Not quite the plan

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

Dating and caregiving.

11 Comments

So another relationship ended a couple of months ago and I am back to the wilds of dating life.  This week I have my first first date in a couple of years and am of course contemplating how to juggle dating and caregiving for Mom.

I find myself staring at the question on the online dating site I frequent:  “Would you date someone who still lives with his/her parents?”  Answer– from every guy who appears like an interesting date for me: “No.”

And then there is the message from someone who thinks he is being creative by asking me what the movie about my life would be titled.  I ponder whether I share one of my possible titles for my memoir about this whole caregiving journey.  Not quite the plan?

At what point does one mention, by the way, I live with my mother with rapidly advancing dementia?  Is this a topic for the first or second date, or the twentieth?  Or even via email before the date if I share my honest answer to this man’s question?  How will any of them react?  The questions overwhelm me.  I know and value the incredible life lessons caregiving has taught me but fear my choices make me a far too complicated woman in a pool of less complicated and of course younger women.

Even Google provides me with no answers.   An internet search for dating and caregiving finds me various musings on dating for caregivers caring for spouses who explore dating on the side as their spouses’ conditions worsen.  Complicated also, but nothing like what I am navigating.  An article on Match.com only depresses me as it explains, ” 40 million people — most of them baby boomers — provide care to an aging parent.”  It does however provide the helpful advice to manage my time wisely.

This does however give me a new idea for my memoir title:  If only I was a baby boomer.

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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.

11 thoughts on “Dating and caregiving.

  1. Good luck! Trying to date wasn’t a factor when I was caring for my dad – I’ve got a husband – but I can see your difficulty. Hang on to your sense of humour.

  2. I look at that question a bit differently. You don’t live with your mom. Your mom lives with you. There is a world of difference. Anyone who is worthy of dating such a caring, giving, wonderful person like you will understand that.

  3. The question “would you date someone who is living with their parents?” is not meant to identify those who, like you, have returned to give care. There is a world of difference. I also think you should be able to tell a date that you are a caretaker as soon as it naturally becomes an element to work around, like when you have to schedule around things your mom needs done, or when you need a rest more than a date. I would treat it the same as I would my employment, because it is the same. When they ask what you do, your paid work and your unpaid responsibility get equal weight. I echo the previous comment.

  4. What happened to that nice young man your mum liked so much…?

  5. Hi! A good man will appreciate what you are doing for your mother and offer to help. My husband helped in numerous ways while I was my parents’ primary caregiver for seven years. Without my husband to pick up the slack at home and help as needed with my parents, I could not have done it. We have three children, and I work outside the home.

    Good luck! The date you pick to tell a man about your caregiving role will depend on your comfort level with a particular man.

  6. I refer you to “Marianne’s Story” in my book: What to Do about Mama? Marianne opens her story with the comment, “I provided care for both my mother and my father. My mother had multiple sclerosis my entire life, so my caregiving began as early as age 4, when I simply offered my hand to help steady her walking gait.” (WTDAM p. 116) She goes on to describe her caregiving role as her responsibilities grew over a period of 40 years.

    Later in her story Marianne states, “My husband, too, has had a lifetime caregiver role both with his sister, and later, his mother.” (WTDAM p. 119) (Sister is a post-polio survivor who must sleep in an iron lung every night. Mother lived to be a centenarian.)

    One can conjecture that early on in their relationship, these two individuals were attracted to one another based on their similar life experiences and value systems; and taking that one step further, that their successful multi-decade marriage has been built on mutual understanding, cooperation, and commitment.

    My point? Keep looking. You, too, may find your diamond in the rough.

  7. Reblogged this on What to Do about Mama? and commented:
    I refer you to “Marianne’s Story” in my book What to Do about Mama? Marianne opens her story with the comment, “I provided care for both my mother and my father. My mother had multiple sclerosis my entire life, so my caregiving began as early as age 4, when I simply offered my hand to help steady her walking gait.” (WTDAM p. 116) She goes on to describe her caregiving role as her responsibilities grew over a period of 40 years.

    Later in her story Marianne states, “My husband, too, has had a lifetime caregiver role both with his sister, and later, his mother.” (WTDAM p. 119) (Sister is a post-polio survivor who must sleep in an iron lung every night. Mother lived to be a centenarian.)

    One can conjecture that early on in their relationship, these two individuals were attracted to one another based on their similar life experiences and value systems; and taking that one step further, that their successful multi-decade marriage was built on mutual understanding, cooperation, and commitment.

    My point? Keep looking. You, too, may find your diamond in the rough.

  8. I have often said that – as much as having MIL feels like “three in our marriage”, I would not want a man who could just turn his back on his mother.

    Even if I’d know what I’d be taking on when I first met OH, I’d still have forged ahead, as he is the only one I could have ever imagined me being with – dementia won’t last for ever, but hopefully we will…

    Is there a dating site for carers out there…??

    If not – that is copyrighted to me. As of now.

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