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Role Reversal

Why did no one hand us a survival guide for this rollercoaster called adulthood? We’re given instructions for every other aspect of our lives. When the tables suddenly turn, and you find yourself caring for aging parents, it’s as if you are being punked, but Ashton never jumps out of the bushes. And the exhaustion, who knew? Your stamina hasn’t worked this hard since parental leave.

Why didn’t anyone ever warn us that our parents weren’t superhuman? It’s a sobering realization when the tables turn, and suddenly, we find ourselves the caregiver for those who once cared for us. It’s a role reversal with its share of challenges – like the expectation to understand more medical jargon than an episode of Grey’s Anatomy. Who knew we’d all become amateur geriatric experts? How many new abbreviations can one remember?

Caring for aging parents can feel like déjà vu – except this time, you’re the one holding their hand. It’s a profound responsibility that can test your patience, resilience, and capacity for love. During times of crisis, it’s easy to put our own needs on the backburner as we rush to take care of others. But just like they tell you on airplanes, you must secure your oxygen mask before assisting others. Whether carving out time for self-care, seeking professional help, or leaning on your support network, taking care of yourself is not selfish – it’s survival.

Self-care isn’t just bubble baths and face masks (although those can certainly be part of it!) It’s about prioritizing your physical, emotional, mental and spiritual well-being. Whether it’s going for a walk, practicing mindfulness meditation or indulging in a hobby you love, you must make time for activities that nourish your soul and recharge your batteries to survive.

Nothing can prepare you for this role reversal, but take a deep breath and put on your oxygen mask. Practice true self-care and embrace the power of community, and you will find you can weather this storm a bit easier.


Janet Smith is a proud mom of one daughter and a marketing professional who is grateful for her rural roots in the London area. Follow Janet’s funny and honest journey at IG & TT | @re.marketable.janet or FB | @janetsiddallsmith


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