Love, marriage and the other elder care giver

Rod and Cynthia

Lets be real.  No man really wants to live with their mother-in-law.  Nonetheless, my husband Rod has shared our home with my elderly and disabled mother  since we said our  I dos.

During these eight years we’ve bickered about a lot of things.  Chores,  spending and whether I’m sometimes too lenient with our son. However, our arguments have never been about whether mom should live with us.

Maybe it has never been a issue with him because mom was living with me when we met.  In fact, she was recovering from a serious fall and had just returned home from a nursing home stay when we had our first official date. Rod was gracious enough to interrupt the evening twice so I could go home and check on her. When he proposed, Rod recognized that I had committed to taking care of my mother and never asked if she would live somewhere else, even though most of my friends and family did.

It’s not like Rod thought my mother would be able to provide some free house keeping or childcare.  On the contrary her medical issues have meant extra work for him. He has prepared her medicines, meals, taken her to doctor appointments, cleaned up after her, and overseen her care when I’ve traveled on business.

When we are home, my mother usually is too.  That often means he has to sacrifice time and privacy with me and allow home health aide workers  in our home to help take care of her. Yet Rod has never complained or made my mom feel unwelcome.

I’m not just lucky to have Rod as my husband, I’m blessed.  So on this day, our anniversary, I want to say to him thank you for being my anchor. I love you and I’m proud of the example you set for our son and other spouses and partners who take care of the people who have taken on the responsibility of being an elder care giver.

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I'm a working wife and mom who takes care of an aging parent. Only I began doing it full-time, in my home, when I was in my mid-thirties, single and about to make a career change. Thirteen years later, mom is still living with me and I expect it to be that way until one of us leaves this earth. It hasn't always been easy managing her care. (I've helped my mother recover from surgery, and a major injury that required a nursing home stay, as well as the death of my younger brother after a long illness.) But caring for her has been worth it because I know that my assistance means she enjoys a better quality of life as she ages. I hope the experiences and information that I share will help you manage,with grace, the changes that take place in your life as you assume the responsibility of being your parent's caregiver. If you have a question you think I can answer, please contact me at

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2 comments on “Love, marriage and the other elder care giver
  1. Catherine says:

    Thanks God for understanding and supportive spouses.

  2. Charlene says:

    You are truly blessed. I have gotten a chance yo meet Rod and he is a wonderful person. Never once has he complained about your mom living with the two of you. It is my prayer that you two continue to grow together with patience and understanding! Love the blogs keep them coming!!

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