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Can I Pull Off Vacation?

luggage-mdA couple of months ago Hubby asked “So how long has your mom been here? About a year now?” “No,” I replied, “It’ll be three years in October.”

His eyes widened, “You gotta be kidding me!”

No I wasn’t kidding. In that two plus years he has had eight weeks of vacation from his job. In the same time I have had exactly two days off. Hospitalizations don’t count as far as I’m concerned! For the last two years Mom (with the help of daughter #1 – who helped plan, book and then stay with her grandmother) has given us a “Night out on the Town.” Don’t get me wrong, we had a blast, but two overnights out of almost three years of 24/7 care isn’t a lot.

Time to actually plan a vacation where Hubby and I can have more than 24 hours alone together.

So I began planning my respite. We have hired an agency who will supply a live-in caretaker for the week. It ain’t cheap as they say, but if I sent her to a nursing home in a respite bed it would cost as much if not more and she would be miserable. So here goes. Letting go. Can they do it right, make her happy, keep her clean, fed, safe? Boy, I sure didn’t know I was such a control freak! And a stranger sleeping in my bed, roaming my house…wow. Everywhere I look I see my inadequacies. The silverware drawer is filthy, what will this person think? The refrigerator could be cleaner, what will this person think? But… I am taking a deep breath. I need the time off. I need it so I can be a better caregiver. I need it so I can do it again. We need it. 42 years of marriage needs it. We need to sit side by side looking at the ocean; reading, playing cribbage or Yatzee, just being together.

We are going a week from Monday. It can’t come fast enough, but it is coming too quickly. Do I have all her meds, is her schedule written out, do I have all the contact numbers they might need? This person, whom I haven’t yet met, is coming a day early to follow me around, learn the routines. That is a good thing, I just hope we like her. When we go, should I call, see how she is? Should I have them call me? Have her call me? There, I’m doing it again. You know what? It is only six days. We leave on Monday around noon and return on Saturday. Mom can live though that, heck, at 93 she has lived through surgery, rehab, a fractured pelvis and then more rehab. Of course she can.

So can I.

About Thedogmama

Avatar of Thedogmama
Hi, I am a retired only child who, after several years taking care of my parents in another state long distance am now the caregiver to my 94 year old mother. Mom lives with us now and has two of our upstairs bedrooms as her "little apartment". She has extensive osteoarthritis, COPD, CHF and pulmonary hypertension. In the three years she has been living with me she has endured more pain than anyone should have to handle. Because of the arthritis she has had the head of her humerus in her right arm removed to alleviate pain and internal bleeding. It was not reconstructed. This year she fractured her pelvis and the head of the femur fractured off her left leg. The repair of the femur was successful, but her pelvis is deteriorating and cannot support her weight. She is now confined to a wheelchair and her bed. I live in Massachusetts with my Hubby and Mom's cat Molly and our African Grey Parrot Penelope. We have two adult children who adore their grandmother and live about an hour away.


  1. Avatar of Denise

    OMG! This sounds awesome!! Where will you go?

    And, you can do this. You’ll have difficult moments and you can still do this. You can figure how often and when to call, how to communicate all the needs and schedules and you can figure out how to enjoy the time away.

    I’ll be anxious to see the vacation photos. :)

  2. Avatar of Janet

    It’s going to be rougher on you then your mom. But give yourself a break, I really have been in your almost ten years ago with my grandmother who was 99, she lived with us for 3 and half years. We were luck to have a family member come in for a week for us. Now I am starting down this road again with my mom.

  3. Avatar of ejourneys

    Good for you for giving yourself this wonderful and necessary gift! That is awesome.
    I’m so glad the caretaker is coming early for a walk-through. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, no matter how they might sound. Getting answers gives peace of mind. This is all new, and anything new has a lot of unknowns. And for all the answers we can’t get, hooray for the answers we can! :-)

  4. A well needed vacation. When the thoughts of home interfere, put them aside, as there’s nothing you can do. I agree with Janet that it’ll be rougher on you than your mom. But you both will get through the week and you’ll both be better off because of it. And so will your husband! Enjoy every minute!

  5. Avatar of Pegi

    You and hubby deserve a vacation! Think of how refreshed and renewed you’ll feel when you get home. Your Mom will do fine. You have a professional coming to stay with her, and along with her comes her whole support organization. You can call often or not, whatever gives you peace of mind. It’s your vacation, enjoy and relax.

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