Help With Your Mother's Rule

Help With Your Mother's Rule is a forum for women who want trouble-shooting help with their Mother's Rules or about any aspect of the 5 Ps of the married vocation.

Ask Holly: This blog is composed of your questions. Contact me at the address listed on Holly's Helpers page and I will respond. Please share your unique ideas as well. The more ideas and experience we share, the more successful every mother will be in designing her own unique Mother's Rule.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

When Aging Parents Move In...

Dear Holly,
What advice would you give to those of us who have the added "P" of caring for aging parents while we still have little ones in the home?


  1. Kimberly Hahn once added a new "P" to the 5 Ps - she called it "Periphery" (after having looked through all the 'P' words in the dictionary) to describe just this type of situation - the additional personal circumstances that may not be a part of the actual married vocation per se, but which nonetheless impact our family lives significantly.

    I'm adding this other "P" in just a few weeks myself! My 84 year old mother is coming to live with us. She lived with us for 4 months last winter and will be moving here full time.

    Personally, when Mum came to live with us last winter, I 'added' certain things to my schedule - like bringing her a brunch in the morning and ensuring a short time to chat during a homeschool-recess; making sure she had a trip into town weekly; putting a rocking chair in the kitchen so she could keep me company while I made supper; getting her to an evening Mass instead of the early morning one... little things, that expressed love and care, but were worked into my other responsibilities.

    Additionally, I made sure that her 'room' was set up in a way that would give her maximum freedom - like having her own phone, her own TV (with long-corded headphones!!) and an armchair - whatever she felt she needed and would give her her own space.

    When she moves in with us full time, I will most certainly be asking her to decide which chores she'd like to assume in the family routine, and I have already asked her if she would re-teach my teens how to wash dishes better! Somehow, they listen to her better than me! :-)

    In other words - answer two questions:
    a) what is the parent interested in doing, no matter how small, to contribute to the family work and home?
    b) what can I do, to assist my parent(s) in her needs, to make her feel welcome and part of the family and to attend to her, as I attend to the others in my family - whether it be through my or the family's actions, or through how we set up our space or our schedule.

  2. It is so nice to know I am not alone. My 83 mother will be staying with us on a rotating schedule.It seems crazy to have baby gates and elevated toilets in the same house. My baby uses my mothers walker to climb and push around to help her walk! I was feeling sorry for myself with the added work, but I can only imagine how my mother is feeling being uprooted. Thanks for the suggestions.

  3. Remember too to consider the honor of caring for Christ in your mother. Many would like this, but not all can serve in this way,