Hover or love her

When is ‘much’ too much? When you love your children, siblings or parents and want SO much to help them, when is your love simply ‘too much’ for them to handle?

That is the age-old dilemma. I just returned from my mother-in-law’s house this week and noticed as she ages how her life changes. It becomes increasingly smaller and smaller, literally and figuratively, as she ages.

When she raised a family she had a large house, huge yard filled with flowers, lots of animals and many children in the house. Now they are all grown and living on their own and at 83 she lives alone in a small, 400 sq. ft. apartment.

Yes, we all visit her as much as we can, but is that enough? When we visit we see the mountains of photo albums and revisit her life which is about all she can do nowadays.

She has one of her daughters living nearby and she sees her every day, sometimes more than once a day. She calls that daughter every time a computer glitch happens or she cannot get the remote to work on the TV, or any of a myriad of challenges in her life.

Her daughter does not want to hover over her, yet cannot go on a vacation without worrying about her.

Speaking of that, we had our 15-year-old daughter that faces her own challenges in life, stay with friends for the four days we were gone; the first time she did not travel with us to see relatives.

It was hard not having her with us but we know it was good for her to have her own freedom and independence from the family for a few days.

When we are here we sometimes ‘hover’ over her, knowing she has depression sometimes, but is that REALLY helpful or sometimes is it better to simply let the child or adult sort out the challenges in life for themselves? Are we really helping or hurting them when we help them so much?

It IS a balance and only after you look back would you see how to do it differently. Being bipolar is a challenge, but how you handle it can add to your own stress if you find yourself hovering over others and sometimes NOT taking on their daily challenges frees up your own mind and lets you breathe a little easier.

Look into your own life and relationships and see if you are adding stress to your life or the life of others in how you may be hovering over them as well.

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About the Author

Keri-Lynn is a married mother of four children and two "step-men" and has been in the print industry for 20 years. She was diagnosed with bipolar disorder 11 years ago and has a keen interest in sharing her wellness strategies with others.

Contact Keri-Lynn by email:  [email protected]

The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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