I hope you enjoy this excerpt from my book, Mothering Mother.
It’s about the word caregiving/caregiver.
There were moments when I was definately my mother’s caregiver, and there were times,
fewer toward the end, when I was my mother’s daughter.
I tried to never forget–I was her daughter–first. Family first.
They call what I do care-giving—giving care, what a sterile term. It makes me want to go pick up supplies at The Care Store. There are books and pamphlets on care-giving; it’s a buzzword for this generation. I can answer that perennial question, “So, what do you do?” with “I’m a caregiver.” People nod. It sounds noble, and vague.
Bonding is another word that’s always bothered me. Nurses write it on your chart to describe your rapport with your baby. “Mother seems to have a hard time bonding with child.” Sounds like glue. Both of these words imply distance and formality, techie lingo for organic, old-fashioned terms such as mother, family and love. You can hire a caregiver and they can dispense care with your morning pills or your mother can move in with you and you can fuss and fight and figure out how not to kill each other. I’m not sure if I’ve bonded with Mother, but she’s getting plenty of care.
Carol D. O’Dell’s gripping memoir Mothering Mother: A Daughter’s Humorous and Heartbreaking Memoir, available on Amazon and in most bookstores.
Mothering Mother was written in “real time” as Carol cared for her mother. It touches the hearts of those who find themselves in the “sandwich generation”and overflows with humor, grace and much needed honesty.
Her fiction and nonfiction work has appeared in numerous publications including Atlanta Magazine, Southern Revival, MARGIN, The Pisgah Review, and AIM, America’s Intercultural Magazine.
Carol is a Jacksonville University graduate, creative writing teacher and inspirational speaker and has been featured on CNN, Fox and numerous television and radio programs across the country. Her stories and insights on caregiving, inspiration, spirituality, writing, and Alzheimer’s issues offer hope and purpose.
Visit her website is www.mothering-mother.com.