Not quite the plan

on finding my groove as a 30 something single girl and caregiver for mom with dementia

The sudden insight.


It was my birthday the other day.  I have low expectations for Mom on such occasions but she managed to surprise me.

Mom was up early which is a depressing new pattern, eliminating the slim window of time that I used to have for myself.  She has woken me up early every day for the past week.  Even my serious morning grumpiness does not seem to stop her!  (Even well into the dementia, Mom encountered a mug one day while we were shopping that said, “I drink coffee for your protection.”  She insisted on purchasing it for me.)

So Mom was in my room around 6am on my birthday and wanted to talk.  She told me it was a special day, much to my surprise that she remembered.  Her remembering it kind of made my birthday.  But then she wanted to talk more seriously, and told me she did not want to be an imposition.  I shrugged it off thinking she was referring to the immediate conversation but a moment later she commented that all of this was happening at the wrong time for me.  She mentioned my sister’s issues as well, which made me convinced that she was trying to communicate something bigger.

It’s impossible to be completely sure of Mom’s meaning in these kinds of conversations but I am fairly confident that she was trying to communicate that she does worry about burdening me at this point in my life.  It was a rare moment of insight for Mom.   I appreciated her being in mom role toward me and wanting to take care of me for a moment.   Though I hope she does not worry about that often, it was rather a birthday present to know that she had any concept of this.

Also, after dinner that evening she disappeared into her room to retrieve her gift for me.  She never returned, so there may possibly be something hidden away.  And if not, there certainly was a full intention.



Author: notquitetheplan

I am a mid-30s single girl, trying to climb the ladder, get a date... and make sure Mom takes her meds. It's not where I expected to be. But it's where I am and this blog is about embracing that.

9 thoughts on “The sudden insight.

  1. I love your last sentence, “And if not, there certainly was a full intention.” That in itself is a gift: that she was aware enough to want to gift you.

  2. Happy belated birthday to you. Have been thinking about you and mom, wondering how it was going. Nice post.

  3. I have just discovered your blog. It is wonderful! I am in the early stages of dealing with my husband’s cognitive impairment and find your posts beautifully written. Feel free to check me out at

  4. Taking care of you mom IS a lot to handle . . . and it’s also clear from your post that she is aware of the difficulties you face and appreciates you, even if she isn’t able to communicate it fully in words. Your love and care for your mom is such a gift to her, as hers is to you. Big Hugs!

  5. Nice post.

  6. Your mom will surprise you when you least expect it!

  7. My mother-in-law used to get up at 8:00 when she visited from Florida. However, when she first moved to our community, she lived in a supportive independent living retirement community. Since breakfast was at 8 am, she began to get up at 6 to shower and get dressed in time. After hitting a slippery slope of falls, broken bones, and rehab, she moved into our home. Whenever she heard me move about, she wanted to get up to shower and dress before breakfast. Staying in her nightgown and robe for too long was “giving up.” But my morning routine has always been to enjoy my early AM newspaper. So, I would huddle in my bed to read the paper so that she would not know that I was awake. Like you, I cherished the “slim window of time” I had for myself. Fortunately, I was able to maintain it with albeit stealthy practices on my part.

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