Photo of Jennifer Stanley

Parenthood is such a trip.

Parenthood ranges from your kids totally needing you…up to the point where you (the parent) totally need them. This is life. It’s about coming full circle.

You know what? That shift is often not an easy one, even though it sounds so natural on paper. As parents, we are often wired to ignore our own needs and put our kids needs first. Chances are, if you’re a parent, you’ve been doing this for years. So when life comes full circle, parents often have a really hard time recognizing: “hey, I’m the one that needs a little help now.”

Sadly too many seniors are in that habit of ignoring their needs when they get older, answering “I’m fine” to every question kids ask about how they are doing.

When this comes up, what they really need to hear is; there is no shame in needing help and support. They need you to tell them that ageing is OK. They need to know that you know they always tried to do the best thing for you. And now you want to do the same for them.

It takes a special understanding to guide folks through that shift in the circle. I know, it’s a big part of what I do as the Executive Director of The Willows.

When parents come to live at The Willows with us, we work through it with them; that strange new experience of needing help. It’s a delicate thing but our team is well trained to guide seniors and their adult children through it. We work together so they are able to enjoy this new part of the circle where they come first.

That phase is right around the corner.

I can help, call me at 4851672.

Jennifer Stanley
Executive Director
The Willows of Marshalltown