16 August, 2012

That age old question

My mother is visiting at the moment.  As nice as that is, it is also extremely stressful.  I won’t go into details.  But inevitably, it brings up the occasional question, “who will look after us when we’re old?”  And I feel guilty for even asking that question.  After all, I’m usually the first to point out that elderly folks who have no children are often better able to cope because they don’t rely on those children, they have support networks, and they have put into place the appropriate plans for their old age.  I’m usually the first to point out that just because you might have children, it doesn’t mean they will be there in your old age.   

But occasionally my mind or emotions betray me, and I have a moment of vulnerability, putting myself in the position of my mother, and wondering how I would cope without a diligent, bossy, daughter (or three).

But you know, even writing this down has reminded me of the reasons why I’ll be okay.  And it has reminded me that I am allowed the occasional vulnerable moment.  After all, I am sure even parents wonder, deep down, if their kids will be there for them when they’re old and frail.  We all have our vulnerabilities from time to time.  We’re allowed them.  After all, they don’t dominate our lives.


  1. This topic has been close to my heart lately. I will be going to stay with my Dad this weekend at his house about 45 mins. away while my sister, who normally lives with him, goes away for the weekend. It does make me think about who will be there when I am old and for the first couple of minutes, I think about being childless and that I should have a child for this purpose, but then my sensible side kicks in and realizes that even if I had a child doesn't mean he/she would be there for me. I know a few families who are struggling with which of the children is going to take care of their aging parent for various reasons -children live far away or don't have the time. I am one of the lucky ones in that I have always made sure to be there for my parents as they age and my Dad will be the first to say how lucky he is to have his children there for him. I also know me and how I deal with stuff and that deep down inside I, too, will be okay in the end. An added bonus would be that hubby will be there by my side for majority of it.

  2. I too had thought of that now and then.... and then remind myself that there are family that will be there. I had a childless aunt, and I observed how there were relatives glad to help her out, taking care of her to her death. So, that reassures me greatly for when it'd be my turn to be taken care.
    Nevertheless, as you said, we have vulnerable moments, in which one wonders "wouldn't having children help reduce the worry of who'd take care of me when I'm too old?" With the medical improvements and technology lately, we might as live up to 120 years old (thro I'm not too keen on living THAT long!).

  3. This topic is on my mind a lot. My grandma is in a nursing home, and my parents visit her EVERY day, several times. They feel that the service provided is not adequate.

    Do they think that me and my sibilings will do this one day? Heck, we might be working full time until we are 80 the ways the economy has been.

    And when we get to that state? We won't have that sort of help.


  4. Funny when I'm around my mom I usually think, "Oh thank God I won't be making my children crazy in my old age." hahaha. Seriously though I get this, and often wonder how lonely I'll feel but I try not to focus on that too long. I'm hoping that I'll die before I get to old to care for myself. I'm so morbid today, sorry about that lol

  5. This topic has also crossed my mind time and time again lately (also 'coz my side of the family lives in Indo so they can't possibly help me here)...but many times over I stop myself simply because I don't know what'll happen, so I focus more on the present while thinking that we should save money in case we need other people's help in our old days and we should try to collect as many lovely memories with hubby while we still can.

    I can relate to what CiCi is saying, though...'coz I do think that way sometimes, too. :-D

  6. I'm just back from visiting my parents... they are still just in their early 70s & very active... but every time I visit them now, I can see them slowing down, just a touch. (They can still generally run circles around me & dh, though, lol -- I always feel like such a slug around them.) Hopefully I have inherited some of that??