Accepting The Changes We See In Our Mothers

By Val Boyko • February 11th, 2011

face of older womanThis post follows on from our conversation on daughters as care givers and the reversal of roles that takes place as our mothers age and/or have health issues.

Before the forum call I hadn’t really thought of myself as a care giver. My Mum lives alone, can manage the stairs, has an active social life, and is in good health. She’s great for her age. However, my perspective started to shift during the conversation. I began to notice that there are changes happening with my mother, and something is shifting within me.

In a recent phone call she was frustrated about her slow healing knee and the weight she has put on. I realized that this sort of call is happening  more and more.  Behind the complaining, I sensed a sadness and struggle in her about where she is in life. She wants to be free to do whatever she likes but gets so frustrated and angry with her aging self. Once she said “This isn’t me!”

As humans, we find it hard to face what is real and changing in our lives. Facing a new reality means we have to let go of our old one!  My mother wasn’t accepting where she is in life now and I wasn’t accepting it either.

What can we do as daughters on a mother whispering journey?  Having a new understanding and empathy can help  us handle our buttons and reactions from earlier days in the relationship.

Before we might have reacted with thinking “Mum is getting even more annoying!” But if we step back we might be able to recognize that our mothers are changing, and so is our role. Our mothers do need us more as they face their own aging and ending. And as daughters we can start to accept this and be prepared to be more caring and giving.

Where can we find the motivation and strength to let go of our annoyance and old buttons and move into a more care giving role? Ultimately from knowing that love and connection is still there and always will be …. even although it gets tarnished and hidden along the way.



Val, as you know, someone very dear to me has a mom with many new needs because of aging. Did you write this for us? Thanks for the reminders. You are right about aging mothers. Perhaps even if a mother was never very loving, the children in responding with respect, understanding, and love can make things easier and also nurture loving among themselves. All parents, no matter their parenting skills, are part of who we are. I am taking a long, calming breath and will phone someone. Thanks for keeping us focused through the journey.

By Val Boyko on March 14th, 2011 at 8:32 am

Hi Tisha, I’m glad you found this post helpful…. yes, you have been on my mind. Your story also shows how siblings can come together at this time. That’s truly heartwarming.
Did you read the blog on too? I like the idea of a Circle of Care for an aging mother (or parent). Having a team of people on board to support them means that we aren’t reliant on one person and can have more choices. cheers!


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    Ask yourself if you make any of the following 15 statements. Find out if you are expressing yourself fully and are communicating with openness and presence.
    • SCORING The highest possible score is 30, and the lowest is zero. The higher the score, the higher your likelihood of having success in all your relationships. 0-9: You probably find yourself frustrated in relationships (especially with your mother) more often than you would like. 10-15: You have a high aptitude for relating and are open to learning 16-24: You have good relationship skills. How can you apply them more to your mother relationship? 25-30: Congratulations! Your capacity for present-centered relating is at a very high level.
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