretty crazy. After a few months of warning, my mom had to go in late in the night to have her gallbladder removed. After the surgery, they realized there were a number of complications, infections, etc. and so my mom and dad came to the Front Range in Colorado to have another procedure done on her.
She seems to be recovering nicely now, but from our conversations, this could be the beginning of a long line of similar procedures for either of them. Even though I have had my own gallbladder removed, three Junes ago, it seems to be about par for the course. Your parents get to a point where things start breaking down.
I’ve seen it happen before with other people, starting at my age thereabouts. This week was my turn. Taking time off to help out at the hospital, either to offer morale support, discuss procedures with doctors and nurses, or just run block for one parent for the other.
Running block was a lot of what I was doing.
But that’s a whole other thing and it’s exhausting to even think about right now. So I won’t. Needless to say, sometimes you have to take one for the team just so one parent can get some rest and the other doesn’t wind up dead of mysterious causes. I don’t need to see a half hour episode on the ID channel based on my parents thankyouverymuch.
What I will say is this. You will be much happier in life if you establish good boundaries. And this is no truer than with your own family sometimes. Just because someone birthed you, gave you baths, taught you how to ride a two-wheeler, or helped you figure out how to drive is no reason to have bad boundaries with people. Even with family, if you have good boundaries, you will filter out the bad people. Bad boundaries allow for bad relationships.
This week, I established some good boundaries, and unlike what years of codependency taught me, my parents still love me. And most of all, I get to keep my sanity. I hope one day that my kids understand this. That they don’t allow guilt, temper tantrums, or lack of boundaries sway them. I hope that they can learn that they are not put on this earth to be an extension of someone else. That they need to find their own way, their own path, and that family is there to support you, not to be interdependent with you.
We need to be raising our kids to stand on their own, and know that someone has their back, rather than being incapable of doing anything on their own without the approval, praise, and permission of their family.
Be firm, but be kind, people.