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I Can't Stand Complaining



"My mother died when I was a teenager. I remember cooking, doing laundry and taking care of my siblings, all while going to school. It was quite a heavy load for me. I did feel burdened at the time, but what really bugs me is when people complain about their elderly parents and how much work it is to take care of their needs.

I would have given anything to have my mom around in her old age. To hear people complain despite the fact that they still have their parents in their lives is frustrating. It’s all I can do to hold my tongue when they do. What is their problem?" - READER



Children lose their parents at different times, and you’re a prime example of why we should all be grateful when our parents live into old age.

Your load was heavy for a teen to manage—the work alone, not to mention the emotional burden of watching a parent decline and die. It was not an easy path to adulthood for you, and I’m sincerely sorry for your loss.

Right now you are watching others go through the challenges of caregiving. People tend to talk about the stressors in their lives, and you seem to know many people experiencing the difficulties of providing care to a parent. It’s a common issue—we write about it, talk about it, and even complain about it.

(Frankly it’s not much different from caring for infants and small children. We love them and provide the care, but also complain about how tired we are, how thankless the kids are, and say things like “if only we had known.”)

The fact is—people vent when they’re tired and overwhelmed. Caregiving is exhausting work whenever it becomes part of your life. Some of our stories are funny, some are sad, and some consist solely of complaints.

Try to remember how hard it is being in the midst of it all. Tell them you understand, because you certainly do. Try to be kind, even though they complain. We all have a different journey in life and none of them are easy.